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Terminator rights sold off. Now what?

02.09.2010

TERMINATOR SALVATION was supposed to be the relaunch of a new saga in the TERMINATOR franchise. One that would lean on a new action hero, Christian Bale's John Connor, and not the aging Governor of California. That sadly didn't happen. While the film performed somewhat respectfully (a total of $370+ million overall), a vast majority of that was from international ticket sales with the $125 million in the US a big disappointment for Warner Bros.

Meanwhile, TERMINATOR rights holder Halcyon was in all kinds of financial straits and needed to unload the property to avoid bankruptcy. So they put the rights to future TERMINATOR films, TV series, spinoffs, etc. up for auction. The franchise received mild interest across the board but Sony Pictures (who handled the aforementioned international distribution for SALVATION) and Lionsgate were interested enough to place bids. Strangely, neither of them won.

The two studios who could actually make a new TERMINATOR film were outbid by Pacificor. Who? Exactly. They're a hedge fund based in Los Angeles and not quite coincidentally the same group that forced Halcyon into bankruptcy filings. Pacificor, which sounds like an evil corporation directly from a TERMINATOR film, is obviously not set up to produce or distribute any kind of movie so where does the franchise go from here?

Financially, it'll all get worked out in the wash. Sony Pictures was said to be infuriated by Pacificor's bidding and is probably walking away from the franchise wholesale. It's unclear if Lionsgate would be interested in working on some kind of deal but Summit Entertainment is reportedly interested in making a TERMINATOR film.

But you nor I are here because we love reading about how Hollywood executives make money. We're here because we love movies. And creatively TERMINATOR has a much larger struggle ahead of it.

I know McG is still out and about talking about his ideas for his new trilogy of TERMINATOR films but after SALVATION, do we really care about McG's vision? SALVATION largely ignored the film that came before it, RISE OF THE MACHINES, and if you bring in a new creative team, there's a big chance it will largely ignore SALVATION with a new storyline. And honestly if you're going to make a sequel that ignores the previous two sequels, I'm got a radical proposition: just nuke the damn thing and start from scratch.

The term "reboot" is the new "remake" in Hollywood and the latest trend in making movies (see DAREDEVIL, MR. AND MRS. SMITH, etc.). I normally wouldn't advocate something so cliched for a franchise so beloved but the cinematic TERMINATOR mythology has become so muddled the only way to make a creatively successful film at this point is to head back to Square One. Find yourself a writer and director who can map out a new trilogy of TERMINATOR films with a brand new film. A new T-800, a new Kyle Reese, a new Sarah Connor, etc. Think STAR TREK. That sounded like a horrible idea at first and Trekkies were up in arms but then look what happened - JJ Abrams is a genius and film was legitimately discussed as a Best Picture contender.

Think about it: a TERMINATOR film shouldn't cost that much money. Future sequels that delve a little deeper into Skynet could expand on the first, but if you're going to reboot TERMINATOR, you could do it at a relatively inexpensive price. Before it became about trying to come up with the craziest design for the latest Terminator robots, it was a really a small-scale character-based film wrapped in a neat, little action/sci-fi bundle. A studio out there could take a risk on the relaunch without much to lose financially. If it works, awesome! If not, could it really be any worse than SALVATION?

I know rebooting the TERMINATOR franchise is a radical proposition but desperate times call for desperate measures. I would never call for rebooting a property unless I really felt that all the life had been drained from the current iteration. And honestly another sequel would just dig us deeper and deeper into a hole that would be tougher to climb out of.

Extra Tidbit: If any of you say the words 3D, you're in big trouble.
Source: JoBlo.com

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1:56PM on 02/10/2010
Salvation was good I don't get why it is so hated
Salvation was good I don't get why it is so hated
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+0
7:14AM on 02/10/2010
just hand it over to Josh Friedman and let him continue with his ideas for TSCC.. or alternatively Joss Whedon
just hand it over to Josh Friedman and let him continue with his ideas for TSCC.. or alternatively Joss Whedon
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8:32PM on 02/09/2010

Jesus Christ.

The rest of the world liked T4 a lot, so the rest of the world says yes, keep McG.

If you dont like it, you can spend the rest of the year jerking off to Iron Man 2 trailers.

T4 worked, its not our fault that your country didnt like it.

EMILY BLUNT AS KATE CONNER!!
The rest of the world liked T4 a lot, so the rest of the world says yes, keep McG.

If you dont like it, you can spend the rest of the year jerking off to Iron Man 2 trailers.

T4 worked, its not our fault that your country didnt like it.

