Sony has tabled a bid for the Terminator franchise, according to Variety.
The studio, which distributed last year's Terminator Salvation internationally, has joined Lionsgate in the race to pick up Halcyon Group's rights to the blockbuster series. Sony reportedly submitted a bid on Thursday, the final day for offers on the property before Monday's auction and Halcyon's bankruptcy hearing.
Lionsgate offered $15 million and 5% of gross receipts on further Terminator productions to Halcyon, while details on the Sony bid have not been disclosed. Lionsgate will receive a $750,000 breakup free from the winning bidder should they not win the auction.
I think what they found after 3, is that they need James Cameron - but his ship has sailed.
What they found after 4 - is that there is no franchise without Arnold. And he's busy, and just getting older (63 this year?)
Reboot has become the only true option. Who really wants to pour money into what's become a dead end road?
"I'm not smart so much as I am not dumb." - Harlan Ellison
There's no point rebooting without Cameron, if that is what they found out after 3. I'd rather we just remember the good points of the Terminator movies and be left we've those movies we already have. There's nothing really new that can be done that hasn't been done before with the movies.
Hollywood Studios Lose Bid For Terminator Franchise Rights
The Terminator movie rights went up for auction today, and Sony Pictures and Lionsgate were bidding frantically back and fourth from 3:00pm to 8:00pm tonight. But as the dust cleared, neither movie studio came out the winner. Halcyon accepted a $29.5 million bid from a Santa Barbara-based hedge fund Pacificor, the debtholder which pushed the company into bankruptcy.Of course, this is subject to the approval by the bankruptcy court.
According to Finke’s source, “Sony and Lionsgate dropped out at just under $29.5 million when it became clear that Pacificor was willing to pay almost any amount of money for Terminator.” As part of the deal, Halcyon will keep the revenue streams from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation, and will receive $5 million for every Terminator movie produced in the future.
What this all means for the future of the Terminator franchise is unclear. The last Terminator film earned $372 million worldwide theatrically. And while Arnold might soon be available for big screen offers, I’m not sure they could afford him. I’m not a money guy, but it seems to me that the smartest thing they could do is make the fifth Termiantor film for about half the estimated budget of Salvation, aiming in the $100-$120 million range.
Sony and Lionsgate Could Produce and Distribute Next Terminator Film; Will McG Direct?
The Terminator rights sale saga just keeps on going. At the beginning of this week, Sony and Lionsgate were jointly bidding for the rights to the Terminator franchise. They lost out to Pacificor, the hedge fund that had loaned money to Halcyon to buy the Terminator rights in the first place, before calling in the debt which caused the rights to go up for sale.
If you think about that for a second, it looks kinda fishy. Sony and Lionsgate think so. Lawyers for Sony say that their bid was the best one, but that Halcyon and Pacificor had struck a deal last Friday, essentially rigging the sale in favor of the hedge fund. But now there’s a new wrinkle. After some negotiation, Sony and Lionsgate have been given an option to negotiate to produce and distribute the next Terminator film.
An update to an LA Times article on the ongoing process provides the key info.The paper says,
Despite the rancor in court, Sony and Lions Gate have been given an exclusive window by Pacificor to negotiate to produce and distribute the next “Terminator” movie, according to a person familiar with the talks.
Which means, basically, that Pacificor has really done a nice job here. They own the rights and pull the strings, and have left the hard work — actually making and releasing another movie — to other companies. Good work, hedge fund! Will Pacificor play ball with Sony and Lionsgate? You’d expect so. While the auction got heavy at the last minute, there weren’t too many rights bidders who were really competitive. These companies obviously wanted to do something with the property, so why would Pacificor go to great lengths to find someone else to produce and distribute?
And what about McG, who has said more than once that he wants to make two more Terminator films? His representative argued in court yesterday that McG had a right of first refusal deal with Halcyon to direct any future sequels, and that Pacificor and any producing partners need to honor it. The judge disagreed, and said that if McG isn’t given the chance to direct the next film, he could file a claim against Halcyon in bankruptcy court.
What are the chances of McG actually suing, should a sequel come to pass without him, and of that claim generating anything tangible? More than likely, you’d expect Sony and LionsGate to throw him an executive producer credit on a future film and leave it at that.
The Co-Screenwriter of Terminator 1 and 2 Has Written Treatments For Terminator 5 and 6
Now that Santa Barbara-based hedge fund Pacificor has gained the rights to the Terminator Franchise, everyone is wondering what the future of the franchise might hold. William Wisher, the uncredited co-writer of Terminator and credited co-writer of Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (shared with James Cameron) has written a detailed 24-page treatment for Terminator 5, and a 4-page concept outline for Terminator 6. Mike Fleming, a self-confessed Terminator fanboy, has read both treatments and calls it a “a satisfying conclusion” to the six-film storyline.
