Well, he said “I’ll be back” and it seems former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is now attached to star in a ‘Terminator’ rights package being shopped around Hollywood that also has ‘Fast Five’ director Justin Lin attached according to Deadline.
I guess “rebooting” the ‘Terminator’ franchise could also reboot Schwarzenegger’s sagging acting career, but its going to take another ridiculously large budget, a great script, a better director than Lin and some real actor soul-searching on Schwarzenegger’s part.
In recent years, the science fiction franchise has been on a real roller coaster ride. First 2003’s ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’ re-established the character after a 20 year hiatus and grossed a respectable $433 million worldwide box office. Then in 2008 Fox launched the television series ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles’ which started out strong, but was unceremoniously canceled after two seasons. This was followed by the very mediocre $200 million budgeted ‘Terminator Salvation’ film in 2009. Grossing $371 million worldwide, the film further alienated fans. Then to add insult to injury, the rights holder company Halcyon was forced into bankruptcy by Pacificor, a hedge fund who had loaned them $30 million to buy the rights to ‘Terminator’ in the first place. Now, the same Pacificor hedge fund has “emerged” as the winner in the bankruptcy bidding with a $29.5 million bid. Huh?
So Pacificor has now paid $60 million for the rights to produce films, television series and other ancillary projects based on an aging ‘Terminator’. And Schwarzenegger’s fee for T3 was reportedly in the $30 million range. Are these the same Wall Street idiots who thought real estate would go up forever? Maybe I can sell them some “AAA” rated credit default swaps as well.
And let’s not forget that in 2018 the rights revert to director James Cameron according to copyright law. Better hurry up and make a couple of expensive flops while you have the chance.