Between Star Wars and any upcoming Marvel juggernauts, there will be a number of incredibly big movies released between 2014 and 2018. Four years of blockbuster cutthroats slashing their way to the top of the box office. For the studios, it’s a franchise game. It’s not about which A-lister you can afford to star in your movie, it’s about the properties themselves. How profitable will they be? How long can a franchise be milked for every penny?
Paramount has officially added Terminator 5 to their line-up of releases. Besides Schwarzenegger’s confirmed involvement a few weeks ago, any news about how Paramount would proceed with the franchise given its convoluted timeline was all but rumour. So, for you fans of the franchise that James Cameron began nearly thirty years ago, today’s headline is a two-parter.
First, the release date for Terminator 5 has been officially set for June 26, 2015.
Second, to remain competitive in a business in which a studio’s success is measured only by the value of its upcoming tentpole projects, 5 will mark the beginning of a new, rebooted trilogy.
Before you read the press release below announcing Paramount’s plans, let me assume that the big question buzzing through your brain is: “Why!?” Besides the obvious notions of money and Arnie’s age, it all boils down to property rights. In 2019, ownership of all things Terminator will revert back to James Cameron, who sold it to Carolco Pictures back in the mid-1990s during his divorce from the original Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton. Though subsequent releases since T2 have made between $300-450 million globally, it’s interesting to note the franchise has changed hands with each instalment: CarolCo Pictures (Terminator 3), and The Halcyon Company (Terminator Salvation). As Halcyon filed for Chapter 11, Pacificor beat out bids from the likes of Lionsgate & Summit to purchase the property for a measly $29.5. As a fifth Terminator movie sat in development turnaround, Pacificor then hired an agency to sell off the rights to the highest bidder. In 2011, Annapurna Pictures won the auction with a bid of approx. $20 million to proceed with more Terminator movie-making.
It’s sad to think that this franchise, which evolved from fanboy-cult status to pop culture icon, has become that carton of eggs some executive threw in the back of the fridge and forgot about. Year over year, it’s become pretty stinky, depreciating to the point where only a select few are brave enough to open the carton to see if there’s anything left to salvage.
The Press Release
HOLLYWOOD, CA (June 27, 2013) – Skydance Productions, Annapurna Pictures and Paramount Pictures have jointly announced they will partner on a rebooted “TERMINATOR” movie, to be released by Paramount Pictures on June 26, 2015.
The first in a stand-alone trilogy, “TERMINATOR” will be produced by Megan Ellison of Annapurna and David Ellison of Skydance. Dana Goldberg and Paul Schwake of Skydance will serve as executive producers. Laeta Kalorgridis (“Avatar,” “Shutter Island”) and Patrick Lussier (“Drive Angry”) are attached to write the screenplay.
Launched in 1984 with star Arnold Schwarzenegger as the title character, “TERMINATOR” spanned 3 subsequent films, which have earned over $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
David Ellison most recently executive produced, along with his partners at Paramount, “World War Z,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”. A 5thinstallment of in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise is in active development, along with a 3rd film in the “G.I. Joe” franchise, among other films.
Megan Ellison most recently produced the Academy Award®-nominated “Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Master” and executive produced “Spring Breakers” via her Annapurna Pictures banner and has David O. Russell’s “American Hustle,” Spike Jonze’s “Her,” and Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” set for release later this year.
As for how much of the original timeline and its events will be included in the rebooted story remains unclear. We’ll just have to wait and see. Let’s hope that however this enters pre-production, that the script doesn’t resemble anything like this…