Last month we reported that it looked like Lionsgate's high bid for the rights to the Terminator franchise was all but a done deal. But a last minute contender may have changed that overnight.

According to Variety, Sony has put in an offer for the franchise. Current owner, the bankrupt Halcyon Group, put the Terminator rights up for sale last September, and while Lionsgate's $15 million + 5% floor bid has gone unchallenged for the last several weeks, Sony's bid yesterday will send the deal into a live auction to be held on Monday.

So, what does this mean for future Terminator movies? Sony has a superior track record to Lionsgate in the action film department, but lately they've developed a bad habit of meddling with with directors over creative control. A few weeks ago we watched Sam Raimi walk away from Sony's table over control disputes with another major franchise, Spider-Man. Sony's response has been to declare a complete reboot of Spidey's story, starting over with a focus on a high school aged superhero battling bad guys between history and study hall. Not the best move they could have made.

So there's reason to be concerned that Sony execs are buying into Terminator to hedge their losses on Spider-Man. That franchise, which has been incredibly lucrative under Raimi, may cease to be a cash cow in its new high-school themed re-incarnation. The latest Terminator movie, Terminator: Salvation, which some argue is the worst to date, had a hefty budget but still turned a small profit.

Is a reboot and more desperate executive meddling in the works for Terminator if Sony wins the auction? Fans might not be much happier with the results of a Sony helmed Terminator storyline than they would have been with Lionsgate.

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