Terminator Litigation: Did Terminator 5 Just Get A Lot Less Likely?

The production company behind Terminator Salvation is suing its main financing company — suggesting that, just maybe, they might be having a spot of bother raising the cash for a fifth Terminator.

It was a huge surprise when Halcyon Co., a small production company whose main other claim to fame is having first right of refusal on the film rights of all Philip K. Dick novels, successfully won the rights to the Terminator movie franchise, and actually got a Terminator movie made. Now Halcyon is suing the finance company that helped it achieve that feat, Pacificor, plus one of the company's employees, Kurt Benjamin. (Benjamin is accused of various types of fraud, including disguising the fact that he worked for Pacificor when he arranged the deal between Halcyon and Pacificor in the first place.)

Reading the details of the lawsuit, you encounter a certain level of paranoia that Halcyon won't be able to raise any more money for another Terminator film — or that Halcyon will lose control over the Terminator franchise altogether, or possibly come under the direct ownership of Pacificor. Halcyon co-founders Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek accuse Pacificor of tricking Halcyon into spending its own money on a Terminator Salvation video game, thus bringing Halcyon close to financial ruin. Benjamin is accused of forcing Halcyon to deal exclusively with Pacificor, preventing Halcyon from seeking financing elsewhere. And the suit also claims that Pacificor's execs, plus Terminator producer Moritz Borman, deliberately pushed Salvation over budget so that Halcyon would default, and Pacificor could grab the rights to the Terminator franchise away from Halcyon.

Like I said, reading between the lines, it doesn't sound like a suit filed by a company that's confident of being able to make another installment in the series in the near future. The bottom line appears to be that Halcyon currently owes more money to Pacificor than it can possibly pay back, and may end up having to hand over the Terminator rights as part of a settlement. How this would affect McG's plans to make a time-traveling fifth movie is anybody's guess. It's possible Pacificor (and Borman, if he's on board) would be thrilled to have a second McG outing.

Halcyon didn't return our calls seeking comment.

[L.A. Times and The Wrap]