How quickly things change! Just this morning we reported that the wrangling preventing a new Terminator movie from being made had ended and that the 3-D, $70 million, animated 3-D Terminator 3000 would start filming in January. But no more! (We think.)
Now deadline is reporting that Hannover House, which is working with Vancouver-based Red Bear Entertainment on the new project, has been sent the following cease-and-desist letter:
HILL & TRAGER, LLP Attorneys At Law
August 13, 2010
Fred Shefte, President Eric Parkinson, CEO
Target Development Group, Inc. Susannah Patton, Director
1428 Chester Street Hanover House
Springdale, AR 72764 1428 Chester Street
Springdale, AR 72764
Eric Parkinson, President and CEO
Truman Press, Inc.
1722 North College Street
Fayetteville, AR 72703
Re: Pacificor, LLC ("Pacificor")
Dear Messrs. Parkinson and Shefte and Ms. Patton:
We are counsel for Pacificor, LLC ("Pacificor"). We believe you are aware that pursuant to an order entered on March 3, 2010 in In re: T Asset Acquistion Company, LLC, et. al, United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, Los Angeles Division, Case No. 2009-31853-ER, Pacificor acquired assets relating to the Terminator Motion Picture Franchise, including, but not limited to, rights to sequels, remakes, all mechanizing and other derivative rights related to sequels and remakes, and other assets, collectively defined as the "Granted Terminator Assets" in said order.
We recently became aware through various online media reports that Hannover House, purportedly a division of Target Development Group, Inc. ("TDGI"), entered into a purported feature film development venture with a Vancouver based entity, Red Bear Entertainment, for "Teminator 3000" an animated feature film based upon the characters introduced in the original Terminator movie.
This knowledge came as a surprise to Pacificor. It did not license or authorize any such development or film. Indeed, it has not been contacted by Hannover House, TDGI, Red Bear Entertainment or anyone else seeking such a license or approval.
While some of the reports we have seen mention that Pacificor "retains approval and licencing authority..." over the proposed project, a reasonable inference drawn from the reports is that such approval has been obtained. Otherwise, why would the "development deal" have been entered into in the first place and why would the reports mention a proposed January 2011 start date for production?
Please be advised that the suggestion that Hannover House, TDGI, Red Bear Entertainment or any other entity is, has, or will be developing, producing, marketing or in any other way utilizing characters and situations which are part of the Terminator Franchise infringes upon and interferes with Pacificor's ownership rights. To illustrate, the suggestion that Hannover House, TDGI and/or Red Bear Entertainment will be developing a feature film, animated or not, directly interferes with Pacificor's right to capitalize on its assets in the manner it deems in its best interests. This public pronouncement could impact Pacificor's ability to attract and negotiate with development partners of its own choosing.
The purported development deal, among other things, violates the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, et. seq., constitutes trademark interference and can result in civil penalties. Accordingly, we demand that Hannover House, TDGI and/or Red Bear Entertainment: (1) immediately issue a retraction clearly indicating that Pacificor had no knowledge of the development venture and that its approval has not been sought nor obtained; (2) stop issuing press releases mentioning the purported development venture and the Terminator Franchise unless and until approval for such a venture is obtained from Pacificor; (3) notify this office in writing not later than five days after your receipt of this letter of your compliance with these demands.
This letter does not purport to be a complete statement of the facts of the law and is without prejudice to any of Pacificor's legal and equitable rights.
Very truly yours,
HILL & TRAGER, LLP
Timothy J. Trager
cc: Pacificor, LLC
Hannover House CEO Eric Parkinson states that he owns the proprietary rights that would allow him to make Terminator 3000.
"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," said Hannover. "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 [the agency repping the Terminator film rights] and hope we can deal with this expeditiously."
So, contrary to what we reported earlier, it looks like we still may have to wait for a new big-screen Terminator.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring?