Disney are being sued by the writers of the original Predator movie, as they seek to regain the rights to the classic franchise.
In an interesting twist, the Mouse House is the one being sued over franchise rights and copyright deals for a change, after the brothers who penned the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Jim and John Thomas, sought to reclaim it, despite Disney’s acquisition of the property during its recent takeover of 21st Century Fox.
The siblings are seeking to take advantage of the termination provision of the film’s copyright laws, which means that after 35-year waiting period they are able to go ahead with new instalments and to take control of the entity they created.
It also means there are plenty of other franchises from the 1980s that are falling into this category, whereby original creators and owners are able to reclaim the intellectual rights.
Three sequels followed – Predator 2 (1990), Predators (2010), and The Predator (2018) – as well as two films in the Alien vs. Predator series.
The siblings, according to The Hollywood Reporter, claim they served a termination notice in 2016 and received no objections. Only in 2021 did they receive a response from Disney disputing the request, citing a ‘special, delayed termination time ‘window”as a means of keeping hold of it.
The brothers have since replied with with alternative termination dates and, despite Disney’s seeming desire to keep ownership, are not letting this go without a fight. The brothers are, after all, being represented by Marc Toberoff, who famously represented the writer of Friday the 13th and (pending an appeal) won that battle against the studio.
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The Hollywood Reporter
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