UPDATE: Hannover House’s Eric Parkinson said that he just got his cease and desist letter, and then told Pacificor’s attorneys of his proprietary rights position, and the fact that he’s got backers in place to make a movie and deliver a big rights fee to Pacificor. “We’ve arranged a meeting, we’ll show them our money and if the rational brain prevails, they’ll take the deal. If not, I can’t do it without them. You’ll have a followup next week that we are either holding hands, or not doing the film. At least we now have our meeting. I hope they will can think outside the box, because if we can make a movie that delivers a $20 million to $30 million rights payment, that is an income source they didn’t realize was possible. If not, it was a good idea anyway.”
EXCLUSIVE: A battle is brewing over Terminator 3000, a proposed 3D animated feature film that was announced by Hannover House, a division of Target Development Group that distributes specialty films and DVDs. Pacificor, the company that owns the rights to the Terminator franchise, has sent a cease and desist letter in response to a press release issued by Hannover House detailing plans to develop Terminator 3000, a $70 million animated film in conjunction with Vancouver-based Red Bear Entertainment. Hannover House CEO Eric Parkinson told me earlier today that he issued the announcement only because one of the potential production partners spoke publicly about it. He said he was awaiting reply from WME, the agency repping the Terminator film rights.
Parkinson, who once headed the home video division of Hemdale (maker of the original Terminator) said he has certain proprietary rights allowing him to make the film. “The animation rights were excluded when Hemdale sold Terminator to Carolco and when I left Hemdale, part of my settlement was that I got those rights,” Hannover told me. “However, the way the rest of the contractual rights are written, it would be dangerous for us to do this without Pacificor’s approval. They have certain intellectual rights. The best way to put it is, they can’t make an animated film without me, and we might not be able to make it without them. We are in discussions with WME, and hope we can deal with this expeditiously.”
A Pacificor spokesman shared the cease and desist letter with me, one that indicates the company isn’t looking for another project beyond what’s envisioned as two or more live action feature films that continue the apocalyptic adventures hatched by James Cameron. Here is the letter:
HILL & TRAGER, LLP
Attorneys At Law
August 13, 2010
Fred Shefte, President Eric Parkinson, CEO
Target Development Group, Inc. Susannah Patton, Director
1428 Chester Street Hanover House
Springdale, AR 72764 1428 Chester Street
Springdale, AR 72764
Eric Parkinson, President and CEO
Truman Press, Inc.
1722 North College Street
Fayetteville, AR 72703
Re: Pacificor, LLC (“Pacificor”)
Dear Messrs. Parkinson and Shefte and Ms. Patton:
We are counsel for Pacificor, LLC (“Pacificor”). We believe you are aware that pursuant to an order entered on March 3, 2010 in In re: T Asset Acquistion Company, LLC, et. al, United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, Los Angeles Division, Case No. 2009-31853-ER, Pacificor acquired assets relating to the Terminator Motion Picture Franchise, including, but not limited to, rights to sequels, remakes, all mechanizing and other derivative rights related to sequels and remakes, and other assets, collectively defined as the “Granted Terminator Assets” in said order.
We recently became aware through various online media reports that Hannover House, purportedly a division of Target Development Group, Inc. (“TDGI”), entered into a purported feature film development venture with a Vancouver based entity, Red Bear Entertainment, for “Teminator 3000” an animated feature film based upon the characters introduced in the original Terminator movie.
This knowledge came as a surprise to Pacificor. It did not license or authorize any such development or film. Indeed, it has not been contacted by Hannover House, TDGI, Red Bear Entertainment or anyone else seeking such a license or approval.
While some of the reports we have seen mention that Pacificor “retains approval and licencing authority…” over the proposed project, a reasonable inference drawn from the reports is that such approval has been obtained. Otherwise, why would the “development deal” have been entered into in the first place and why would the reports mention a proposed January 2011 start date for production?
Please be advised that the suggestion that Hannover House, TDGI, Red Bear Entertainment or any other entity is, has, or will be developing, producing, marketing or in any other way utilizing characters and situations which are part of the Terminator Franchise infringes upon and interferes with Pacificor’s ownership rights. To illustrate, the suggestion that Hannover House, TDGI and/or Red Bear Entertainment will be developing a feature film, animated or not, directly interferes with Pacificor’s right to capitalize on its assets in the manner it deems in its best interests. This public pronouncement could impact Pacificor’s ability to attract and negotiate with development partners of its own choosing.
The purported development deal, among other things, violates the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, et. seq., constitutes trademark interference and can result in civil penalties. Accordingly, we demand that Hannover House, TDGI and/or Red Bear Entertainment: (1) immediately issue a retraction clearly indicating that Pacificor had no knowledge of the development venture and that its approval has not been sought nor obtained; (2) stop issuing press releases mentioning the purported development venture and the Terminator Franchise unless and until approval for such a venture is obtained from Pacificor; (3) notify this office in writing not later than five days after your receipt of this letter of your compliance with these demands.
This letter does not purport to be a complete statement of the facts of the law and is without prejudice to any of Pacificor’s legal and equitable rights.
Very truly yours,
HILL & TRAGER, LLP
Timothy J. Trager
cc: Pacificor, LLC