EMILY BLUNT AS KATE CONNER!!
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8:22PM on 02/09/2010
a reboot might not be a bad idea, but I think I'd rather see it set in the future and see how the humans get the time travel equipment
a reboot might not be a bad idea, but I think I'd rather see it set in the future and see how the humans get the time travel equipment
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8:01PM on 02/09/2010
There is no need to reboot, in the right hands a continuation of the story could be epic. Make the battle scenes a mix of the future scenes from T1 and saving private ryan, not like transformers. Not centering the story around Conner would spit on everything this franchise has been about. The problem with salvation was that in T3 I could tell how Furlong grew into Stahl, but I couldn't tell how that same charcter grew into Bale. All of a sudden he is a leader, but we didn't see him develop
There is no need to reboot, in the right hands a continuation of the story could be epic. Make the battle scenes a mix of the future scenes from T1 and saving private ryan, not like transformers. Not centering the story around Conner would spit on everything this franchise has been about. The problem with salvation was that in T3 I could tell how Furlong grew into Stahl, but I couldn't tell how that same charcter grew into Bale. All of a sudden he is a leader, but we didn't see him develop into that role, a problem I blame more on the script than Bale. This series isn't beyond saving, I have hope.
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+1
7:13PM on 02/09/2010
the problem with salvation is that it felt McG thought of a reference to T2, and then built a scene around it. Oh we need the G&R song, we need them to be in a factory, blah blah blah. Where as in T2, it seemed like Cameron made a scene, then thought of a reference to T1. like oh lets have a shootout in the mall, oh wait, how bout arnold gets shot out of the window and lands just like the first one.
the problem with salvation is that it felt McG thought of a reference to T2, and then built a scene around it. Oh we need the G&R song, we need them to be in a factory, blah blah blah. Where as in T2, it seemed like Cameron made a scene, then thought of a reference to T1. like oh lets have a shootout in the mall, oh wait, how bout arnold gets shot out of the window and lands just like the first one.
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5:46PM on 02/09/2010
If they want to go in an entirely new direction, what about following a group of resistance fighters that take orders from John Connor, but are in their own fight set in the future. Make John Connor a background character and focus on the struggle to survive in the future.
If they want to go in an entirely new direction, what about following a group of resistance fighters that take orders from John Connor, but are in their own fight set in the future. Make John Connor a background character and focus on the struggle to survive in the future.
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5:28PM on 02/09/2010

No Connors

You can't re-make the first movie and go from there. Blastphemy. Here is my concept:
Think up a new terminator and have it go back in time and kill John Connor (CGI edward furlong? Linda Hamilton circa T1? whatever). That is the opening. Then show Judgement Day. Fast-forward to the war. Do a new story about the resistance with a new leader and a different cast of characters. Fuck John Connor. What good did he ever do anyway?
You can't re-make the first movie and go from there. Blastphemy. Here is my concept:
Think up a new terminator and have it go back in time and kill John Connor (CGI edward furlong? Linda Hamilton circa T1? whatever). That is the opening. Then show Judgement Day. Fast-forward to the war. Do a new story about the resistance with a new leader and a different cast of characters. Fuck John Connor. What good did he ever do anyway?
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4:39PM on 02/09/2010
I'm gonna go a little radical and think along your Star Trek comment. Why don't they continue where Salvation left off and send Kyle Reese back in time, but this time he doesn't die. Kyle could be the protagonist along with a new Sarah Connor.
I'm gonna go a little radical and think along your Star Trek comment. Why don't they continue where Salvation left off and send Kyle Reese back in time, but this time he doesn't die. Kyle could be the protagonist along with a new Sarah Connor.
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3:45PM on 02/09/2010
they should do a different story with different character but set in the Terminator universe and perhaps referencing the existing characters... just to make the characters fresh....

I say... Make ALFONSO CUARON direct!
they should do a different story with different character but set in the Terminator universe and perhaps referencing the existing characters... just to make the characters fresh....

I say... Make ALFONSO CUARON direct!
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2:49PM on 02/09/2010

Awful POV

Reboot Terminator? Are you as heartless as a machine? I think I would lose virtually all hope for the future of film/cinema.

I thought salvation was alright, perfect? No. But it had enough in it to keep me satisfied.

And as for the series, it's future is in jeopardy because of one key plot element that will eventually have to be addressed practically. How do a group of survivors of a nuclear fallout create time travel? And how come they only go back in time and not forwards? HMMMMM? Big
Reboot Terminator? Are you as heartless as a machine? I think I would lose virtually all hope for the future of film/cinema.

I thought salvation was alright, perfect? No. But it had enough in it to keep me satisfied.

