We hadn’t heard anything about the Terminator franchise in a while, but if you think people forgot about it, you’re wrong (IDIOT), because today Deadline reports that Megan Ellison has enlisted her brother David to help produce a new one. If you don’t know who Megan Ellison is, you should, because she’s basically my hero. Movies that the 26-year-old daughter of Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison has thus far helped finance include: Zero Dark Thirty, The Master, Killing Them Softly, Lawless, Spring Breakers, True Grit, and upcoming projects from Spike Jonze and David O. Russell. Basically, if you hear of a movie aimed at adult film-lovers and not at dumb children in the last few years, there’s a 50/50 chance Megan Ellison had something to do with it. Her older brother David is also in the movie business, leaning more toward blockbusters, working on films such as Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Jack Reacher, Star Trek Into The Darkness, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and now Deadline reports that they’ll be teaming up for a new Terminator movie. Which sounds like a pretty logical plan to me, but then what do I know, I’m just a guy balls deep in a dead badger.
Nearly 18 months after Megan Ellison pledged over $20 million for the rights to finish The Terminator‘s storyline with a new series of films, she has finally closed the complicated rights deal with Pacificorp. Other than the fact no progress has been made all this time on a script, the surprise here is Ellison has enlisted her brother, David Ellison, to be her financial and creative partner.
New copyright laws allow for North American rights to The Terminator to revert back to creator James Cameron in 2019 (that happens after 35 years, and The Terminator was 1984). While that law hasn’t been tested in the courts, no major film company would want to move forward on a project with a potentially catastrophic rights crisis looming. So the original pricey deal — made with the expectations there would be three films — was scaled down because the reality is they might only get to make two installments.
The project has been moving in fits and starts, and most likely that has been due to the slow pace of the rights deal. At one point, Arnold Schwarzenegger had been attached, and so was Fast & Furious helmer Justin Lin. Because Ellison expected to put the first of two pictures in production in late 2012, Lin dropped out.
I’m not sure the Terminator franchise still has stories that are screaming to be told, but it’s a positive development to hear that Megan Ellison is involved and Justin Lin isn’t. Lin previously directed three Fast/Furious movies, which, even if you like them, are about as deep as pro wrestling, and Terminator is a franchise that requires a director with a bit of a brain. And if they are going to make another Terminator movie, I’d just as soon it not suck big farts. But hey, that’s just me, a guy who f*cks dead animals.