Well, he's back. On the heels of his stupid looking animated show "The Governator," and with rumblings of Ji-Woon Kim’s "Last Stand" and Antoine Fuqua’s "The Tomb" as possible new projects, Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to the franchise that made him a star in a new installment in "The Terminator" series.
Deadline reports that a package is now going out to studios-- with Universal, Sony and Lionsgate already tipped as interested parties -- that has Schwarzenegger attached to star, with "Fast Five" director Justin Lin set to helm in a film that would return Arnie in his iconic role. There is no screenwriter on board just yet, so no word yet where in the continuity of the franchise this would fall, but the biggest question mark for studios right now is how much this thing going to cost to them.
As you might recall, back in early 2010 hedge fund company Pacificor picked up the rights to the franchise for $29.5 million dollars. But further complicating matters is that Hemdale apparently owns some of the North American rights that they licensed from James Cameron and those will expire and revert back to the director in 2018. All this to say, the price tag just to pick up the rights is said to be starting at $25 million and possibly going higher. And it should be noted, these numbers are in the ballpark of the figures that had the major studios balking the first time around when the rights came onto the market so it will be interesting to see if they'll wind up paying more just for the opportunity to put the film into development. Additionally, previous rights holders Halcyon, as part of the deal they struck with Pacificor, are entitled to payment of $5 million for any "Terminator" movie made moving forward.
While it seems like a slam dunk in terms of a blockbuster movie, there seems to be a lot of behind-the-scenes paperwork and payments that need to be made. Will a studio be willing to step and not only pay a huge price tag just get to the film moving, but make sure all the right parties are paid? It's a big risk but with Arnie back it might just be a roll of the dice a studio might be willing to make.