Arnold Schwarzenegger is back! We heard a couple of weeks ago that the former Governor of California had already sat down with director Justin Lin to talk about a proposed fifth Terminator movie and it’s peaked The Governator’s interest enough to confirm he’s on board.
Following a round of talks – Lin, Arnie, and producer Robert Cort then put together a package they sent out to studios yesterday afternoon with Universal, Sony, CBS Films and Lionsgate showing the most interest in the movie that would return Arnie to his iconic, career defining role at the impossible age of 63 years old.
Surprisingly, previous talk of Lin’s Fast & Furious writer Chris Morgan putting together the screenplay has died down and he is not mentioned in Deadline’s report. There’s also no word on where the movie will fit in the already convoluted Terminator continuity timeline or how they will get around the fact Arnie has aged considerably since his last outing as the cybor eight years ago in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
Today’s development is the first big move on the franchise since hedge fund company Pacificor bought the rights to The Terminator property last February for $30 million, so a deal would need to be struck with them before any film could get off the ground. It’s worth reminding ourselves that as recently as 14 months ago, none of the majors were willing to bid that much for the property rights… so why would they pay that much just for the luxury of making one film? Though of course a package might look more appealing now Arnie is on board.
Also complicating matters somewhat is that Hemdale owns a % of North American rights they bought from creator James Cameron and they aren’t due to expire until 2018 and previous rights holders Halcyon (who made 2009′s Terminator Salvation) are due $5 million whenever a new Terminator movie is made. So a Hollywood major is already going to lay down at least $30 million AND then the talent deals (Arnie won’t be cheap) before any pre-production work begins.
It’s said Lin’s Fast & Furious 5 and the expected big box office return it could enjoy when it’s released in the U.S. this Friday might play a big part in a deal being struck and I would suggest Universal would probably be favourites. I would expect things to move pretty quickly now the pitch is out to studios.
I would love to hear what you think about a proposed fifth Terminator movie and whether it can possibly work with Arnie north of 60 years old.