As the long-running Terminator film series prepares to release its sixth installment, Terminator: Dark Fate, the ownership of the sci-fi franchise may soon be changing hands following recent legal action by producer and co-creator Gale Anne Hurd.
Hurd has motioned to terminate a 35-year old copyright grant she and co-creator James Cameron made in 1984 with the release of the original film, which would effectively give Hurd 50% ownership of the franchise, sharing the rights with Cameron. Dark Fate studio Skydance Media acquired the Terminator license in 2011 with a competitive bid of $20 million after the commercial underperformance of 2009's Terminator: Salvation. If Hurd's motion is successful, Skydance will lose the rights to the Terminator franchise in November 2020 unless it's able to negotiate an extension to the existing license.
Hurd, who has served as a producer on The Walking Dead television adaptation and its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, since both series' launches, produced and co-wrote the original 1984 Terminator film with her then-husband Cameron, who also directed the first two installments. The franchise's license has changed hands several times since, with Skydance Media producing 2015's Terminator: Genisys and the upcoming Dark Fate and Cameron returning to produce and co-write after spending decades away from the franchise he co-created.
If Hurd's motion is dismissed, Skydance Media will retain the Terminator license and the ability to produce additional installments, though no date for a determination on the motion has been announced publicly at this time.
Directed by Tim Miller and produced by James Cameron, Terminator: Dark Fate stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna, Natalia Reyes and Diego Boneta. The film opens Nov. 1.
(via The Hollywood Reporter)