The Future Of The Terminator Franchise

When “The Terminator” hit theaters in 1984, viewers probably didn’t realize that the action flick would spawn multiple sequels and video games. Director James Cameron waited seven years before releasing “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” and the franchise languished for years before earning a second sequel. The latest film in the series, “Terminator Salvation,” starred Christian Bale and Sam Worthington. That film was such a splash that word quickly spread about upcoming sequels. Fans who thought the sequel would arrive within a few years were seriously disappointed.
“Terminator Salvation” arrived in May of 2009, but the company responsible for producing that film, The Halcyon Company, ran into some financial troubles. Not long after announcing plans for “Terminator 5,” the company announced that it would file for bankruptcy. It made plans to sell the franchise in the hopes of using that money to keep the company afloat. The franchise went up for sale in October for a reported $60 million, though it received few offers. Director and producer Joss Whedon did bid $10,000, but he later admitted that it was a joke.
In 2010, the franchise officially went up for sale. Lionsgate and Sony immediately went into a bidding war that ended with no resolution after a third company stepped up to help The Halcyon Company. That company, Pacifor, officially owned the rights to the franchise. Though Hannover House issued a press release stating that it would create an animated sequel, Pacifor denied that request. By 2011, Universal Studios jumped into the fray by announcing that it wanted to make a sequel with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger reportedly claimed that he wouldn’t return unless he read a solid script first.

With so many issues surrounding the series, it sometimes seemed like fans would never get another sequel. That all changed thanks to Annapurna Pictures, the production and distribution company behind “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Master.” The founder of that company, Megan Ellison, announced in 2012 that her company would make at least two sequels. According to published reports, her company paid $20 million for the rights to the series.
Those hoping to see Schwarzenegger back on screen might have to wait a bit longer. Early reports indicate that despite rumors he would star in the film, the new sequel will showcase his talents in a bit part. Though the studio remains mum on the topic, reports say that an unknown actor will take on the lead role. The studio’s agreement gives it the right to create television shows, video games and other productions relating to the original stories and characters. Ellison announced in 2011 that her company hoped to find a writer soon, though reports from 2012 claim that Paramount now owns the rights to the series.
One of the hottest rumors circulating around Hollywood is that “Terminator 5″ won’t be just another sequel. Those attached to the production released a few statements that indicated the new film might be a reboot of the franchise. That news didn’t surprise many given the success of the last film. The studio spent more than $200 million on the film, and while it made back its budget overseas, it only grossed around $125 million in the states. Justin Lin, director of several films in “The Fast and The Furious” franchise is in talks to direct the new film, and Lin has a history of box office success. Given that James Cameron will earn back the rights to the series in 2019, and he expressed interest in revitalizing the series, fans are happy that the series still has a future.

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