‘Terminator’ Franchise Gets A Bid From Sony?

A few weeks ago it looked like the “Terminator” franchise, which has been the subject of sale talk since late last year, might go to Lionsgate after the studio put in a bid for it. Now there’s news that the seeming sure-thing top offer might not be so sure anymore.

There’s been no comment from the studio, but Variety reports that a bid was placed by Sony on Thursday, the final day of the rights auction. Lionsgate had previously offered $15 million plus 5% of future grosses to current owners The Halcyon Group. The sale plans came about in September 2009, after Halcyon filed for Chapter 11. MTV has reached out to Sony for comment, but I wouldn’t count on hearing anything definite until the sale is finalized next week.

The auction will be held on Monday, when we’ll find out who will (hopefully not) screw up the “Terminator” series next. Should Sony (or some other party) win out over Lionsgate, the latter studio will receive a $750,000 “breakup fee” from the winner.

As a fan, I have to say… this whole thing is really a bummer. The first two entries in the “Terminator” series are landmark works of science fiction, thanks largely to the talents of creator James Cameron. The only thing since that’s even come close to matching the quality of those early films, to me, is the “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” TV series. And that was canceled.

Perhaps there’s just not any further lingering interest in this franchise. Last year’s “Terminator Salvation” wasn’t amazing, but it certainly had its moments. It did reasonably well at the box office, sailing past a $200 million budget with $371 million in ticket sales worldwide. But something was missing from that effort; it was a popcorn action flick, nothing more. There were faint traces of series motifs, but it still felt like a watered-down experience, even in comparison to the relatively underwhelming “Terminator 3: Rise of t he Machines.”

Franchises don’t die these days, they just get rebooted. And while I hate the idea of starting all over after Cameron so capably set the stage with his first two films, I’m feeling more and more like, if this name is still going to live, it’s going to need to be rebuilt from the ground up in order for people to care again.

Sheesh… did I really just come in favor of a reboot?

Is it time for “Terminator” to be rebooted? When was the last time you really loved the series? Do you want to see Sony or Lionsgate, or perhaps someone else, walk away with the rights?