Has any writer ever gotten through an article about the Terminator series without making an "I'll be back" reference? I'm going to give it a shot. As Scott told you a few months back, the merchandising, licensing and film rights to the Terminator franchise were recently sold from producing partners Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna (how'd you like to go through high school with that last name?) to a company called Halcyon. Halcyon formed a corporation called T Asset to make Terminator 4, aiming for a Summer 2009 release. T3 screenwriters Michael Ferris and John Brancato were brought on to write the script. The studio even has designs on making T4 the first film in a whole new Terminator trilogy. But yesterday, Halcyon filed a lawsuit accusing MGM of "wrongful and malicious threats to disrupt T Asset's absolute right to negotiate with other motion picture studios regarding the distribution of T Asset's planned production and distribution of the fourth sequel in the highly valuable Terminator franchise."
So what does that all mean in layman's terms? In a nutshell, T Asset wants MGM to butt out. MGM is claiming that they had "the right to an exclusive 30-day first negotiation with respect to the distribution of T4." Negotiations went over 30 days. T Asset says MGM's negotiating period is expired, MGM disagrees. Boom, pow, you got yourself a Hollywood lawsuit. T Asset also accuses MGM of including the assumed financial success of T4 in economic projections that MGM is using to raise money. Apparently MGM is so high on the prospect of Terminator gold, they offered nearly $200 million dollars for the production and advertising of T4 on June 14th. Look, I love the Terminator movies (the first two anyway), but does anyone really think T4 will be as big a smash as previous installments? James Cameron leaving after T2 hit the series pretty hard, but at least T3 still had Schwarzenegger and it made money. All we know about the cast of T4 is that Marcus Schenkenbergis in it (PLEASE don't let him take over for Arnold), and that name's not going to light up a marquee. IMDb has Edward Furlong rumored to be attached, and I certainly hope they're not banking on Mr. Brainscan putting asses in the seats. They'd have to really up the ante on special effects or something to make this proposed trilogy something that will excite the public. I'm going to grab a sandwich and give this some thought. But...I'll be back. Damn it.