Terminator 4 In Legal Limbo

T Asset has sued MGM and claim the studio is interfering with their right to negotiate for the distribution of the planned fourth installment of the highly successful series reports the trades.

T Asset is a subsiduary of Halcyon Co. who acquired the rights to produce further “Terminator” film sequels in May. Using a script by “T3” writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris, they planned to relaunch the franchise with a big-budget sequel.

They now claim that MGM did not negotiate in good faith when the two parties sat down in June. MGM acquired first rights in the 1990s for an exclusive, 30-day negotiation for distribution rights to the films in the franchise.

MGM made an initial offer of $200 million in production and marketing commitments, but insisted on approvals of key cast, crew, script and budget which T Asset didn’t like. MGM didn’t like that T Asset kept the screenplay confidential and hadn’t revealed who would direct and star in the film. As a result MGM suspended negotiations, awaiting a counterproposal.

Now, with the month-long window over, MGM is claiming the negotiating window remained open and that T Asset could not talk with other distributors. So T Asset are asking the court for a permanent injunction against MGM to allow them to take the project to other potential producers/distributors.

Ultimately this just means one thing – another delay. If dragged out, a 2009 release originally planned now seems unlikely.