Deadline recently reported that Megan Ellison has won an auction for the rights to make at least two more installments of The Terminator franchise, which includes Fast Five’s Justin Lin to direct and Arnold Schwarzenegger to star. In the end the deal came down to Ellison’s Annapurna Films and Lionsgate. Lionsgate was believed to be the one to win until Ellison came forward with a dramatic bid. The auction at the time was for a guarantee for at least half of the $29.5 million paid by hedge fund Pacificor to pull the franchise out of bankruptcy.
Mike Fleming from Deadline had this to say about the deal: “Ellison, the daughter of Oracle founder Larry Ellison, and sister of Paramount-based Skydance producer/financier David Ellison, is winging her way to Cannes right now. She has a lot going on here. The film she is financing about the hunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden has been the subject of an auction for the past week, with mostly independent financiers and a couple of major studios including Sony Pictures hearing the pitch at CAA headquarters last week. That project, which reteams The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, originally was about the unsuccessful hunt by Navy SEALS for the elusive Bin Laden in Tora Bora. In light of his subsequent death at the hands of that SEAL team, the project is being rewritten and will be done in a month and will take a long look at an operation which ultimately succeeded. That picture has a budget in the $30 million range, has actors like Joel Edgerton circling, and will shoot in the fall. Ellison also has The Wettest County in the World, which is creating buzz in the sales market at Cannes. She sold worldwide rights to The Weinstein Company last week for the untitled post-WWII Paul Thomas Anderson-directed drama that will star Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, with Amy Adams and Laura Dern negotiating to star.”
Is the world ready for more Terminator movies? I guess we’d better be… looks like they’re coming whether we like it or not.