Terminator Rights Hit Auction Block; Whedon Bids 10K

Published 5 years ago by , Updated June 4th, 2014 at 10:09 am,

T1000 Terminator Rights Hit Auction Block; Whedon Bids 10K

About a month ago I wrote about how the Terminator franchise rights were up for grabs now that the company who owns the rights, Halcyon Co., has filed for bankruptcy. Well, the rights to the beloved sci-fi franchise are now officially on the auction block and we already have a wild opening bid that’s making news.

The man behind the bid? Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and  Dollhouse.

According to the LA Times, The Halcyon Co. hopes to have the Terminator rights sold off by January, 2o1o, if only to start recouping some of the money they lost on the failed venture that was this summer’s Terminator Salvation (that title suddenly holds a lot of irony, doesn’t it?). There is also the possibility that Halcyon will hop on a “stalking horse,” which is basically a motivated buyer who bids early (and high enough) to have the property put on hold while the buyer then performs full due diligence on said property. To boil it even further down into layman’s terms: If some high-pockets out there thinks there is enough juice left to be squeezed out of the Terminator franchise, they’ll pay to be able to look deeper into just how much money they can make off it.

Sony and Warner Bros. are being floated as the studios circling the property right now, as is independent studio Summit Entertainment (the Twilight guys). But studios are not the only ones interested, apparently; rich guys from the private sector “…have expressed strong interest” said Kevin Shultz, senior managing director of FTI, Halcyon’s hired financial advisors.  Ironically enough, one of those private sector guys making an early bid is none other than Joss Whedon, who in the last 24 hours posted a whopping $10,000 bid for the Terminator rights on fan site whedonesque.com, sparking off rumors galore.

Since that initial “bombshell,” Whedon has explained his out-of-left-field bid to Entertainment Weekly:

“Here’s the thing: It’s not a slam on The Terminator. I love The Terminator. That part’s totally true. I was thinking to myself, ‘Not since they auctioned off frames from The Little Mermaid have I wished I had more money this much. So you know what, never hurts to ask.’ I loved the movies, even the later movies. I loved the mythology. I loved the TV show [The Sarah Connor Chronicles]–like, really loved. Not for pretend. And not just because of [star] Summer [Glau].”

The most surprising thing I read in that quote is that Joss Whedon is actually a fanboy for The Sarah Connor Chronicles – that show certainly didn’t do any favors for the first season of Whedon’s Dollhouse last year!

Needless to say, I’m sure The Halcyon Co. will get a better offer than Whedon’s for the Terminator rights – but wouldn’t be cool if by some chance Joss Whedon became the master of the Terminator universe (or would that be more of a disaster)?  Anyhoo, Halcyon bought the rights for $25 million and now figures their worth – after all the great, great, work they did on Terminator Salvation icon neutral Terminator Rights Hit Auction Block; Whedon Bids 10K – to be up around the $60 million range. Whoever nabs said rights gets to call the shots on how any other sequel films or TV spin-offs will go down (hopefully far removed from McG’s terrible plans for T5), and will inherit whatever money can still be squeezed out of Salvation when it hits DVD in December.

Do you have a strategic business plan for who should hold the rights to the Terminator franchise? Should it be a studio or an independent investor who just has that much love for the series?

Sources: LA Times, Entertainment Weekly

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  1. @ BlueCollarCritic
    I think reason why they called T4 a failure in that way was because i read about how it didnt bring in as much money in than T3 did. I read from one critic sayin its not a terminator film without Arnold in it. To be honest id bet ya people would complain even if Arnold was in it because of how old he is now. Arnold himself said he didnt want to cheat the fans in that way and gave the film thumbs up. The movie made more than what it costed but didnt meet expectations. Im glad people overseas have more common sense over the film, and we still have to see how much film brings in on DVD/Blue-Ray sales. Right now im watchin T2 on tv and i wondered if T-1000 came close to hitting the terminator’s fuel cell when he impaled him on the floor. I forget who told me, but sounds like we’ll get Terminator 5

  2. @chrisj

    He DID impale his fuel cell, that was the point of it. The first time he intentionally (or accidentally) missed. That’s why he pulled it out, but the second time he nailed it. Yep, you’re thinking what I’m thinking, no kaboom like T3 or T4 claims, nor should there be. He had to reroute to auxiliary power to come back on. And yes, you also notice it wasn’t like a seamless transfer from one to the other like in T3 either. So much more realistic and believable, just like T2′s explanation of how Skynet and Judgment Day came to be… But I guess they were two different types of movies. T1 was a serious action movie, T2 was a serious drama/action, and T3 was a not so serious semi-comedic big explosions action movie, just not any type of action I enjoy… But that’s just my opinion.

