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. 790

    Calm down buddy. “Hack” is a pretty strong word, especially in the context of movies and directors. Calling a director a hack shows that you have great disdain towards him/her (think HATE) and that’s why I assumed you hated him. I did not know you’re special and have your own definition for words. You throw the word “hack” around loosely. I questioned you on it and gave you evidence to support my point. No need to get bent out of shape about it and throw insults at me.

  2. Just dealing with your Whedon passion Ogb,,,

    How is offering you a blissful Whedon inviroment a insult. I’m sure he would welcome you as a friend on whatever personal site he belongs to.
    “Calm down buddy. “Hack” is a pretty strong word,”.
    Dude I work in Hollywood, believe me there are stronger words. Don’t bring your kids here,,,

  3. @Mike E. …

    TY for the info about Digital Domain. I wasn’t sure if Cameron still owned it or not. :)

  4. And there it is

    Where did I express my love for Whedon? I said numerous times that I like his work but by no means am I a huge fan. Read my previous posts before you make such ignorant statements.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about. “Personal website”. What? Is this one of your conspiracies again?

    Hahahaha you work in Hollywood? Doing what?
    I never said that there are no stronger words than hack. Do you even read what people say before you go on your wannabe witty rants?

    “Don’t bring your kids here,,,” – Again, what?

  5. @ogb wants to play word games with me,,, ok…

    Ogb says:
    “Where did I express my love for Whedon?”
    This is like your 6th post supporting his work and ragging on ppl calling him a Hack.

    Hypocritically you then mention the very fact that you have commented on this numerous times

    Ogb says:
    “I said numerous times that I like his work but by no means am I a huge fan. Read my previous posts”

    If your not a HUGE fan why are we debating this? Why does Hack bother you so much?
    Also Twitter, Facebook, mySpace are called personal sites for lack of a better term. I do believe I typed the word Twitter. Guess maybe you should reread my posts?
    Or what you call them Conspiracy rants. Next?

  6. Obg one mans Joss Whedon is another mans Mcg. (Forgive me for popping blood vessels in your eyes!)

    Let’s leave the attention sucking world of the term “Hack” now, shall we???

    Or do you want to continue playing games ?

  7. Again, I have no interest in playing games with you.

    Can we agree that Whedon is not the ideal choice to handle the franchise? I think so

    Spielberg would be an amazing choice, as someone else said. He’d bring credibility back to the franchise and would have a great shot at breathing life and originality back into our beloved Terminators.

    However I do not see this happening. The future remains uncertain…ta da dum da dum…lol

  8. @790 & ogb

    I’m officially stepping in to separate you two.


  9. lol sorry vic but you’re a little late

    we’re back to the discussion lol

  10. Wait, Whedon wrote Alien 4??? Man, that movie was HORRIBLE!!! lol.

    I did like Firefly and Serenity and Toy Story, but I feel like his movies/shows are a bit too goofy with humor that wouldn’t work with the Terminator name. We’ve all seen what happens when they try to use stupid humor with the Terminator… *shudders*

  11. @ Ken J
    There was stupid humor in T3, but there was also bad humor in T2 aswell. Atleast on special edition dvds with John Connor teaching the terminator how to smile at the gas stop. I dont recall any stupid humor in T4 though. Im still hoping the franchise continues with T5 & T6 and end the saga.

  12. T2′s humor was VERY light compared to what you see on Firefly, T3, Serenity, Buffy, or whatever. Not to mention, it was CUT FROM THE FILM so even that humor was too much for Cameron once he got to see it within the movie. There were a few scenes he chose to cut out that he felt didn’t fit within the context of the film…

  13. @Ken J

    The director modified the story HEAVILY from the script Whedon turned in for Alien 4.


  14. @Vic

    Ah, ok, that’s good to know, because I really like Firefly/Serenity and although wasn’t a fan of Buffy, the few episodes I did see were actually pretty funny at parts, so I can recognize his talent, but still don’t think he’s right for the Terminator franchise… Just my opinion, but yah, Alien 4 was pretty atrocious…

    Hey Vic, any word on whether or not they are going to re-release T2 onto the big screen, 2D or 3D? Doesn’t matter to me, just want to see it on the big screen and surround sound again…

  15. @ Ken J
    He still left two scenes of the terminator smiling. 1. down in the bunker 2. And at Cyberdyne on his way to shoot up the cops. In T3 he had the goofy glasses on for couple seconds and stepped on them without a smile. Cameron’s main problem people question was how John Connor excisted in the future before sending Kyle Reese to protect Sarah.

  16. Ken J’s right, I like Whedon, but his humour isn’t right for Terminator. I hated the scene in T3 with the goofy glasses. And that’s sort of what I like about Whedon’s work, he can do the big drama and humour at the same time and make it work, but even if he could make the same work with Terminator, that wouldn’t be the Terminator we love.

    End of the day, if Whedon was in charge of a Terminator film, we’d either get a decent Terminator film without that Whedon charm, or we’d get a bad Terminator film BECAUSE of that Whedon charm.

  17. @Ken J

    Haven’t heard anything lately, that does sound familiar though.


