After two consecutive failed attempts at starting new trilogies within the Terminator universe and with 2019 fast approaching (and with it, rights to the franchise reverting back to its creator James Cameron), the current rights holders are not ready to let go just yet.
Deadline is reporting that David Ellison of Skydance Productions is having one more go at Terminator and he’s got James Cameron onboard to shepherd the project, along with Deadpool director Tim Miller. Cameron himself won’t be directing the film since he’s very busy working on not one but four Avatar sequels. The idea is for Miller to helm the project.
James Cameron sold the rights to The Terminator in 1984 to producer Gale Anne Hurd for $1 on the condition that he’d got to direct the movie. Since then, those rights have jumped around between several studios. It was because of that, that the first sequel took so long to make. However Caolco, the studio behind Terminator 2: Judgement Day went bankrupt and after Mario Kassar and Andrew Vajna picked up the rights they produced Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, without Cameron as he had decided he was done with the property.
After a follow up failed to materialize, The Halcyon Company acquired the rights and produced Terminator: Salvation which they envisioned as the first in a planned trilogy, but couldn’t proceed with their plans and filed for bankruptcy. Pacificor, who helped Halcyon buy the rights in the first place, regained them only to sell them again in an auction. Annapurna Pictures headed by Megan Ellison bought the rights for a lot less than the supposed $70 million value of the property, and again dismissed any project currently in development in favor of making their own trilogy. Ellison’s brother David from Skydance co-financed Terminator: Genisys but the film was poorly received despite having Arnold Schwarzenegger back in a starring role and a thumbs up from James Cameron.
Pretty messy history, right?
Terminator: Genisys star Emilia Clarke has outright dismissed getting back for a possible sequel, though it’s very unlikely that Cameron or Miller would want to continue with that story, but what road is left to take? Another attempt at removing the films Cameron wasn’t involved with from continuity? A straight up reboot? Where do you think the franchise could go now in a way that actually works?