Terminator Movie Franchise Rights Back Up For Sale Again


The story behind the scenes of Terminator Salvation is quite an interesting one, and pretty abnormal for such a major franchise sequel. Hollywood newcomers Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek managed to score the rights to the Terminator franchise back in 2006 when they received a hot tip that they would be up for grabs after the previous owners, Andrew Vajna and Mario Kassar, dissolved their partnership. They were able to anonymously purchase the rights and land financing, before moving on to score distribution deals with Warner Brothers and Sony — all without any experience producing movies outside of an indie comedy called Cook-Off!. The general feeling from all parties involved was that the franchise was way more valuable than what they were paying for it, however, Terminator Salvation ultimately underperformed… which is an odd thing to say about a movie that made $370 million worldwide.

Fast-forward to today, where Anderson and Kubicek are on the verge of bankruptcy and owe their financial backers a substantial amount of money. It’s looking like they will have to sell off the Terminator rights, either in whole or in part, and are reportedly in the process of talking to “a variety of studios and independent companies”. It seems crazy to me that a franchise like this can get so tied up in financial woes, but it’s in a weird position where the last movie made enough money that a sequel should be inevitable, but it didn’t make enough money to be seriously profitable. So will we ever see Terminator 5 and 6? And should we? I happened to like Terminator Salvation, but the vast majority of reactions seemed to be negative, and only got worse as the summer movie season wore on. I do think that if there’s no one with a clear vision driving the ship, then they should just end it now before it gets worse. Would you like to see another Terminator sequel?

  • I find this story interesting because in a way it is a microcosm of Hollywood; power brokers only green light “branded” material, much of which, is out of step with audience appetite. There is a reason this property was available to “outsiders” or people inexperienced with running a large franchise, there also was a credit market much different from today when these players got the rights. I found this story interesting from day one because the only way this company could succeed is if they got a huge new wave of support for this franchise. A novice view would say “you can’t get blood from a turnip” and there was no way their expectations going in would be met by audience demand. Why do this power brokers not spread the wealth / credit across NEW and FRESH properties and try and cultivate the NEXT Terminator type franchise?!

  • Justin

    Salvation was the second best Terminator and light years better than part 3. Here is hoping that they sell to anyone but Fox and parts 5 and 6 are done right.
    Salvation had its problems but it was nice to see non kid-friendly Terminators again.

  • I wasn’t too impressed with Salvation but I liked the previous ones enough to want to see 5 and 6 and 7 and …

    And this post clarifies why Salvation didn’t live up to the expectations for many. Thanks Sean.

  • Rick

    honestly, this wasn’t very suprising. Terminator salvation might of been under-achieved, but i still liked it. i was just hoping to walk away with a stronger feeling of closure. but they just left it wide open. again. to make another one.

    and i loved christian bale as john conner.

    i know this is a very ruff comparison. i just don’t want to see terminator turn into friday the 13th.

  • Matt

    I liked Salvation a lot. Not as much as the first two, but much more than the third. It was a little too silly in parts that felt like Michael bay had come up with them, like the sub-marine united nations thing, John Connor just jumping into the ocean, and the Skynet “trap.” But I forgive all of that because I liked Sam Worthington and Chistian Bale in it, the action scenes were very visceral, and the overall story was interesting. I think it may have been a little too dumb for people’s tastes but they liked the transformers movies, so I’m not sure they have anything to complain about. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing two more terminator movies, but I doubt that the budget will really allow for as much of an extravagant movie as Salvation was. Maybe they will heed the lessons of District 9, however, and manage to make an intelligent, quality action film for much less.

  • Andrew

    Ok, I know I will get shit for this, but I think Salvation, minus the ‘Take My Heart” scene, was much better then the First Terminator movie. Obviously they are very different movies but here are my reasons for thinking this.

    The original was trying to be a slasher film like Halloween, but with a robot as the antagonist. And it is filled with cheese coated 80’s cliches, from the punk rock thugs to the roommate being killed after having premarital sex, to Resse dying after finally losing his virginity. And then of course you have the whole buddy cops too. Plus the writing is bad. I Mean the terminator has a hotel room, that he apparently rented! Really? A hotel room? Really! The Movie survived only because it’s story was so compelling, if badly told, and it made Schwarzenegger a star.

    Salvation is, at it’s best, a futuristic survival movie, admittedly with it’s own bits of cheesiness, and at it’s worst a bad story of redemption. But the over all story is told better and is as compelling as the original, as I said minus the “Take My heart” Scene.

