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When Terminator: Salvation was released in 2009 it failed to really impress anybody. The film, which had a great cast that included Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin and Bryce Dallas Howard, was not only torn apart by critics, it surprised a lot of people by under-performing at the box office, making only $125 million domestically on a $200 million budget. As a result it hasn't been the easiest process getting another Terminator sequel off the ground in the last four years, but pieces are finally coming together. In January Drive Angry and Shutter Island writers Patrick Lussier and Laeta Kalogridis were hired to pen the script, and then star Arnold Schwarzenegger promised that he would be back (as he is wont to do). But today the project has taken what is perhaps its biggest step in the last four years.
According to The Wrap, Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures and David Ellison's Skydance Productions, which currently own the rights to the Terminator franchise, is now in negotiations with Paramount Pictures that could result in the major studio serving as distributor for the untitled Terminator 5. With a distributor in place the project would have a more realistic future, but as of now we don't know when they are thinking about starting production or when they are thinking about having a film ready for release.
Another big issue is the need for a director. Justin Lin, who is best known for his work in the Fast & Furious franchise, signed on for the gig all the way back in the summer of 2011, but had to back away from the project when it was revealed that the studios wanted to have the movie in production by January 2012 (he was still working on Fast & Furious 6 at the time). Obviously that never came to pass, but the good news is that reports said that Lin was still open to making the film if it fit into his schedule. Now we'll just have to wait and see if that's a possibility.
Interestingly, The Wrap notes that new copyright laws have made it so that North American rights for the Terminator franchise will actually go back to James Cameron in 2019 - the 35th anniversary of the first movie in the franchise. So, worse comes to worse, in six years the property will go back to the hands that it belongs in and it will be his choice to decide what the future holds.