Studios May Start Losing Rights To 'Die Hard', 'Terminator', 'Roger Rabbit', And More Over Copyright Law

I know it may seem like a good idea for studios to lose some of their biggest properties so they're forced to produce original content, but be careful what you wish for. The rights to some beloved properties such as Terminator, Die Hard, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Predator, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Beetlejuice may revert to their original creators soon, due to a past copyright law about to go into effect.

THR reports on all of the aforementioned titles that could be going back to their creators or whoever runs the estates. The issue is an old bill passed in the '70s that would allow authors to terminate existing deals and reclaim the rights 35 years after a film's release. So in the case of Terminator, which came out in 1984, this is right around the corner and writer Gale Ann Hurd, who owns half the rights with ex-husband James Cameron, has already made the move to reclaim it. That means David Ellison's Skydance Media will have to work something out with her if Cameron wants to do any sequels to Terminator: Dark Fate. Here's hoping they're on good speaking terms.

This has potentially long-reaching effects, author Gary K. Wolfe is eager to get back the rights to Who Framed Roger Rabbit (a sequel to that has been rumored for decades), and think about what this could mean if Stephen King starts getting the rights back to his many stories that have been adapted. Of particular interest to me is Predator, which still has a few years before this becomes a potential problem. I wouldn't be surprised to see a new Predator film rushed into production as a result. Actually, don't be shocked if we start seeing a mad dash of projects for all of these properties. We could see a complete change in the Hollywood system if this becomes a major issue, as studios will have to reevaluate which properties they invest in for the long haul.