It sounds like the setup for a ridiculous joke, doesn’t it? Like the punchline is going to be something along the lines of, “Four with a remainder of a midget dressed as Chewbacca riding a tricycle through potato salad.” Unfortunately, the future of the Terminator franchise still seems to be up in the air since the company who now has the rights to the franchise has no experience making films and will more than likely have to pair up with one of the studios it outbid. Even who will direct the next Terminator installment is questionable at this point.
Terminator 5 has been a hot topic of discussion ever since Terminator: Salvation hit theaters last May. Salvation director McG had ideas to bring Robert Patrick (the T-1000 in Terminator 2) back by having him play a scientist who created the T-1000 and we would see the return of time travel with the ability to send more than one entity through time in a pre-Judgment Day 2011. All plans for another Terminator sequel and the franchise in general were up in the air when the Terminator franchise rights went up for auction. Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate, and even director Joss Whedon were said to either have bid on the franchise rights or were interested in obtaining them. Now that the auction is done and over with, who wound up winning is a bit of a surprise.
Sony Pictures was said to be the potential winner before the actual auction ended after Lionsgate set the bar with a $15 million bid. Halcyon Group, the original company that owned the rights and put them up for auction, hoped to get around $70 million for the Terminator rights. Pacificor actually wound up winning the auction for $29.5 million. What this means is Pacificor now has the main say in where the Terminator franchise goes from here. What’s interesting is Pacificor is the hedge fund company that backed Halcyon Group while Halcyon owned the rights and ultimately were the ones who pushed Halcyon into bankruptcy.
McG had a right in his contract with Halcyon that would give him the option of directing any new Terminator films first, but it turns out that Pacificor doesn’t have to honor it. So when we do finally see a new Terminator film, we may see a new director.
William Wisher, co-writer of the first two Terminator films, has done some treatments for both Terminator 5 and 6. Mike Fleming from Deadline had this to say:
“As a Terminator fanboy myself, I think Wisher has done a terrific job with a plot that accepts the storylines from Jonathan Mostow’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and McG’s Terminator: Salvation…
Wisher’s 2-picture construct takes place in a post-apocalyptic battleground, and factors in an element of time travel that allows for Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese to interact beyond their single fateful meeting when he traveled back in time to protect her in the original film. Wisher has created a role for Arnold Schwarzenegger that is as surprising as his shift from villain in the first film, to John Connor’s bodyguard in the second. Schwarzenegger wouldn’t be needed until the final film, which wouldn’t shoot until after he ends his term as California Governor. And who wouldn’t want to see Linda Hamilton back in aerobic top fitness form as Sarah Connor?
There are several new villains, and plenty of firepower. For instance, a swarm of “Night Crawlers,” 4 1/2-foot tall border sentries that are set like mines to spring up out of the ground and ambush rebel fighters with 10 MM pistols built into their wrists, and fingers and feet that are razor sharp. Also fresh off the Skynet assembly line are new shape-shifting cyborgs that can morph together in Transformers-like mode, and are more lethal than anything we’ve seen in previous Terminator installments.
Wisher presents a satisfying conclusion to what by then would be a 6-picture struggle between Skynet’s machines and John and Sarah Connor to preserve a future that allows mankind to prevail over the machines.”
As much as the Terminator fanboy in me would like to see Robert Patrick return in another Terminator film, McG’s idea of bringing the futuristic war to the present day seems pretty weak. Not to mention the fact that the skin-changing finale (among other things before they were written) sounded like it could have potentially been better than the mess Salvation wound up being. Wisher’s treatments seem like they’d be more satisfying. The return of Arnold to the franchise could be pretty spectacular and a real treat for fans. At this point though, there hasn’t been much news regarding the fifth or sixth film since February of this year. Maybe no news is good news, but it certainly seems like for the time being that any future Terminator films are dead (or at least stalled) in the water.
Sources: imdb.com, comingsoon.net, screenrant.com, worstpreviews.com, scrapetv.com, thegreatgeekmanual.com, blog.omy.sg