Megan Ellison buys rights to Terminator franchise

Megan Ellison, 25-year-old daughter of Oracle founder Larry Ellison, has quickly become known as some kind of indie movie savior, stepping in to finance films movie dorks (read: people like me) want to see, like Paul Thomas Anderson’s movie about Scientology, an untitled collaboration between Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman, a Bin Laden project from Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow, and just yesterday, Martin McDonagh’s incredible sounding follow up to In Bruges, starring Rourke, Rockwell, Walken, and Farrell, just to name a few.  Now it seems she’s switching gears, acquiring the rights to a project that actually sounds pretty horrible, the next installment of Terminator, which has the Fast Five director attached to direct.

Megan Ellison has won an auction for the rights to make at least two more installments of The Terminator franchise, with Fast Five‘s Justin Lin attached to direct and Arnold Schwarzenegger attached to star. The deal came down to Ellison’s Annapurna Films and Lionsgate, which seemed to have had the project sewn up until she came forward with a dramatic bid. The auction at the time was for a guarantee for at least half of the $29.5 million paid by hedge fund Pacificor to pull the franchise out of bankruptcy. Unclear what the winning amount was, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it hit the $20 million mark. CAA brokered the deal. [Deadline]

There are two ways to look at this (not including the too-good-to-be-true way, that Ellison bought the franchise just so she could take it out behind the barn and shoot it). One being that Megan Ellison’s company needs a project that’s a guaranteed money maker to help pay for the other riskier, indie stuff (much the way I used prostitution to finance my rap career).  The other being that with a more independent financier like Ellison, this project might actually have a chance of being good (and of course, it’s possible that it’s a combination of the two).  But then, maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to jump to conclusions about someone whose name we only first heard a few months ago.  Politics, movie financing, and prostitution are the only industries where things are so bad that it’s normal to say, “Oh God, please hire someone who’s never done this before!”