Late last night, when I posted the info about Hannover House attempting to create a new animated Terminator film called Terminator 3000, one question kept coming up: how do these guys have the rights to the franchise?

But the press release from Hannover addressed that question, saying that, as the rights had gone to Pacificor, LLC earlier this year, that outfit “retains approval and licensing authority” over the proposed film. In other words: “we’re going to announce that we’re making this, and hope Pacificor plays ball.”

As of today, Pacificor doesn’t seem to have come to a decision about whether this ball game is one it wants to be involved in.

Deadline relates that after the press release did the rounds last night, Pacificor promptly shot off a cease and desist letter to Hannover House, demanding that the company cease development of the film. (Read the entire C&D at that Deadline link.)

For his part, HH CEO Eric Parkinson said that the press release was essentialy premature, and that it went out only because another involved party spoke publicly about the project. So, with the cat out of the bag, might as well issue a press release, right? Well…

Parkinson told Deadline,

The animation rights were excluded when Hemdale sold Terminator to Carolco and when I left Hemdale, part of my settlement was that I got those rights…However, the way the rest of the contractual rights are written, it would be dangerous for us to do this without Pacificor’s approval. They have certain intellectual rights. The best way to put it is,  they can’t make an animated film without me, and we might not be able to make it without them. We are in discussions with WME, and hope we can deal with this expeditiously.

Like I said, this is turning into a game. Put the info out there, see what the response is, and then use a paycheck to get a shrug and a rights offer from the holders. But Pacificor told Deadline the company has no interest in any project beyond the live action films that have been spoken of in recent months.

Parkinson responds, saying that he’s basically offered “a big rights fee to Pacificor” if the company lets him go ahead with the film. Talks should take place next week, at which point we’ll either hear that the companies are holding hands, or that the film is dead. I know which angle I’m rooting for.

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