Terminator 5 loses Justin Lin? Franchise to end?
It appears that producer Megan Ellison and the returning Arnold Schwarzenegger have made Terminator 5 a priority and want to get it made and released for next year, that's a tough task for anyone but when your director, Justin Lin, is focused on delivering another big franchise film in the form of Fast and Furious Six, it would seem something's got to give.
According to reports what's going to give is Lin himself as he focuses more on his own franchise and lets both Highlander and Terminator franchises slip from his grasp, although I'm not convinced he has lost Terminator.
The story is that Megan Ellison and Arnold Schwarzenegger are pushing forward the next Terminator film and with Justin Lin's immediate schedule taken up with his sequel to the best in the franchise Fast and Furious Five or Fast Five (Filmstalker review), he just can't be there for the film. However what we're hearing is that if they are willing to wait for Lin, he'll come right back on board straight after the next in the Fast and Furious franchise.
Of course while they are pushing for the film and Lin to get onboard they haven't a partner to make the film or a script, never mind a scriptwriter hired, so there's still a lot of work to do on the pre-production side anyway.
Deadline have the story through JoBlo that says this is all happening and state that the reason it's being fast tracked is that the rights to the Terminator story revert back to James Cameron in 2018. Now that doesn't seem too far away but there is an intriguing snippet in that story. It says quite clearly:
"Lin has been working closely with Schwarzenegger and Ellison to figure a way to end the James Cameron-hatched battle between humans and the cyborgs of Skynet."
To end the franchise? Well if they are rushing to deliver Terminator 5 for 2012 and the rights fall through in 2018, those are a good few years in there and a good few films. If the fifth did well they could do two, or even push out three films before that date, so the end could be a way off yet.
Except I'm surprised if they really are trying to end the franchise. Why would they want to do that? Terminator has its ups and downs in the cinema, but they've always drawn a crowd, made money (even if production companies behind the films have been going bankrupt at a rather high rate) and always proven popular in some way. The strength of the franchise has never diminished, it just doesn't seem like Hollywood to end a franchise like this when there's still so much life left in it.
I wonder if they are deliberately trying to end it before it returns to James Cameron? Yet I can't think why they would want to. Has Cameron been leading them that way in the discussions he's been having with them all about the future of the franchise?