Terminator Rights Hit Auction Block; Whedon Bids 10K

Published 4 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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TAGS: terminator, terminator 5, terminator salvation, the sarah connor chronicles

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  1. Um, 790, sorry, but the Terminator franchise was destroyed at T3… That’s why everyone always refers to T1 and T2 as the “good ones” and the rest as crap… But you’re right, it was destroyed in one film, but the one after it wasn’t much better… Hopefully someone brings the franchise back from the dead or just leave it the heck alone…

  2. Ah poor Ken J, I didn’t mean to bring up “T3″ I know that’s a tough one for you to pass…

    Have you been taking your medication lately?

  3. @790

    Did you hear what that hack wanted to do as a sequel? He wanted to jack with the timeline… AGAIN. “John Connor goes back to 2010, to fight the machines with conventional weapons who have learned how to time travel in mass.”

    Translated, that means: “I am looking for a way to create as many plot holes as possible and continue to defy the franchise’s internal logic and continuity for no reason Doesn’t it look COOL?”

    If he had gotten a chance to make that movie… I shudder to think.

    I wish Whedon could get his hands on terminator. At least he can tell stories… McG… I don’t even know why he is famous.

  4. @Ken J,

    T3 was nowhere NEAR as bad as T4, IMO. Aside from having much better reviews than T4, T3 also had a coherent plot with a worthy 3rd act and still followed the same logic as the two movies before it. T4 had none of those things.

  5. LOL 790, actually, I was afraid you would get all offended by my comment since you’re in love with T3. And apparently I did, I would apologize but don’t really care that much, lol. Just speaking the truth, let’s take a vote. :-)

  6. Ha haa! don’t be offended Kenj, your perspective has no effect on my day,,,

    You can claim that dissing T3 pushes my buttons but seriously I have more important things going on with my life,,, ;-)

    I hope you get help bro,,, as in medical /psychological help,,, ;-)

  7. Yeah Evan, I’m aware that Mcg wanted to bring Connor back to 2010 London along with HK tank’s and flying HK’s,,, :-)

    Really retaRded when you think about it,,, ;-)
    Its going to be interesting to see how this turns out no doubt,,, 8-)

  8. I’m so glad you think 3rd grade insults are funny. Brings back memories. The appropriate response would be “your mom!” lol

  9. “Your mom!”, well if that’s the best you got Kenj, that’s pretty sad,,,

    Really trust the nurse, take the pills,,, ;-)

    How you have online access in that mental ward is the real question,,,

  10. I hope James Cameron buys the franchise. The series has really gone down in quality since he left. T1 and T2 are like masterpieces(To me), but T3 and T4 are just mindless action flicks filled with plot holes.

  11. T2 should have prevented the whole Judgment Day and Skynet and all of that. So I hope he would buy it just so nobody can make any more crappy movies, lol. Now I wish he had used that cheesy original ending with an old Sarah Connor at a playground with a grown up John Connor in a future without Judgment Day… :-D

  12. But, you have to remember Judgement Day is “inevitable”.

  13. LMAO, yah, Terminators go philosophical, that’s right. :-D

  14. @chrisj

    I think Cameron lost the rights to the franchise when he got divorced… so it wasn’t so much a ‘sell out’ as a ‘fire sale’ to split all the assets.

    Perhaps that sore spot is why he would stay away from the franchise… although, he could just buy $60m in Halcyon stock, which would give them the money to keep the franchise, and also give him input on what they do with it.

    Technically, he wouldn’t own it outright, but he’d have say as far as what happens to it.

  15. I cannot imagine anything worse than Joss Whedon involved with Terminator, I thought the franchise had sunk to the depths of depravity, but wait, here is a lower place.

  16. @ AJ
    I remember reading how Cameron mentioned he told all he wanted in the first two films and that he wanted to move on to other projects instead of makin another terminator film cause there were already talks of a 3rd installment not long after T2 came out. Plus Cameron originally only planned to make one terminator film w/ half of plot of T2 connected to T1 but fell short cause at the time he wasnt able to create the T-1000 yet. So he went with the ida of a bad terminator & a human protector instead and use the T-1000 in the sequel.

  17. Right lads, pass the bucket around and we’ll see if we have enough money at the end. If Doll House dude thinks he’s good enough, I reckon us horde of fan boys have a chance.

  18. Nice idea, but i can imagine there would be squabbles. Remember the episode of the sipmsons when Bart, Millhouse and Martin but that comic between them? thats what it would be like.

  19. No offence to Whedon fans, but other than being a legit fanboy, what has he ever done to generate all the love and loathing?

    Was Firefly his big deal? Not being a smartass I am just curious. I thought Firefly was so so.

    Even at aintitcool many act as if he is young George Lucas or another hack like Kevin Smith. If he did Firelfly then I’d say he is a pretty creative guy but maybe I don’t get this one.

