Latest News

Jury Trial in the Legal Battle over Predator set for April 19th 2022

A jury trial has finally been set in the ongoing battle for the U.S. Copyright of Predator between the original creators Jim & John Thomas and 20th Century Studios. And for anyone who hoped this would be resolved quickly in the courts is unfortunately due for a rude awakening and a very long wait.

Alien vs. Predator Galaxy has learned that the honorable George H. Wu, United States Central District of California Judge, has set the Jury Trial for the legal battle over Predator to begin on the 19th of April, 2022.

For anyone unfamiliar with the case, original writers Jim and John Thomas filed a lawsuit this past April against 20th Century Studios to reclaim the U.S. rights to their “Hunters” screenplay which became the basis for the 1987 film “Predator”. The Thomas Brothers were seeking to reclaim these rights under the U.S. copyright law termination provision, which permits creators to regain ownership of properties they have created after 35 years (as long as it wasn’t a work-for-hire.)

The dispute between 20th Century Studios and the Thomas Brothers has never been about the Brothers’ right to reclaim the U.S. Copyright to Hunters (at least for now), but rather when the Brothers are entitled to it. Jim and John Thomas believe they should have reclaimed the rights already this year, but 20th Century Studios and Disney (due to some errors made including in two legal termination notices) doesn’t believe the rights should revert to the Brothers until 2023 – hence the lawsuit.

Predator fans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the honorable Judge Wu has not issued any orders for a Preliminary Injunction which would stop all new Predator creative works from continuing until this jury trial was concluded, so it would seem that projects like the Dan Trachtenberg directed Predator film “Skulls” will safely continue and complete production uninterrupted.

Now leading up to this April 19th 2022 jury trial, legal representation for both parties will be keeping busy in preparation with court scheduled benchmarks to meet including Amended Pleadings by 7/23/2021, a Status Conference set for 12/20/2021, Discovery cut-off by 1/4/2022, motions due by 3/7/2022, and a Final Pre-trial Conference set for 4/7/2022.

And with a last date to conduct a settlement conference set for 12/16/2021, it’s still feasibly possible that both the Thomas Brothers and 20th Century Studios can come to an agreement and settle this case prior to it ever going to trial.

Be sure to keep your targets set on Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for all the latest Predator news! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to get the latest on your social media walls. Be sure to join in with fellow Alien and Predator fans on our forums as well!



Post Comment
Comments: 21
  1. Voodoo Magic
    While I would love for Predator to join the billion dollar club, it's not realistic. Not unless they plan on a Pg-13 series so audiences can actually see the thing since by nature of it being R-rated your audience is that much smaller. You need to be realistic about horror franchises since they're cheaper to make but they make their money by virtue of it being cheap./quote]

    Hence the production of Skulls for Hulu, if what Marc Toberoff said is correct.

    [Quite]Though Disney could always use them for the comics or games and especially the games since Predator adapts fairly well to videogames. It doesn't need to just be the movies. You also possess crossover potential with any one franchise they own and AVP is still fairly popular given that's how a lot of modern fans are introduced to the character. It doesn't have to be strictly movies and could even go an animated route. Plenty of options Disney has than to just do superheroes.

    Predator is so versatile, I think it can even fit in the Marvel comic superhero universe permanently.

    https://oyster.ignimgs.com/wordpress/stg.ign.com/2020/07/Predator-1.jpg
  2. City Hunter Yautja
    While I would love for Predator to join the billion dollar club, it's not realistic. Not unless they plan on a Pg-13 series so audiences can actually see the thing since by nature of it being R-rated your audience is that much smaller. You need to be realistic about horror franchises since they're cheaper to make but they make their money by virtue of it being cheap.

    Though Disney could always use them for the comics or games and especially the games since Predator adapts fairly well to videogames. It doesn't need to just be the movies. You also possess crossover potential with any one franchise they own and AVP is still fairly popular given that's how a lot of modern fans are introduced to the character. It doesn't have to be strictly movies and could even go an animated route. Plenty of options Disney has than to just do superheroes.

    Oh I’d love a Predator or AVP Anime! There is so much that can be done in that form of animation at a low budget cost. Disney is already doing this with Star Wars Visions (Anime).
  3. SuperiorIronman
    While I would love for Predator to join the billion dollar club, it's not realistic. Not unless they plan on a Pg-13 series so audiences can actually see the thing since by nature of it being R-rated your audience is that much smaller. You need to be realistic about horror franchises since they're cheaper to make but they make their money by virtue of it being cheap.

    Though Disney could always use them for the comics or games and especially the games since Predator adapts fairly well to videogames. It doesn't need to just be the movies. You also possess crossover potential with any one franchise they own and AVP is still fairly popular given that's how a lot of modern fans are introduced to the character. It doesn't have to be strictly movies and could even go an animated route. Plenty of options Disney has than to just do superheroes.
  4. City Hunter Yautja
    Unless the Thomas Brothers do not want project control over their reclaimed license, I think just bumping some slightly higher percent of proceeds as a solution is just a gross oversimplification. And who says the Brothers will settle on a number equating to "slight"?

    Also a lawsuit like this can create bad blood on both sides, and when that's your launching pad, all it takes is Disney saying the Thomas Brothers want too much money and control, the Brothers saying Disney is low-balling, and then I can 100% see Disney playing hardball, stop negotiating and just putting the franchise on ice for a few years. No doomsday scenarios here, just being a realist, especially looking at how Disney has handled other situations like icing out X-Men from Marvel pre acquisition, or the Islands of Adventure debacle. There doesn't seem to be a concern over halting content for fans, if the wait-it-out approach brings the desired result.