And as for the series, it's future is in jeopardy because of one key plot element that will eventually have to be addressed practically. How do a group of survivors of a nuclear fallout create time travel? And how come they only go back in time and not forwards? HMMMMM? Big Plot Hole

Instead of rebooting it, they should create a film that falls within the first 3, now that John has knowledge of his past, wouldn't he use it to try and alter what has happened previously? Like use time travel to destroy, the chip before Dyson gets his hands on it?
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+4
2:33PM on 02/09/2010

Okay!

There is no need for a REBOOT. Continue the story from "Terminator Salvation", hire a new writer,director,producer and distributors. Good story and concept sells and that's all it matters.

Rebooting is a waste of time and money.

There is no need for a REBOOT. Continue the story from "Terminator Salvation", hire a new writer,director,producer and distributors. Good story and concept sells and that's all it matters.

Rebooting is a waste of time and money.

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+2
1:42PM on 02/09/2010
The title was all I had to read. This franchise is going to be chewed and spat out forever; so the best course of action is to ignore everything about it except the first two movies. Nuff sed.
The title was all I had to read. This franchise is going to be chewed and spat out forever; so the best course of action is to ignore everything about it except the first two movies. Nuff sed.
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1:37PM on 02/09/2010

Enjoy Salvation??

Explain how?? Please do. The movie was about the "war" WHAT WAR?! There was no WAR in the movie, nothing happened. a few action set pieces, and Kyle Reese saying they only move around in the day (When in T-1 he said they only moved at night). And it had Moon Bloodgood and Common in it........wtf man, how are we supposed to take the movie seriously? It sucked, not the worst every, but still sucked. It wasn't a Terminator movie.
Explain how?? Please do. The movie was about the "war" WHAT WAR?! There was no WAR in the movie, nothing happened. a few action set pieces, and Kyle Reese saying they only move around in the day (When in T-1 he said they only moved at night). And it had Moon Bloodgood and Common in it........wtf man, how are we supposed to take the movie seriously? It sucked, not the worst every, but still sucked. It wasn't a Terminator movie.
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1:32PM on 02/09/2010
Reboot Terminator 3 with a screenplay written by James Cameron with 3D effects Avatar style and voila!
Reboot Terminator 3 with a screenplay written by James Cameron with 3D effects Avatar style and voila!
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1:29PM on 02/09/2010
I'd much rather have a post-Salvation sequel than a stupid-ass reboot. Personally, while Salvation was a messy, muddy flick that needed serious script help, it at least had the heart of the franchise in mind. I thought all the little details that tied it into the Terminator mythos were really well done - and the motorcycle terminator sequence was awesome (yes, I like a light sprinkling of different kinds of Terminators - but I don't want to see friggin dog terminators and bird terminators and
I'd much rather have a post-Salvation sequel than a stupid-ass reboot. Personally, while Salvation was a messy, muddy flick that needed serious script help, it at least had the heart of the franchise in mind. I thought all the little details that tied it into the Terminator mythos were really well done - and the motorcycle terminator sequence was awesome (yes, I like a light sprinkling of different kinds of Terminators - but I don't want to see friggin dog terminators and bird terminators and shark terminators EVER!!!). So yes, I would like to see the next chapter in the story. However, I realize it would make NO sense to do so because no company in their right mind would barf up enough money for another Salvation installment to make a quality movie. So I guess, realistically, I'd rather just see NO more Terminator movies. And for Alien: Resurrection to be eliminated from existence.
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1:24PM on 02/09/2010

Terminator

Something Tells me we havn't seen the last of the Terminator film(s). Does anyone know how much Pacificor paid for the rights, just curious???
Something Tells me we havn't seen the last of the Terminator film(s). Does anyone know how much Pacificor paid for the rights, just curious???
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12:54PM on 02/09/2010

huh

huh?? step out of the bubble and enjoy salvation? There was nothing to enjoy, it was a complete mess of a story that did not draw me in and definately was not entertaining, with horrible dialogue that was just there to push forward a mentally handicapped story that i could care less about. Just brutal filmmaking and i hope they just burry the franchise, there's nowhere to go with it, just let it die, everything that had to be said was said in T2.
huh?? step out of the bubble and enjoy salvation? There was nothing to enjoy, it was a complete mess of a story that did not draw me in and definately was not entertaining, with horrible dialogue that was just there to push forward a mentally handicapped story that i could care less about. Just brutal filmmaking and i hope they just burry the franchise, there's nowhere to go with it, just let it die, everything that had to be said was said in T2.
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12:44PM on 02/09/2010
I think the problem is that the movies need to leave the conner family and focus on different characters in the franchise. Take for example the design of the robots, who created the design? The software for skynet that put in the programming for it to become self aware and even homicidal? How about the other leaders who created resistance in other sections of the country or the world for that matter? There is plenty of stories but too much attention is on the conners. Its too bad though that
I think the problem is that the movies need to leave the conner family and focus on different characters in the franchise. Take for example the design of the robots, who created the design? The software for skynet that put in the programming for it to become self aware and even homicidal? How about the other leaders who created resistance in other sections of the country or the world for that matter? There is plenty of stories but too much attention is on the conners. Its too bad though that the franchise now is in the hands of someone who just wants to use it as a meal ticket.
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12:35PM on 02/09/2010

