Lionsgate & Megan Ellison Battle Over TERMINATOR 5

A fierce battle is underway between Lionsgate and billionaire film backer Megan Ellison over the rights to make Terminator 5, a hot pitch from Fast Five director Justin Lin and which has Arnold Schwarzenegger attached to reprise his most iconic screen role for the fourth time. Deadline reports that Lionsgate fronted at least half of the necessary $29.5 million to secure the rights from holders Pacificor this week with a promise for the remaining sum sometime down the road - but deep-pockets Ellison has trumped them with a higher bid, though no distributor is on her side just yet (but we imagine securing one wouldn't take much). A deal is expected to be closed soon and unless a major movie studio gets the idea to make a huge last minute gamble, Terminator 5 is expected to end up with one of these two bidders. Ellison's newly found desire for backing her hobby - movies - with gigantic wads of cash has been a Godsend to report on as the high profile, auterist films The Wettest County in the World (John Hillcoat), The Master & Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson), Kill Bin Laden (Kathryn Bigelow) are just the tip of the iceberg for fascinating works that are speeding towards development now - the kind of risky films studios just aren't making these days. Though her attachment to the Terminator franchise is a new direction, her first real commercial blockbuster (though I do think Kill Bin Laden will be a HUGE picture) and I would suggest is a sign that backing films isn't just a hobby for her anymore, she wants to get in on this game for good. We should remember that it's hardly plain sailing for Lionsgate or Ellison to obtain the rights and push through a movie. Read more about that at Deadline - but it is suggested a conclusion to this is coming soon and Terminator 5 could even film this year.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.