PREDATOR Screenwriters Taking On Disney In Bid To Recapture The Rights To The Iconic Sci-Fi Franchise
There may be trouble ahead for Disney's upcoming Predator reboot because the original movie's screenwriters are now looking to regain the rights to the long-running franchise. Find more details here...
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Jim and John Thomas, the brothers who wrote Predator in 1987, have filed a lawsuit against Disney in the hopes of regaining the rights to the sci-fi franchise. As you might expect, the Disney-owned 20th Century Studios has filed its own suit to retain those rights.
The trade explains that the Thomas brothers "are seeking to exploit copyright law's termination provision, which allows authors to cancel transfers after waiting a period of time, typically 35 years for newer works."
This would be quite the blow to Disney, and will likely delay plans for the reboot with Dan Trachtenberg (10 Cloverfield Lane) at the helm. The lawsuit may also explain why the ambitious Marvel Comics series was recently postponed.
"While federal statutory copyright law endows certain grantors, like defendants [the Thomas brothers], with copyright termination rights, such rights may only be exercised in accordance with the statute’s requirements, including provisions delineating when termination notices may be served and when the termination of rights becomes effective," 20th Century's complaint reads. "Defendants’ notices fail to comply with these statutory requirements and are invalid as a matter of law."
That's a lot of legal mumbo jumbo, but the fact is, Disney could very well have a lengthy battle on its hands. Whether the brothers will succeed is hard to say, but in similar situations in the past, it's often the movie studios that emerge victorious. Losing the rights would hurt the studio, especially as the Predator franchise was a big part of their 20th Century Fox acquisition.
We'll keep you guys updated, but expect this legal battle to play out for a considerable amount of time.