Apparently the scripts follow the storylines set-up in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator: Salvation but turns the focus back to the core characters (Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese, and the T-800) and time travel storyline of the first two installments. Here is an excerpt from Deadline:
“Wisher’s 2-picture construct takes place in a post-apocalyptic battleground, and factors in an element of time travel that allows for Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese to interact beyond their single fateful meeting when he traveled back in time to protect her in the original film. Wisher has created a role for Arnold Schwarzenegger that is as surprising as his shift from villain in the first film, to John Connor’s bodyguard in the second. Schwarzenegger wouldn’t be needed until the final film. … There are several new villains, and plenty of firepower. For instance, a swarm of “Night Crawlers,” 4 1/2-foot tall border sentries that are set like mines to spring up out of the ground and ambush rebel fighters with 10 MM pistols built into their wrists, and fingers and feet that are razor sharp. Also fresh off the Skynet assembly line are new shape-shifting cyborgs that can morph together in Transformers-like mode, and are more lethal than anything we’ve seen in previous Terminator installments.”
Sounds pretty cool eh? Sony and Lionsgate are both interested in producing the next film. And while everything appears to be done on spec thus far, it appears that Wisher has painted himself in the position of having a viable and interesting pitch which could quickly be crafted into the next film. James Cameron has seemed uninterested in the last couple films, but it would be interesting if Sony or Lionsgate could convince the filmmaker to come on board to produce. Cameron might be enticed with the possibility of concluding the series he created, especially considering that they will probably be filmed in 3D.
I think Wisher's idea sounds really good. I'm not so sure about the Sarah and Kyle storyline but if it's a given go then we'll see. I like the sound of a surprise turn for Schwarzenegger's terminator and the new shape-shifting ones. I do hope his treatment works and is given the greenlight. After all he did help co-create the (Terminator) movies we love.
Kethryn Bigelow would be a nice choice to direct. After all, we've had worse.
Sam Worthington Hopes For 'Terminator Salvation' Sequel
During a press junket for the forthcoming "Clash of the Titans," Sam Worthington told MTV News that he would be more than willing to return for another "Terminator" outing if "the story was worth telling" and if star Christian Bale and director McG were onboard as well. There's just one small problem — spoiler alert! — Worthington's character, Marcus Wright, sacrificed his life to save John Connor (Bale) at the end of the first movie. Luckily, Worthington has a solution for that tiny snafu: time travel.
"I had an idea that we'd go back in time to when Marcus was first put in jail," the actor explained, referring to his character's status as a death-row inmate years before being turned into a machine. "They broke Linda Hamilton out of jail in ['Terminator 2: Judgment Day'], out of the nuthouse. In this one, they'd have to go back in time and break Marcus out of jail. It's the same kind of mirror image."
Worthington said his pitch wasn't embraced by the powers that be, but he still enjoys the idea of what Marcus' resurrection could mean for the franchise and for his own performance of the character.
"He would be more fallible, because he's human; he's not metallic," he said. "He can get hurt. He still has the gung-ho attitude, but he can get hurt now."
Even if time travel and terminators aren't in the busy actor's future, Worthington confessed that he would want to pursue a "Salvation" sequel for one simple reason: "I really liked playing the character a lot."
The only thing I could see them having left to do is complete the circle and have the next/last movie be the final conflict between Skynet and the human resistance and John making sure in the final scene that Kyle makes it all the way and gets to go back to ensure his conception and humanities victory!
None of them sparkle!
Sig by Scythe!
There is still some hope. Don't forget there has only been four movies so far. Two of them have been brilliant, the other 2 not so. A fifth film must lean towards the former two before we decide this series' fate.
There is a topic for this so I thought I'd post it here. Looks like the Terminator franchise has risen from the ashes of it's own apocalypse and in the form of a proposed... cartoon - http://bit.ly/bRZ8JZ
ASSIGNMENT X Exclusive Interview: Linda Hamilton and the future of THE TERMINATOR franchise
ASSIGNMENT X: There has been some talk about a TERMINATOR 5. If there was a way for Sarah to come back would you return to the franchise?
LINDA HAMILTON: If it made sense and if it wasn’t just ‘a wanting to make a whole bunch of money so I’ll try this one more time’ kind of thing. If it made sense character wise, and if I was playing a Sarah Connor that’s close to my actual age and not trying to look thirty years younger. If it’s reasonable and it makes sense for the character, then yes. Yes I would. However, the greatest piece of that puzzle was James Cameron. He made it work. He’s the genius. I wouldn’t be interesting in doing something that didn’t have the same value on every level. It would be hard to create something that I would be interested in unless it’s James Cameron. I love the franchise, but I don’t want to beat it into the ground or be compared to myself thirty years before and fail miserably. I don’t want to do that to the franchise.
AX: Have you seen the other two TERMINATOR films that you were not in, and what was your reaction?
HAMILTON: Yes I have. They were what they were, but I was hoping for more.
AX: For me personally as a viewer it felt like the heart and soul was missing once Sarah Connor wasn’t part of it anymore.