  3. Ken J and chrisj (what’s the j stand for?)

    the terminators in T2 and T3 were different models I thought. i thought that was why one cell exploded and the other didn’t.

  4. They can’t even decide what model it was. I remember him being referred to as a T-800, T-101, and T-850…

    Who knows, but obviously “bigger bang” = “cooler” according to most, I mean, who wants to see a power cell fizzle when it can explode in a mushroom cloud?? lol.

  5. @ Ken J
    after watchin T2, it was hard to know exactly where the terminator was impaled, could of been a inch or two away. Plus Cameron’s film never talked about terminators being powered by two fuel cells. And in T3 after the terminator was shot by TX, it was awhile later that it noticed smoke coming out. Im kinda under the impression T-1000 might of hit something else when impaling the terminator.

    @ M-cat
    I dont know about Ken J but i just used my middle initial cause any other username i tried was already used. From what my friends and i have learned about the models is Arnold’s version is known to be T-101 series/T-800,T-850. In the first film, that terminator was T-800 programed by SKYNET & the T-850 shown in T2 & T3 were T-850′s re-programed by the human resistance. Two ways i was told you could tell them apart would be 1.In the first film Arnold’s hair is down. In T2 & T3 his hair was up. 2. scenes of terminator’s vison in red are different between the first film and T2/T3. And in Terminator Salvation, Arnold’s hair is down as it was in T1 aswell in the beginning of the film Bale’s connor mentions the T-800 when finding the model design on a computer.

  6. @chrisj

    Never make the mistake that anything T3 showed has anything to do with T1 or T2. In T2, the T1000 impaled the T800′s “power cell” as the Terminator himself referred to it as. And no, they never claimed to have two. When asked about how long he lasts, he states something like “One hundred and twenty years with my existing power cell.” The auxiliary power that he switches to afterward is not equal to the original, it’s really just an emergency backup and he probably wouldn’t have lasted too long on it anyhow.

    T3 is its own animal, it’s what Jonathan Mastow imagined up. That’s why I’ve always said that T3 should have been its own movie. Now I’m not making any judgments about it being worse or better, but it’s definitely different. I definitely didn’t like it, but that’s my opinion. Just listen to the T800′s explanation of how Judgment Day came to be in T2 and then compare that to T3′s version of how Skynet goes bad. Notice they are completely different. Mastow had a different vision for Terminator than Cameron did.

    So if you’re asking about what happened in T2 and what kind of power source the Terminator has WITHIN THE UNIVERSE set by T2 and not by T3 or T4, then yes, the T1000 impaled the T800′s power cell in that scene. And no, it does not explode when it’s damaged. And I highly doubt Skynet would be so dumb to make a design with a big giant bomb inside of the Terminator’s chest…

    Look at T1. That Terminator was burned, then blown to bits by dynamite, then the entire body except for the arm was crushed by an industrial press. It was enough to damage the chip and as you can see from the electrical archs, damage its power cell. And yet, no big kaboom there either. That whole dual exploding nuclear power pack thing started with T3.

    And about the Terminator designations, that was another thing that began with T3. They were NEVER referred to as T101′s in the rogiinal two, or by any description given by James Cameron. And since they are fictional and invented by Cameron, anything he says is the absolute truth. He can’t technically be “wrong” about it. According to James Cameron, the Terminators in T1 and T2 are both T800′s, Cyberdyne Systems Model 101. According to him, the T### is the actual endoskeleton type, and the Model ### is only if they have external skin applied and that number specifies its appearance. So this means that there could be a T800 Model 95 that is technically identical to Arnold’s Terminator in the films but will look different on the outside. And in a scene from T1, you see one of these terminators infiltrate the rebel camp he was in. It wasn’t until T3 where they decided to shorten it.

    Arnold’s hair will not affect it’s T### since that’s talking about the endoskeleton only. The difference in his hair can be easily explained. Difference in style at the time they were shooting the movie, lol. The reason his hair was like in T1 in T4 is because they modeled the CGI Arnold in T4 after how he looked in the first one. They found a full body casting they did for T1 and digitally scanned that into the computer to make the Arnold in T4.