SCREAM 4

SCREAM 4
SCREAM 4
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11:58AM on 02/09/2010
Was there really so few of you who could step out the bubble of the first two, forget about them for a few hours and actually enjoy Salvation?
Was there really so few of you who could step out the bubble of the first two, forget about them for a few hours and actually enjoy Salvation?
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11:50AM on 02/09/2010
Cameron should just buy the rights.
Cameron should just buy the rights.
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11:04AM on 02/09/2010
Three Dee
Three Dee
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11:04AM on 02/09/2010
You don't need to remake or reboot anything when dealing with a series that's built around time-travelling assassins and guerillas, because "established" history is as written in stone as a palimpsest.
You don't need to remake or reboot anything when dealing with a series that's built around time-travelling assassins and guerillas, because "established" history is as written in stone as a palimpsest.
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+3
10:50AM on 02/09/2010
I realize I'm in the minority here, but I liked Terminator Salvation. Granted, it wasn't the greatest movie ever made, but I thought it was a good, solid entry in the franchise, much better than Rise of the Machines. I'd really like to see both Bale and McG do another one.
I realize I'm in the minority here, but I liked Terminator Salvation. Granted, it wasn't the greatest movie ever made, but I thought it was a good, solid entry in the franchise, much better than Rise of the Machines. I'd really like to see both Bale and McG do another one.
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+8
9:56AM on 02/09/2010
Cameron should just be a little bastard and now buy the corporation PACIFICOR.
Cameron should just be a little bastard and now buy the corporation PACIFICOR.
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9:54AM on 02/09/2010

Here's how it SHOULD go:

If they really want to make another Terminator film, then they should at least sort out the timeline. Luckily, i have done this for them:

OK, so the problem arrives when you analyse Kyle Reese being John Connor's father. Clearly, in the first timeline, this is impossible; because there would have needed to be a father-less John Connor and biology doesn't work that way.

So lets assume that little John isn't the one who's special; it's his mother, Sarah. In the original timeline her
If they really want to make another Terminator film, then they should at least sort out the timeline. Luckily, i have done this for them:

OK, so the problem arrives when you analyse Kyle Reese being John Connor's father. Clearly, in the first timeline, this is impossible; because there would have needed to be a father-less John Connor and biology doesn't work that way.

So lets assume that little John isn't the one who's special; it's his mother, Sarah. In the original timeline her guidance and teaching developed a different - but equal - saviour of mankind, who sent Kyle Reese back to save him thus causing John to be the new son for subsequent timelines.

And you know why this works? "No Fate But What We Make" (I'm paraphrasing) The saviour isn't born, he isn't prophecised; he's made. And, what's more, he's made by normal humans.

BAM! Someone at Sony write me a cheque.
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-4
9:52AM on 02/09/2010

Simple Reboot...

Playing on the whole concept of "Did the machines going back in time to Kill Connor twice in fact cause John to become the savoir of men?" idea. A simple reboot would be that John Connor himself sends a T800 back in time to kill some other dude and that guy in turn is raised to defend humans against the machines... You'd have the same success but with completely differect characters...
Playing on the whole concept of "Did the machines going back in time to Kill Connor twice in fact cause John to become the savoir of men?" idea. A simple reboot would be that John Connor himself sends a T800 back in time to kill some other dude and that guy in turn is raised to defend humans against the machines... You'd have the same success but with completely differect characters...
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9:36AM on 02/09/2010
while i respect your ideas and find them very creative, ive got a better idea: Scrap them all and do something original. Find a new franchise, a good story, and something new. Cameron developed the fresh idea of the Terminator. Arnold made the movies enjoyable and relevant. neither are coming back, therfore anything terminator-related will suck. spend the money finding some fresh young talent. Keep in mind: Cameron's first feature was Paranha 2, and you see what happened when someone rolled the
while i respect your ideas and find them very creative, ive got a better idea: Scrap them all and do something original. Find a new franchise, a good story, and something new. Cameron developed the fresh idea of the Terminator. Arnold made the movies enjoyable and relevant. neither are coming back, therfore anything terminator-related will suck. spend the money finding some fresh young talent. Keep in mind: Cameron's first feature was Paranha 2, and you see what happened when someone rolled the dice on the guy who directed Piranha 2. no one in hollywood has the balls to roll the dice on anymore - and we're probably missing something special because of it.
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