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

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Hi,

    an independant investor, with a strong will ($) and good relations with studios would be great, right ?

    It would allow both movies and series to continue (T5 and T:SCC), and I guess an independant investor can bring content not only on the Theater or TV, but also on the Internet.


  2. Man, oh man this would be fantastic. We could see some Cameron bots show up in T5.

  3. Gotta love that Whedon sense of humour (and anyone who read his open letter with the bid knows that as much as he was being serious, his tongue was still firmly planted within cheek). I’ve seen website after website (so that’s two) say that they really wished they sold Joss the rights so that he could do all the stuff he’d promised (more porn).

    To be honest… yeah, it’d be sort of awesome, but this is coming from a self confessed Whedon fanboy.

    That said, it ain’t gonna happen for ten grand so I think it’ll be interesting to see who does buy up the rights. Likely a major studio, but there’s no denying, the properties worth a lot, even with Salvation’s losses. In the right hands, a fifth movie could make a killing at the box office.

  4. Whedon is an idiot and should stay away from all movie franchises.

  5. M-Cat is an idiot and should stay away from talking.

    See how ignorant you sound?

  6. It’s not ignorant it’s an opinion if you have ever heard of that.

  7. McG can now say goodbye to any chance of him directing the next Terminator movie. Thank the lord!

  8. t4 made 370 million dollars with a 200 million dollar budget. so can you tell me what wouldve been a sucsess. i think the dvd sales will be good so i dont see it as a failure.

  9. it would be funny to see cameron buy it so no one else will ruin some more.

  10. man how cool would that be for someone like us but with 60million to spend.. U COULD OWN TERMINATOR!!!!!!!!!!i mean how awsome would that be to be able to have what u have allways wanted in that movie and they all had to listen to u man o man. I hope the facebook guy buys this would be a great investment just gotta wait like 4 years then reboot the whole thing.

  11. M-cat

    Whoops, should’ve seen this one coming, sorry.

    Good luck with desperately seeking attention!

  12. @ Hudson
    Id say people over exaggerated how bad T4 was. It seems people overseas have more of a open mind on the film. Im sure they didnt like it Because Cameron wasnt involved. Even Linda Hamilton and Arnold were involved in some way so that counts for somthin and Arnold gave it thumbs up. I had people complain to me that Arnold should of been in the film etc. He said it himself he didnt want to cheat the fans and he’s not as young lookin like he was in the first film obviously. With film opening with the early years of the war, id say there was no need for arnold to be in the film mainly because his purpose in the franchise was a assassin or a protector sent back thru time. Im still hoping for T5 and that it continue on from T4.

  13. Whedon should not come near Terminator.
    Wouldn’t it be better if James Cameron just bought the rights? I’d totally understand that from his point of view. He’d have a big say in the coming movies, after other people just made a complete fool out of his franchise with T3, and a slightly smaller fool with T4.

  14. @ogb

    I charge money for people to use that… I’ll let you by this time for free, but next time get your checkbook ready. :-P

  15. I agree that Cameron should buy it so nobody can ruin it any more, lol.

  16. I think Wheadon is a strange choice that can go either way. However it is better than the last guys who owned the franchise and drove it into the ground.

    Terminator 1 and 2 played a huge part in my childhood. I love those movies. 3 and 4 were horrible. The good still outweighs the bad and I would love to see someone TALENTED, as in NOT McG, do another Terminator movie. And it might just be me, but please no more “future” setting. There’s nothing cooler than futuristic, cyber skeleton, terminators running around and killing people in the present time. Makes the movie, story and characters much easier to relate to for the audience.

    lol Ken J, I did not realize I was infringing on copyrighted material. I will be more careful :)

  17. Weldon is right up there with Mcg in my book. (Hack!!!)

    Hudson, your not factoring in promotional costs. I’m sure they were over 170mil so the film barely broke even. I think the only ones that made money on this were the actors and crew.

  18. Id like to see this franchise move forward with the future war, not backwards. Especially when Arnold isnt in his prime and Cameron made it clear he has no plans to return to the franchise.

  19. I should bid $10,001…

  20. Right, because we all know how horrible Firefly was

  21. Disney will eventually purchase the rights to the Terminator franchise.

    Their first film will be a reboot to the series, called: Tinkernator: Return to Neverland

    In it, a robotic-sprite will be sent back in time to destroy Peter Pan and stop him from leading a revolution in the post-apocalyptic future, after Microsoft and Touchstone merge to become a giant robotic entity that destroys the world with vapid, listless, banal and unintelligent animated and “family-oriented” films.

    Peter Pan will be played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in a pivotal career role which will garner him multiple award nominations.

    The countless explosions will be created by Michael Bay’s company Digital Domain and will make up the larger part of the 96-minute long running time.

    The score will be supplied by Hans Zimmer, through his company Remote Control Productions (with no one actually knowing just how much – or how little – of the actual score being composed by Zimmer himself).

    With mass merchandising and toy tie-ins, the film will be a massive money-maker, with Disney stocks soaring to new heights as the I.Q. of the general population slowly stagnates and then begins a downward spiral.

  22. Lol,Mike E…
    Out of all the studios Disney could easily afford the 60 mil its going for,,, scary…

    Its like the real Skynet buying the rights to Terminator.

    I’ve heard rumors that Sony is actually going to pony up the cash.

  23. @Mike E. …

    LMAO! VERY funny!

    Just one thing… I thought James Cameron owned Digital Domain.

  24. quote form Wikipedia: “Bay and Wydncrest Holdings acquired the special effects company Digital Domain in 2006 from James Cameron and Stan Winston”

  25. I am pretty sure the rights to terminator DEPRECIATED after the crap fest that was Terminator Salvation. It totally ruined the future of the franchise.

    I mean, who wants to try and follow that film? $10,000 sounds about right to me.

  26. Evan the real WTF!!!, here is how can you destroy the “Terminator” franchise in one film so badly ???

    We knew Mcg was a hack but lawsuits, franchise rights up for bid! I karamba!

    The only way this could be worse is if there was some stunt man killed during the shoot and the family is awarded 370.00 mil dollars.

    I don’t want to stick it in and break it off, but wow Mcg things didn’t go as planned,,, eh?

    See ya on Charlie’s Angels 4, Blowback!

  27. Alien resurrection and toy story are in the top 500 movies of all time…I think.

    Surprised he hasn’t tried his hand at the twilight movies. Wait, they could actually get worse…bad idea.


    you’re running out of life lines.

  28. Ive talked to one of my co-workers about the terminator franchise and asked him what he thought so far. He told me of-course T3 & T4 dont live up to the first two films, thats because they werent directed by Cameron which people are fixed on refuse to move on. What he didnt understand was those who hated T3 & T4 seem more like they liked the Terminator: TSCC tv series more instead. While the show had some good episodes, he thought the tv series was worser than the previous two movies. How many time travel sequels must there be really? Especially with how old arnold is and even if they had him in the film, some people already mentioned hes not in the same shape he was in the first two films. James Cameron should of made sure Terminator was his franchise if he didnt want someone else to continue it. Obviously he sold out. I loved the first two films and i liked T3 & T4 and hope more gets made.

  29. i think terminator is worth a ton. this last movies wasnt good in the eyes of the public(even though i liked it) the movie made 370 million and people didnt like it. if it was as good as the first 2 it wouldve made like 500-600 million.