Jim and John Thomas suing Disney to reclaim Predator rights

Started by Kailem, Apr 16, 2021, 12:46:54 AM

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Jim and John Thomas suing Disney to reclaim Predator rights (Read 46,553 times)

SiL

Has anyone been able to find Disney's counterclaim? A few sites quote it, but I can't find the text in full.

Apparently in January they said "We have more time" and now they're saying "hey judge these guys totally didn't file it properly please stop them because we're spending so much time and money on the sequel already."

Drukathi

When will the decision?

The 17th has already passed.

Proteus

Quote from: Drukathi on Apr 19, 2021, 11:18:44 AM
When will the decision?

The 17th has already passed.

The legal system can be very slow. Just look at how long it's taking the Friday the 13th issue.

With that said, considering Skulls is supposed to start shooting in June, the hope is that Disney and the brothers can resolve this (favoring both parties but in which Disney retains rights) by the shooting date. So basically now until end of May we MIGHT hear something.

Voodoo Magic

The day the Thomas Brothers attorney filed this in the US District Court just literally happened on Thursday, April 15th.  So after all the appropriate filings from both parties, the court will set a date. So now we wait. I assume it could be at least a couple weeks, perhaps a month, even two before this saga continues.

LiquidMonster

99% of lawyers will NEVER advise going to court. You almost always want the issue settled between parties before it gets to that point.

Now the issue that is bigger here IMO is whether the Thomas Bros. are entitled to the "Predator" design that Stan Winston Studios created for the film. Did he sign over ownership of the character to 20th Century Fox?

As others have mentioned, simply getting the rights back to "Hunter" about a alien space hunter is pretty generic compared to the ICONIC "Predator" Winston designed and created.

Also, I'm not down on the Thomas Bros. at all for trying to get their property back or pursue the copyright laws that may lead them to a better "pay day". Let's face it, Fox and now Disney have a very valuable I.P. in Predator and I think it's safe to say that none of us would have predicted the Predator franchise is as popular as it was back in 87. Video games, toys, t-shirts, cups, posters, etc.

Disney MILKS their I.P.s dry and are making literally millions upon millions of dollars from all the intellectual properties they own. The Thomas Brothers have a legal right to re-capture those rights. There is *NOTHING* wrong with that.

I'm still very hesitant with Disney owning the ALIEN I.P. and have no idea how that it going to go.

Anyways, I still think best case scenario for all involved(fans, Disney, Thomas Brothers, production staff on Skulls) is that a settlement is hammered out that is amicable to all sides.

Immortan Jonesy

Quote from: LiquidMonster on Apr 19, 2021, 03:01:34 PM
99% of lawyers will NEVER advise going to court. You almost always want the issue settled between parties before it gets to that point.

Now the issue that is bigger here IMO is whether the Thomas Bros. are entitled to the "Predator" design that Stan Winston Studios created for the film. Did he sign over ownership of the character to 20th Century Fox?

As others have mentioned, simply getting the rights back to "Hunter" about a alien space hunter is pretty generic compared to the ICONIC "Predator" Winston designed and created.

Also, I'm not down on the Thomas Bros. at all for trying to get their property back or pursue the copyright laws that may lead them to a better "pay day". Let's face it, Fox and now Disney have a very valuable I.P. in Predator and I think it's safe to say that none of us would have predicted the Predator franchise is as popular as it was back in 87. Video games, toys, t-shirts, cups, posters, etc.

Disney MILKS their I.P.s dry and are making literally millions upon millions of dollars from all the intellectual properties they own. The Thomas Brothers have a legal right to re-capture those rights. There is *NOTHING* wrong with that.

I'm still very hesitant with Disney owning the ALIEN I.P. and have no idea how that it going to go.

Anyways, I still think best case scenario for all involved(fans, Disney, Thomas Brothers, production staff on Skulls) is that a settlement is hammered out that is amicable to all sides.

Yes, the written part of the character can fall into the generic, ambiguous or even archetypal. But since this is not a merely literary character, Stan Wingston's design is the expression of the Predator, and what really makes it distinguishable.

I don't know anything about laws, but I can understand it with the following scenario: someone could make a movie about an alien that hunts for sport, as long as they don't copy the exact expression of the Predator character.

Quote from: SiL on Apr 19, 2021, 10:49:40 AM
Has anyone been able to find Disney's counterclaim? A few sites quote it, but I can't find the text in full.

Apparently in January they said "We have more time" and now they're saying "hey judge these guys totally didn't file it properly please stop them because we're spending so much time and money on the sequel already."

This is the only source I remember  :-\

https://twitter.com/THR/status/1382853342678896641

Lost_Hunter

I'm with ya Valaquen, though I'm always down for new material, I want it to be good. I don't want another The Predator or another Covenant for that matter. Skulls looks like its going for a PG-13, ADI, Woke cash crab and why bother? Hope that's not the case but it's a fool's hope.