HAMILTON: Thank you for saying that! I think McG made the fourth film about people. He had Bryce Dallas Howard in there, but she wasn’t in there enough. He was trying to get the movies back to that heart and soul. McG has the greatest heart, and he’s the nicest guy. He’s the kind of boss you want to please. He’s just the nicest guy! When you think about it, how many movie franchises end up without the person or people you care about and that you were watching to see the characters develop in the first place?
AX: Were you approached for TERMINATOR 3?
HAMILTON: I was. Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna came to see me and told me it was coming back and I felt pretty incorruptible at that time. I was doing my best to get away from Sarah Connor, and the iconoclastic kind of character. Truly an actress wants to play everybody – all kinds of characters. I was working hard to distance myself from Sarah Connor, so I could play funny women and incompetent women. [Laughs] However, if it had been there in the script I would have been interested, but my part just wasn’t there at all. They had written a rather small part where Sarah dies. There was no time to mourn and everybody is on the run and I just viewed it as a diminished return so I saw no reason to do it.
AX: Of course, the version we ended up with seemed off the cuff with Sarah just dying off camera of cancer at some point in the past.
HAMILTON: I had to go to the movie to find out that Sarah died of Leukemia.
AX: Then you have THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES where T3 is a pocket universe that never really happened.
HAMILTON: True. That’s the greatest thing about a franchise that deals with time travel. You interrupt anything and intervene at any point and it changes everything.
AX: Did you ever get to talk to Lena Heady when they were doing CHRONICLES?
HAMILTON: No. I wish I had. I love her to death, and I think it’s really hard to follow in someone’s footsteps like that. I had been on stage doing a play version of LAURA, a film noir movie that Gene Tierney won an Academy Award for that part, and all that the reviewers could say that I was no Gene Tierney. [Laughs] So I know what it’s like to walk in the shoes of someone who has so established a character. It’s an unfair kind of thing and I think she was just great!
AX: Have you seen much of a return on all of the various TERMINATOR merchandise that your likeness has been a part of?
HAMILTON: I’ve never profited from that franchise. You would be amazed at how little money it produced for me. There were no residuals, and both of the films I did had companies that went bankrupt, Orion and Carlco. It’s not about the fame – it’s about the very nature of Sarah Connor who is a savior. I know people don’t necessarily buy it was the truth, but I go out in the world for all of these years and people stop me and say, “Hey I Love you!” [Laughs] It’s kind of an insidious thing because they think of me as the person who saved the future. It’s subtle how it works on people, but I just go out and people treat me like I’m a hero. It’s a wonderful feeling and it’s really great to be Linda Hamilton. I really think it’s because on some level that character I played is working on them in their subconscious.
Hollywood Insider : Terminator reboot would take it’s cue from J.J Abrams’ Star Trek
Despite Mr Schwarzenegger’s recent scandlous issues, Megan Ellison - who recently inherited Skynet from the bankless Halcyon - is pushing on with her plan to make a new Terminator movie. As we reported exclusively in January, Justin Lin (Fast Five) has been shopping around a new Terminator movie, one that Arnold Schwarzenegger has agreed to be a part of, with Universal showing the most interest at the time (No studio is currently onboard).
When news of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infidelity (and the son he shared with a worker) got out, the former Governor decided it best to put everything filmwise on hold for the moment - atleast until his approval points rise again. One of the projects that was said to be on hold - via a press release issued by the Governator’s office - is this Terminator movie.
That’s true… but not entirely.
While Schwarzenegger may not be yet ready to return to film, considering recent events, and has temporarily put his Terminator reprise on hold, Ellison and are still keen to get going on the movie.
From the sounds of things, the big guy does have a fairly substantial role in the new story - which is said to involve that original timeline being torn, again - but this Terminator would mostly be anchored by a new, younger male lead (Paul Walker’s name keeps coming up - could he possibly be Lin’s pick for Kyle Reese?). Oh, and I think that’s where the rumors of the ‘original cast returning’ come into play - though it’s not so much the original cast as it is ‘the original characters’ from the original movie. Geddit? Like J.J’s Star Trek. What may happen, I’m told, is the creative crew might lessen Schwarzenegger’s screentime in this movie, so it’s less work and less of a commitment for him and thus, it’ll be easier to talk the big guy into doing something this year - - as opposed to whatever year he feels he’s ready to return to acting.
Worst case scenario : They might just do as Lionsgate have on their The Last Stand and bring in Sylvester Stallone to replace him (But please no!). I feel guilty for even suggesting that.
The problem I have with Terminator Salvation is that it was another stab in the now slow beating heart of the franchise. It obvious that T3 and TS are the weakest entries, and where one excels the other one doesn't. So a reboot is an important option, but it's a risk, just as much as making a new film that continues from Salvation. As much as I would like to see another Terminator film with Schwarzenegger attached, it seems very unlikely, even if his career may depend on it.
Personally, I would make a a film showing the future war we've all seen and love in T1-T3, and make sure it has a gripping and thrilling story.
Where this franchise has gone wrong after T2 is that studios have seeked directors who just know and care about the action, which isn't what the Terminator is really about.