Ellison Siblings Finally Close Deal for Terminator Rights to New Films
by Ethan Anderton
December 3, 2012
It's been a year and a half since a complicated rights deal began negotiations between Megan Ellison, founder of Annapurna Pictures and daughter of Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison, and Pacifcorp for the rights to the Terminator franchise. Now Deadline reports the deal has closed as Megan asked her brother David and his Skydance Productions banner to help out as a financial and creative partner. Now all Terminator films from here on out will both be under the Annapurna and Skydance names. However, the Terminator franchise has yet to find a new studio home, has no script and no longer has Fast Five director Justin Lin on board to direct, so there's no telling how soon we might actually see a sequel. More below!
Though Arnold Schwarzenegger agreed to come back as the Terminator, the real problem lied within the pricey deal for the franchise. But why? Well, the rights for Terminator revert back to James Cameron in 2019 and a studio wasn't sure they could have gotten a proposed three-film deal off the ground before the Avatar director gets his robots back. Of course, the law that allows his the rights to revert back to Cameron hasn't been tested yet so this might have all been for naught. But now the plan is to have two films made, and the Ellisons are starting from scratch.
These two siblings are quite the Hollywood powerhouse with Annapurna being behind some of the most acclaimed films of the year like The Master and Zero Dark Thirty, while Skydance has been pumping out blockbusters like Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and the forthcoming films Jack Reacher, Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z. Does this mean we might get to see someone like Tom Cruise join the resistance against machines, or maybe get J.J. Abrams on board for a Terminator movie? It's unlikely, but the prospect is interesting. Either way, Skydance has a home at Paramount so maybe the studio will end up getting on board. However, a new script is needed first, so we might be waiting a little while for updates.