  18. @chrisj

    Uh, I’m sure you forgot about “Talk to the hand” but whatever, that’s all behind us now, lol. The whole timeline issue, there are much worse issues than that, lol. I think even Cameron has admitted that there are a few paradox’s and loop holes, but it’s kind of unavoidable in time travel type movies… But one explanation is that only the future can be changed, not the past, so even if skynet sent a terminator back to the past to kill John and it succeeds, that skynet actually won’t notice a difference, but a new timeline without John Connor will emerge alongside the original that the originals won’t have knowledge of… Either way, that’s why I think time travel is most likely impossible unless the existence of multiple dimensions can be proven…

  19. @ Ken J
    The terminator was of-course repeating what someone said earlier as a response just as the first terminator did in T1. Not a big deal really. As far as i know and other fans who agreed, the timeline within the films were altered ever since the events at the end of T1. From the developement of SKYNET, to other things being developed ahead than they’re supposed to be. T2 shown us Skynet in the process of being developed but was delayed till it came online in T3 etc etc. Skynet even came so close to terminating Connor in T4, closer than the previous terminators who failed their mission.

  20. @chrisj

    You’re saying it as if it really happened. The only reason why that was said to him before was because the movie makers thought it would be funny to make the Terminator say it later. Therefore, it was just a stupid joke in the making. Either way, it’s a stupid joke that we all could have done without.

    And the way T3 showed Skynet coming online is completely retarded. If you watch T2 and listen to the Terminator’s description of how Skynet went wrong, it’s so chilling because it sounds so believable. In that it was originally developed for civilian aircraft, then it was adopted for military use, and was IN USE FOR A WHILE without problems, so Skynet was online for sometime, running successful bombing runs and other military operations with a perfect safety record. Skynet kept learning and learning until later when it becomes self aware, that’s when the humans tried to shut it down, and that’s when Skynet retaliated in self defense almost.

    According to T3, there is some virus, that instead of just updating the virus databases of popular virus scans, they put some big top secret military program online to kill it… I’m sorry, but anyone who knows anything about computers must have laughed out loud in the theater at this concept… Anyway, then all of a sudden skynet is just evil and tries to kill all humans… I’m sorry, but if the Terminator would have described this in T2, James Cameron or not, I would have laughed at how cheesy it is… It sounds like the plot from a cheesy B action movie, and not even an enjoyable one…

    The original description of how Skynet turned on humans was downright chilling to me, it sounds so much like what’s really going on with all of this really advanced AI and computer controlled automated features of most modern aircraft…

    That’s the difference between good writing and “hey, this would be cool” writing…

    But that’s just my opinion, some people like the “hey, this would be cool, add an explosion here” writing which is fine, obviously all different types of audiences should be satisfied.

  21. @ Ken J
    Thats the one thing about Skynet, its a unseen enemy throughout films.

  22. Ken and ChrisJ

    did they ever explain, in T1 or T2, how John Connor ever survived to make it to the future to be able to send Kyle Reese to the past? That’s one thing I don’t understand. I understand there are different timelines but the original timeline had to have John Connor being conceived at some point and how? without Kyle Reese? Maybe I’m just being a dummy today and can’t think.

  23. @M-Cat

    That’s one of the many time travel paradox’s that plague the Terminator franchise, but it actually can be explained. Kyle Reese doesn’t HAVE to be John’s father. If Kyle haven’t been sent back, Sarah could have met someone else who would have became his father. So the only thing that would change because of Kyle is his appearance.

    Of course the one thing that can’t be explained is how John would have been raised. Because of the events of T1, Sarah Connor raised John to be a fighter, showing him how to fire weapons, fly helicopters, etc. etc. So without the events of T1, would the more “normal” John Connor really be fit to lead the resistance against Skynet? Maybe, but there’s no real way to know…

  24. @M-Cat

    That sort of all depends on how you think about time travel.

    Let’s say we take the first movie on it’s own, forget about the others. That would suggest that time travel is cyclical. This means that there was always a time travelling Reese who was the father of John. Therefore the John that sends Reese back in time is the same one conceived by Reese, there’s no first John and no alternate timelines, it’s all one timeline. This makes sense in the context of only the first film since having Reese be the father contradicts nothing of the known future at that point.

    If we take the other timelines into account though, that doesn’t quite fit since there is change to the timeline and alternate realities need to be brought forth (i.e, Judgement Day is no longer in 1997). As such, Ken’s explanation would work, the first John was conceived by a different father and simply grew up to lead the resistance and why not, and then the subsequent John, conceived by Reese is named John because that’s what Sarah knows her future son’s name to be and is brought up as a fighter.

  25. @ M-Cat
    It was never explained how Connor survived Judgment first time around. One of things said by Reese was that Connor just shows up at one of the camps as seen in T4 and free’s the people and teaches them how to fight back etc etc. As for T1, its a plot hole of how could John connor not have someone else as his father before he sent Reese back in time. And Reese didnt know Sarah personally before being sent back in time as we all know he admired her as a legend and volunteered to go back in time to protect her. I guess people believe what they wanna believe as how the franchise goes.

  26. Okay I guess that makes sense in a way. I can see how they would try to explain it that way. They never did give an explanation in the movie for that though. I guess they decided to leave it up to the viewers imaginations.

  27. Bluecollarcritic

    I always say a movies take should pass the budget domestically to be a success, but that’s just me.