Hedge fund buys Terminator rights: Now what?

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 4:09 PM EST

In the popular consciousness, it would seem that the only force more nefarious than Skynet is a hedge fund, so it comes as huge irony that Pacificor has outbid Lionsgate and Sony Pictures for the rights to the Terminator franchise.

We won't bore you with the details, but the hedge fund prevailed in an auction of the rights by Halcyon Holding Corp., which had been pushed into bankruptcy by the very fund that ended up winning the rights, according to Deadline Hollywood:

Halcyon Holding Corp accepted the $29.5 million bid from, of all parties, the debtholder which pushed it into bankruptcy, Santa Barbara-based hedge fund Pacificor. (This is the same Pacificor whom Halcyon accused in a lawsuit of extortion, bribery, and fraud and demanded $30M in damages.)

So now that the auction is over, what does this mean for the beloved franchise?

As the deal is subject to approval by the federal bankruptcy court handling Halcyon's case, not much, at least in the short term.

It's likely that the case will be tied up in court for at least a while. "I suspect that Terminator will be something so tied up in legal red tape and rights that we won't see another film for a long, long time," Cinematical writes.

Also, while Lionsgate was reportedly planning to reboot the franchise, what the hedge fund wants to do is anyone's guess.

Since Pacificor isn't exactly a known quantity in the film business, how it will proceed is a mystery. What studio will want to partner up with a firm that's been sued by its last Hollywood partner for extortion? And without a Hollywood partner, how will a hedge fund produce a movie?

One possibility: foreign partners. Maybe the Russian mafia? Or Chinese triads? (We're kidding.)

And will it go forward with movies? Turn the franchise into a TV series again? Sock puppets?

Stay tuned ...

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