    I remember reading that Fox's explanation why they canceled the series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" after two seasons while other shows with similar cost & similar ratings survived was because Fox didn't fully own the show. So unless the Thomas Brothers sell Hunter all back to Disney for a one time sum, I think Predator will also be dealing with these type of obstacles.

    So with all of this, I rather be prepared for what possibly may come, than not prepared.  :)

    https://y.yarn.co/61191c82-5b10-424b-bd3c-121c560ff1bd_text.gif

    As usual great wisdom in your words Voodoo.

    My concern is Disney will not be interested in continuing the Predator franchise, its last films were not the kind of successes Disney wants, they usually want 1 Billion grossing films now, and a R rated film can’t crack that number.
  5. Voodoo Magic
    Unless the Thomas Brothers do not want project control over their reclaimed license, I think just bumping some slightly higher percent of proceeds as a solution is just a gross oversimplification. And who says the Brothers will settle on a number equating to "slight"?

    Also a lawsuit like this can create bad blood on both sides, and when that's your launching pad, all it takes is Disney saying the Thomas Brothers want too much money and control, the Brothers saying Disney is low-balling, and then I can 100% see Disney playing hardball, stop negotiating and just putting the franchise on ice for a few years. No doomsday scenarios here, just being a realist, especially looking at how Disney has handled other situations like icing out X-Men from Marvel pre acquisition, or the Islands of Adventure debacle. There doesn't seem to be a concern over halting content for fans, if the wait-it-out approach brings the desired result.

    I remember reading that Fox's explanation why they canceled the series "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" after two seasons while other shows with similar cost & similar ratings survived was because Fox didn't fully own the show. So unless the Thomas Brothers sell Hunter all back to Disney for a one time sum, I think Predator will also be dealing with these type of obstacles.

    So with all of this, I rather be prepared for what possibly may come, than not prepared.  :)

    https://y.yarn.co/61191c82-5b10-424b-bd3c-121c560ff1bd_text.gif
  6. SiL
    Or it's a lot simpler than that and a slightly higher percent of proceeds go to the Brothers and that's about the end of it

    I'm refraining from leaping to doomsday scenarios until I see a good reason to. Torpedoing the franchise doesn't benefit the Brothers in the least.
  7. Voodoo Magic
    Unfortunately, nothing will return to 'like it was' in a business sense though, unless the Thomas Brothers sell the rights in its entirety to Disney like George Lucas did (albeit for a heck of a lot less money). There will be another expenditure now, licensing fees paid to the Thomas Brothers if something is profitable or not. And with the cockamamie new sharing dividing line of the Hunters/Predator U.S. rights, a new Predator book from Titan would have to be approved by both license holders versus just one. It's a potential mess for a small franchise that screams "why bother", which is why I just hate thinking about it. :-\
  8. SiL
    Assuming the Brothers don't renegotiate, yes.

    But the most likely outcome is if they get the rights back they just renegotiate a better deal and we all move on with our lives.
  9. XENOMORPHOSIS
    Hypothetically if the rights return to the Thomas Brothers could that mean there will be no more Aliens vs Predator content for an indefinite time? sort of a situation where Toho couldn't regain rights to use Kong in the 90's so they scrapped their planed remake of King Kong vs Godzilla, had to wait years and years for Legendary picture to negotiate both rights to make Godzilla vs Kong.
  10. Voodoo Magic
    They're gonna settle. Disney isn't going to let Predator slip away so come settlement date they'll work out a way to license Predator from them and Disney just starts back up as normal. Skulls gets released, Hunting Grounds dies a merciless death under shovelware, and the comic releases either as a OGN or goes monthly without incident.

    I don't see any benefit in Disney/20th Century Studios settling. The Thomas Brothers will have to ultimately work with Disney anyway when all is said and done because the Brothers will be reclaiming only the US copyright, not foreign rights, and only to the Hunters script, not 100% all things Predator.

    The benefit for Disney/20th Century Studios to not settle is if they win the lawsuit and own Predator fully until 2023, they'll own yet another Predator film in their library outright (Skulls), free and clear, and continue to reap the financial benefits fully for decades, or centuries to come without having to share with the Brothers.

    My ultimate fear is when the Brothers do reclaim those Hunters rights back, will Disney/20th Century Studios opt to stop making Predator films. This franchise isn't Star Wars. The profits aren't incredibly lucrative. And when you have to share them, it becomes that much less lucrative. The juice might not be worth the squeeze at that point. Disney may be content with 5 revenue earning Predator films in their 20th Century Studios library plus 2 AvPs and call it a day. That's my fear. :-\
  11. SuperiorIronman
    They're gonna settle. Disney isn't going to let Predator slip away so come settlement date they'll work out a way to license Predator from them and Disney just starts back up as normal. Skulls gets released, Hunting Grounds dies a merciless death under shovelware, and the comic releases either as a OGN or goes monthly without incident.
  12. Voodoo Magic
    With principal photography slated to end August 20th, even a December 2021 release isnt beyond the realms of possibility. I'd doubt they'd slate it for the Holidays though.  :)

    And the fact that 20th Century Studios doesn't have Skulls on some theatrical release schedule indicates to me what Toberoff said about Skulls being distributed by Hulu might indeed be its reality. We already knew that when Disney went through Emma Watts' Fox Film slate they reportedly streamlined them to 10 releases per year, half or more going to Hulu or Disney+. So if that means Skulls, it would be that much easier if your post-production schedule is leading to a streaming release to fit within a tighter window.
  13. SiL
    A 100% completed film would be rushed out to release if they thought there was a chance they might lose, as they can continue to exploit existing derivative works.
Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube RSS Feed