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Hurd will fight sale of ‘Terminator 3’ rights

A legal battle is looming over the “Terminator” feature film franchise, with producer Gale Anne Hurd attempting to block attempts by Andy Vajna to buy rights to “Terminator 3.”

Hurd’s Pacific Western Prods. holds half of the sequel and prequel rights to the series. Vajna, the former Carolco co-chairman, has entered a floor bid of $7.5 million for the other half of the “Terminator” rights.

Hurd filed a notice of opposition Monday with U.S. Bankruptcy Court and with the attorneys for the liquidating trust overseeing the asset sale of bankrupt Carolco Pictures.

The liquidating trust, repped by Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe attorney Howard Weg, is poised to contest Hurd’s objection.

“The liquidating trust vigorously disputes Gale Anne Hurd’s position,” Weg told Daily Variety, promising to present its case in court at a hearing Oct. 14.

Weg said the trust recognizes that the film cannot be made without the consent of Hurd, but believes that nothing in the rights agreements prevent the trust from selling to the highest bidder at the auction.

The news comes in the wake of “Terminator” and “Terminator 2” helmer James Cameron and 20th Century Fox’s announcement that they would no longer pursue the rights to make “Terminator 3” (Daily Variety, Oct. 6). According to sources, Hurd made an attempt over the weekend to persuade Cameron to change his mind.

Rae Sanchini, prexy of the helmer’s Lightstorm Entertainment, confirmed that Hurd and Cameron “had some conversations over the weekend, but his position has not changed.”

A Fox spokesman also re-confirmed that because Cameron has no interest in making the film, the studio would not be bidding on Carolco’s half of the rights.

Cameron is mixing the sound for “Titanic” at Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Sound in San Raphael and declined to comment.