When Megan Ellison’s Anapurna Pictures tweeted “news is coming” regarding the Terminator franchise back in October, we weren’t sure what to expect, or when to expect it, but yesterday Variety revealed that Megan would be teaming up with her brother and fellow producer David Ellison on Terminator 5 after securing the rights to the franchise from Santa Barbara-based investment fund Pacificor. The exact purchase price was not disclosed, but a source at Annapurna confirmed that it was in the sub-20 million range. The two producers are the children of the renowned billionaire Larry Ellison (Oracle), while both are successful in their own rights; they have gone down very different roads as producers in Hollywood.
Megan Ellson at her Annapurna Pictures has stuck to producing films like The Master, Lawless, Killing Then Softly and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, while her brother David has turned his attention and his Skydance Productions to big-name blockbusters such as Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the G.I. Joe and Star Trek sequels, as well as the upcoming Jack Reacher and Brad Pitt’s World War Z. Terminator 5 marks the first joint venture for the Ellison duo since they served together as executive producers on True Grit in 2010. It is reported that the Ellisons will be starting over on Terminator 5 from scratch as they look for a new writer for the project. There is no word as to whether or not Arnold Schwarzenegger is attached to this new iteration of the project.
In other Arnold-related news, he’s back again, in a different, yet all-too-familiar form. As reported this fall, Schwarzenegger is reprising his breakthrough role as the Cimmerian warrior, Conan the Barbarian once again in The Legend of Conan for Universal Pictures. Scribe and co-producer Chris Morgan (Fast and the Furious 3-6, 47 Ronin) caught up with the LA Times revealing new details of the warrior film. Morgan says that it will “not [be] a reboot or a remake. Just an update….a catch-up with Conan.” Morgan continues, “He’s (Conan) not going out and fighting battles, but ends up getting drawn into something, and he has to access the barbarian he was in his youth. “
Arnold’s youth is long past and the Legend production will take the 65 year-old actor’s age into account. Schwarzenegger’s aging physique will be used as a sub-plot in the storyline of the continuation of the 1982 tale. Morgan states, “I want the warrior whose joints have started to fuse together, who has to crack the cartilage so he can pick up a sword again. I want the guy who’s not necessarily lost a step, but there’s some rust he has to shake off. I want to embrace that, it makes a greater hero story.”
Morgan finishes by saying that, “Conan needs to be faced with challenges. The greatest challenge to him isn’t the armies that are set before him. It’s on some level, self doubt, a little bit of slowing down and forcing yourself to be heroic beyond what people expect of you. What I don’t want is for him to step back in and look the same. That would defeat the purpose of our story.”
Universal would like The Legend of Conan to hit theatres in the summer of 2014, but Morgan is first required to hand over Fast and Furious 7. Morgan’s encouragement continues saying, “No matter what, I’ll be there every step of the way. Whether it’s penning this quickly or selecting the writer, it’s me guiding the process or being a real honest-to-god producer. I’m excited either way. I’m really, really stoked.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger can be seen next in Kim Ji-woon’s Hollywood debut The Last Stand, which hits theatres on January 18th, 2013.
Are you looking forward to both of these Arnie-related projects? What do you want to see from a Terminator 5?
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