Thomas Brothers for the Win

Immortan Jonesy

Immortan Jonesy

#187
Quote from: SiL on Apr 19, 2021, 07:08:43 AM
EDIT

A friend of mine is a trademark lawyer so I'm running this by her. Very curious to hear what she says!

EDIT

On the face of it, she says they wouldn't be allowed to use the trademarks without permission. So if they sold the rights elsewhere, it would need to be a new adaptation, or with Fox's blessing.

That or their own "Predator", with a different physical expression of the character, another name, and so on. I think something like this happened with the Superman character: a similar super hero but with his own design and trademark.

It's not like I'm saying they would want that, nor that I would want that as well. I'm just guessing.  ;D

Xiggz456

Quote from: SiL on Apr 19, 2021, 07:08:43 AM
Trademarks can be renewed in perpetuity, yes. So Steamboat Willy will be going out of copyright soon (This year I think? Or it's already there), but Mickey Mouse is still a trademarked character.

And there's the rub. The Brothers get the copyright to their script; but if they wanted to shop it around, presumably the trademarks are still held at Fox/Disney. They'd need to sell it as a completely new adaptation, I think. But Disney/Fox couldn't continue to exploit the trademark beyond what's already made, as it would rely on the copyright of the original script.

Which is one of many reasons I'm pretty sure they just want to use this legal tool to renegotiate their license, not kill the franchise. But we won't know until it happens.

EDIT

A friend of mine is a trademark lawyer so I'm running this by her. Very curious to hear what she says!

EDIT

On the face of it, she says they wouldn't be allowed to use the trademarks without permission. So if they sold the rights elsewhere, it would need to be a new adaptation, or with Fox's blessing.

Great post! And this has been my line of thinking as well that the brothers' simply want to get they're deserved piece of the pie. But ya the trademark aspect further confirms that renegotiating the license would be the most financially smart move for the brothers to make.

acrediblesource

acrediblesource

#189
I can imagine they want to take control over a franchise since they wrote the first two, saw what the third had in terms of potential and ripped their hair out over AVP and the latest installment. I just think they want to bring the franchise back to a place where the creative control was far more important than making it on par with the MCU which i think is what would happen if Disney took the reigns. The franchise would start to become more PG 13 and adventure based which wasn't the point originally. And you can bet their network of directors are pressuring the bros to take control.

Granted, the game is a little different and does sport what we as fans want. Illfonic forum members are very vocal about what they want to see but ultimately PHG has it's own unique take that I think has something going for it. But it does have a very adventure theme currently rather than a gore fest.

As far as films go, I believe the brothers just don't want Disney marketing the film as something that is accessible as possible to all audiences and taking it back to it's roots.

Quote from: Xiggz456 on Apr 19, 2021, 06:23:47 PM
Quote from: SiL on Apr 19, 2021, 07:08:43 AM


Great post! And this has been my line of thinking as well that the brothers' simply want to get they're deserved piece of the pie. But ya the trademark aspect further confirms that renegotiating the license would be the most financially smart move for the brothers to make.

SiL

Quote from: acrediblesource on Apr 19, 2021, 07:32:15 PM
I can imagine they want to take control over a franchise since they wrote the first two, saw what the third had in terms of potential and ripped their hair out over AVP and the latest installment. I just think they want to bring the franchise back to a place where the creative control was far more important than making it on par with the MCU which i think is what would happen if Disney took the reigns. The franchise would start to become more PG 13 and adventure based which wasn't the point originally. And you can bet their network of directors are pressuring the bros to take control.
There is literally nothing to suggest any of this.

We have zero knowledge of their motives. The best we can glean is from their complaint, which leans heavily to negotiating a better deal for themselves, not some master plan to take control. And even that's still speculative.

Voodoo Magic

Will new Predator content be stopped? A Motion Hearing is now scheduled for Thomas vs. Disney
https://www.avpgalaxy.net/2021/04/18/jim-john-thomas-vs-disney-examining-the-battle-for-predator/

Kailem

I feel like this injunction is probably going to go ahead and, for however long - hopefully not nearly as long as Friday the 13th - all new Predator content is going to be brought to a halt, until hopefully Disney offers them a settlement. :-\

Voodoo Magic

Quote from: Kailem on Apr 19, 2021, 09:33:14 PM
I feel like this injunction is probably going to go ahead and, for however long - hopefully not nearly as long as Friday the 13th - all new Predator content is going to be brought to a halt, until hopefully Disney offers them a settlement. :-\


PAS Spinelli

Franchise going into coma, lets f**king goOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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