'Terminator' Producers Dodge $160 Million Court Showdown


It wasn't a Watchmen-esque battle of studio titans, but the industry nevertheless kept an eye on the high-stakes ugliness brewing between the producers of Terminator: Salvation. Alas, just when it was getting good, the simmering front-office duel between Hollywood vet Moritz Borman and the "shady" upstarts at Halcyon Entertainment found a resolution.

Details weren't disclosed, but Variety notes today that Borman settled his $160 million lawsuit against Halcyon bosses Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek -- a couple of relative newcomers with a stash of hedge-fund money and a background that Borman's suit hilariously described as "shady" and "swindling." The producer had alleged fraud and breach of contract in the deal that moved his Terminator franchise rights to the Halcyon label, arguing that Anderson and Kubicek stiffed him on a $2.5 million producing fee and defied various other "assurances, representations and contractual obligations." Among them: key creative decisions, which, if we're being honest, could only be a good thing, lest Borman's thoughts on lighting had precluded us from the miracle of Christian Bale's tantrum against DP Shane Hurlbut.

In any event, another producer crisis was the last thing distributor Warner Bros. needed after its Watchmen meltdown with Fox -- especially with barely a month remaining before Terminator: Salvation's release. We'll likely never know the degree to which the studio intervened to resolve the matter, but come on: Between Halcyon's rookies and the slip-up with Larry Gordon's Watchman ownership, who the hell is in charge of due diligence over in Burbank? Is anyone vetting or keeping an eye on anything? And that's not even counting the decision to greenlight Observe and Report. Seriously, team, suck it up.

· 'Terminator' lawsuit settled [Variety]