Terminator 2 Lawsuit Will Lead to a "Judgment Day"
A federal appeals court has granted permission for an Australian couple to sue the Oscar-winning filmmaker for allegedly swiping their concept for a shape-shifting creature that eventually evolved into the killer T-1000 cyborg in the 1991 blockbuster.
Filia and Constantinos Kourtis claim to have dreamed up the character in 1987 for a film project titled "The Minotaur," which followed a half-man, half-bull from Greek myth that had the ability to magically morph into various forms.
The Kourtises hired scribe William Green to write a screenplay, a copy of which they say ended up in the hands of Cameron, who in turn used the idea for the sequel to his 1984 sci-fi hit The Terminator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular cybog.
Green filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against Cameron, who cowrote and directed T2, as well as the movie's producers. In his complaint, Green tried to assert exclusive ownership of The Minotaur script and concept. But his complaint was eventually tossed.
The Kourtises sued Green, claiming they ultimately controlled all rights to The Minotaur and won their case in 1998.
The pair then filed their own copyright-infringement claim against Cameron. But a U.S. District Court judge dismissed the suit, saying that the prior ruling against Green prohibited them from suing on the same issue.
The Kourtises appealed and a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Monday, ruling they deserved their own day in court since they were not a party to Green's legal action.
A rep for Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment did not return phone calls seeking comment.