    Anyway I actually hope the Termi franchise goes to sleep for a while. Maybe bring it back in 10 years and completely ignoring this last one and just making the whole thing about resistance fighters Vs. the robots. No huge stars, maybe like the Helo stuff when he was trapped on kobol. Small pockets of humans using what small arms and recourcfulness they have to battle these machines, all the while constantly moving trying to keep one step ahead of them. And all the psychological terror involved, constantly in fear, constantly hungry, thirsty, exhaustion, ect. ect. It should have a smaller budget too so the creators are forced to use their imaginations and not only Lightwave

  20. I’m not the biggest Whedon fan, but Firefly was one of the best sci fi shows out there. Serenity was one of the best sci fi movies also.

    Dollhouse is so so. Buffy is not my cup of tea.

    You guys throwing the word “hack” around are worse than the “fanboys”.

    He wrote the screenplay for Toy Story. He wrote Buffy, which ran for 6 years and was a very successful show. He wrote Alien 4, which I thought was damn good. He wrote Angel, another show that ran for 5 years. He directed Dr. Horrible sing along, which won an Emmy. He wrote and directed Serenity, which is a very highly rated movie. He wrote and directed Firefly, a very highly rated TV show that fans STILL talk about and want back on the air.

    How is he a “hack” ?

  21. @Lord Garth

    I’ve seen little Loathing of Whedon. I’ve seen a lot of Hate, but not much Loathing.

    What’s the difference you may ask? It’s very simple. Hate sits on the same spectrum as love, just on the opposite end. As such, it’s just as attractive. Now me, if I dislike something, I do my best to stay away from it. As such, say Screenrant posts an article about Twilight, I’ll likely not click on it let alone comment on it. Why would I? I have no interest in it. I do not like it. If I go to said article just to point out that I don’t like it… well that makes me a very strange person really.

    Whedon haters though, they hate and as such are attracted to him in an odd way. Couple of weeks ago Screenrant posted an article about Joss directing an episode of Glee. Immediately people came along just to say that that piece of news wasn’t news and Whedon is a hack. People who hardly ever if never post comments here popped up to say that. I mean they hate him so much they have to let everyone know about it. That’s a special kind of hate that is.

    Loathing on the other hand, pure unadulterated loathing, that’s the sort of thing people have for things like child molesters and mime artists, basically the kind of stuff you’re going to avoid, not seek out just to project your hatred to them.

    That’s my theory anyway.

  22. “Serenity was one of the best sci fi movies also.”

    I agree. Seriously love that movie and just bought it on Blu-ray.

  23. Ok thanks!!!

    I did “Loath” Alien 4 though, what terrible horsesh#t that film was.

    Maybe I’ll have to give Whedon’s other stuff another chance though. Is Serenity broadcasted anywhere?

  24. Serenity’s the film, not sure if it’s broadcasted anywhere. I’d suggest renting it, but it’d be better if you watch all of Firefly first (14 episodes, won’t take long). People like to herald Serenity as a good film that you watch without needing to see Firefly, but most people I’ve spoken to said they like the film a whole lot more after they saw the TV series.

  25. thanks Joshi

  26. Obg, I used the word “Hack” for lack of a better term.

    If you can think of another word to describe, (a director that fails, a writer that fails, a producer that fails) I would be open to using it.

    Just because Buffy was a hit doesn’t mean it was quality. Firefly was ok, Serenity ok,,, Alien 4 was better than Alien 3,,, Dr Horrible, is horrible. Glee? well I hope you can see where I stand on Whedon… (Not a big fan)

    Lord Garth check the used dvd section “Serenity” is in there…
    It was enjoyable but a one time veiw. If you lived nearby I would give you my copy. ;-)

  27. 790

    Everything you said is subjective. Look at the ratings for Whedon’s work and it’s always at least above average (as voted by thousands of people). Just because you hate his stuff (opinion) does not make him a failure or a hack.

    I get it, you don’t like his work. Say so. Comparing him to McG is a little harsh and the comparison does not hold ground when looking at the resumes of the two guys.

    Uwe Boll is hack and there’s almost no questioning that.

    Anyway, yes I want the Terminator franchise to end up with someone other than Whedon. But Whedon has experience with sci fi and story telling. We’ll see where it goes.

  28. @ogb, First off when I hate someone you’ll know it,,,
    I won’t use words like Hack, Failure or No Talent. I never said I hate Whedon.
    (If I did you copy&paste that for me) ;-)

    I called him a Hack, if that word rubs you the wrong way then you might want to blog on Whedon’s twitter page not here at Screen RANT…
    I will not look up the rating to his shows, did you miss my last comment about how ratings don’t equal quality. (Buffy, John & Kate+8, American Idol)
    Yep its subjective.

    And to the topic of the Terminator sequels, I have very little faith in the future films…
    I’ve never seen a movie franchise build up to a fantastic climax and then throw it away on a I’ll conceived greed driven trilogy… Beyond belief. 8-O

    Mcg should write a book on how to destroy film franchises. It would be a must read for me.

  29. I’d love to see Speilberg get the rights to Terminator. Unless he has the terminators swinging from vines, I think he’d make a damn good Terminator film.

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