    So I guess yes I would like to see a 5th and 6th movie.

  • WrongMovieMike

    Andrew… Salvation didn’t have Bill Paxton. The original did. So your argument is baseless and without merit. So go hide your head in your sweatervest.

  • Napalm

    i hated the first half of Salvation to the point that i was about to stop watching it. but i forced myself to watch the whole thing anyway. i thought the movie picked up towards the end. yes, it was filled with cheese. Bale’s constant yelling over the walkie talkie was annoying as hell, but nonetheless I enjoyed the second half for what it was. didn’t have huge expectation to begin with, as i knew that it’ll not bring the magic that the first two brought. which leads me to the other films in the franchise… i enjoyed the first one. T3, even though was pretty bad, i enjoyed it for what it was. in a lot of ways i feel T3 and T4 are alike… both lacked the spirit that the first 2 had. T2 remains my most favorite from the franchise.

    however, i am not a huge fan of the overall plot of the Terminator story. judging from T4’s plot it seems like there’s very less interesting things that they can do with the sequels. they should have wrapped it up with the third one.

  • BigHungry


    While I agree with you on most of your points on the first Terminator and yes the story was compelling with the first one which is a B movie and a darn good one. But here is my problem with the Salvation (name is ironic now) story it is just not compelling. And I felt it missed the right tone. Maybe that guy Christian Bail yelled at should be to blame for what happened. If one Terminator is so hard to kill why oh why was it so easy to kill all the ones they did in this latest flick. Thy also should of had some time travel element in the story too.

    I could change my mind after a rematch and I will give it a second chance but this movie may of killed the franchise.

    The only reason for a 5th or 6th movie is to save it and may be they should go back to a future slasher flick. (Not Jason X)

    Oh and the Resse dying after finally losing his virginity…. Brilliant!

  • BigHungry

    I smell Reboot!!!!!!!!
    They should call the next one “Terminator: Reboot”
    Have it take place in the middle ages. Oh never-mind…. bad idea.

  • kyriacos

    Damn.. they keep shooting this Harie potter movies on and on..

    The fanbase is here.. what ever you do will keep viewing it..

    Just make a FUCKING good movie… is it too much to ask?

    here i ll give you a recepie

    Take T salvation and add more violence in it.. FUCK PG 13 FUCK the TEENS (not really polanski and Sean)

    add more plot twist

    Kill John Connor and resurrect him as robot..

    Bring back Arnold!

    :) no seriously..

  • Captain N

    I can’t imagine someone dishing out the cash without thinking Terminator sequels or something (maybe reboot like suggested?).

  • kyriacos

    Is it just me, I think BALE did not really got over Rescue dawn loose weight thing;

  • pcch7

    I don´t think Salvation was as bad as people said it was, but it wasn´t great.. Howerver, I have a feeling it´ll get better with multiple viewings.. Don´t know why, I just think it will.. It did have a couple of mistakes in it but I liked the action.. Nowhere near T1, T2 or TSCC but still better than T3.. It´d be gold if Cameron bought it and rejuvenated the franchise

  • bullet3

    Well I think the haters are completely justified. The movie was complete garbage, a monumental misfire that completely fucked over the franchise. I’m shocked by the defenders. The story made no sense whatsoever (it was ALMOST as nonsensical as Transformers 2), there weren’t any epic battle scenes like promised (one OK chase in the middle, everything else was lame), and it ended up being a completely useless story. There was almost nothing accomplished or changed, no reason to tell this particular story. Honestly, T3 was WAY better. I hope Cameron buys the rights and just produces another Terminator movie that ignores this one.

  • BigHungry

    I agree that TSCC is better and that as bullet3 says the story made no sense and at the end of the day went no where. At least T3, which was not as good as T1 & T2, did something in the story like nuking the earth…. So what went wrong the trailers were awesome for TS. I think hands down THEY SHOULD OF BROKE THE TIMELINE. Like kill John Connor off that would of been bold. Then I would of sat there and been like what the heck is gonna happen next. This is what I feel Serenity did right for those that watched firefly and then the movie. They killed off major characters and answered so many questions. The story evolved for that movie. This movie just spun its wheels. Also why should I bring up Serenity – easy it bombed at the box office but ruled on dvd and blu-ray sales. So should these guys wait for the dvd/blu-ray sales before they jump ship? I know people are waiting to see TS on dvd/blu-ray.

  • David

    Its a big news about franchise opportunities.

  • Shelly

    Is it just me, I think BALE did not really got over Rescue dawn loose weight thing;