  7. @ Ken J
    Between the events of T2 & T3, the way SKYNET went online seemed similar to how Arnold mentions it in T2 when he tells Sarah in the car when the system goes online and SKYNET becomes self-aware but the only thing was the date it would happen. As we all know Judgment Day was post-poned and didnt happen on Aug. 29th, 1997 and happens in 2004 instead. With SKYNET being a unseen antogist in the franchise, it just seems like skynet would come online in the same manner as it did in T3. I heard people claim now way Skynet can go online at all, not supposed to anyways. But they should be open minded how Miles Dyson wouldnt be the only one workin on SKYNET. Even though everything supposely went up in flames at Cyberdyne Systems doesnt mean people have copies of that work at home, plus there would still be little more evidence from the terminator when it lost its arm in the steel mill aswell pieces of the T-1000 went flying after the grenade exploded. Just my opinion that SKYNET would of went online in T2 as it did in T3.

  8. @chrisj

    *sigh* You need to go back and watch the GOOD Terminator movies again…

    “The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.”

    25 days separate when Skynet goes online and when it becomes self aware and turns of humans. During which time Skynet performs as the military had wished it to perform. They didn’t put it online to subsidize everyone’s anti-virus programs like in T3, it was put online to fly military aircraft, to carry out missions. It was put online to defend our borders from enemies. It wasn’t some closet antagonist that was waiting to go online to carry out some evil computer plan to take over the world like in T3… It only turned on humans when we tried to kill it, and we only tried to kill it because we realized the danger of having such a powerful computer system being self-aware… So believable, so chilling… That whole virus scenario was pretty humorous. I’m not the only one to think so, everyone I know who have seen the movie, even those who enjoyed it, admitted that that sequence was pretty unbelievable and pretty funny.

    “Oh dear god Jim, there’s a new virus spreading quickly. Should we release a definitions update so everyone’s anti-virus program will clean or delete this infection?”

    “What? Where’s the fun in that? Let’s release some super powerful experimental and untested artificial intelligence program and allow it to spread like a virus itself uncontrolled. Let’s learn from the French when they tried to eliminate their frog problem with bigger frogs to eat them…”

    Yaaaaahhhhhhh… Riiiiiggghhhtt……

    Anyway, again, this is just my opinion, if you enjoyed the movie, that’s great for you, but don’t try to claim like the stories are the same, facts are facts. They are definitely 100% different, but I’m not saying one is worse than the other, I’m just stating that fact.

  9. I just finsihed reading a bit on how T4 was supposed to have played out before Christian Bale decided to take on the role of impromptu script changer for the film. I use to like Bale but after this and the stunt he pulled on teh set where he yelled at some on set employee (was all over the internet at the time) I’ve come to relaize he is just another self-absorbed childish actor with illusions of grandeur.

    If you have not heard or read about how the official initial story for Terminator Salvation was supposed to play out then do so b/c you will certainly be suprised at how different and at the same time how similiar they are.

    I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone who may not have seen Terminator Salvation yet but if you have then if like me you wondered what the deal was with the 4 human (non-machine) looking outlines or shadows that appear fro a brioef few seconds on an upper floor (in the background) of the area at Skynet CIty where they unload the humans and cattle heard them (this is the point in the movie where Kyle first gets off the HK Transport and is looking around), then by reading the plot of the pre-Bale version of the film our at least a summary of it you’ll get an idea of what those outlines most likley were.

    As a side note on Terminator 3 & 4, I alwasy felt a little dissapointed by T3 even though I liked it and that was because it was more of a rehash of part 1 & 2; the same basic story with different twists. I was really hoping for a glimpse at the war itself; the future. This is also why I probably liked T4 more then most, because it finally bnroke the storyline rut that Terminator had become by part 3.

  10. BlueCollarCritic

    where can I read the pre-Bale version of Terminator 4?

  11. @M-Cat:

    The below url at MovieViral is where I read all about this.


    You don;t need to sign in to read it only to post comments. Good site (from what i can tell) for more movie info after you’ve already been thru ScreenRant :)

  12. bluecollar

    Thanks for the link. I’ll check it out. I’m always up for some background info and details.

  13. How sweet would it be if James Cameron were to obtain the rights to the franchise!! Another T2 could be in all of our futures.

  14. Not very IMHO, I rather have my boy Joss Whedon writing the new Terminator stuff.

  15. How sweet would it be if James Cameron were to obtain the rights to the franchise!! Another T2 could be in all of our futures.

  16. Not very IMHO, I rather have my boy Joss Whedon writing the new Terminator stuff.

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