The fate of the Terminator franchise has been one of the more understated stories of the past year or so. With a somewhat mixed response to 2009's Terminator Salvation and ensuing issues over the rights after the bankruptcy of previous owners Halycon and the eventual re-sale of those rights by Pacificor LLC, things were looking grim for the universe in which SkyNET rules the future with buff, naked, Austrian cyborgs. However, it seems that companies Hanover House and Red Bear Entertainment have teamed-up to once again resurrect the James Cameron-created franchise, with the upcoming feature Terminator 3000. However, this one will not be a sequel to last year's effort with Christian Bale. In fact, it's not even a live-action film at all. With an attributed $70 million dollar budget, the new effort will actually be presented as an animated 3D feature.
After the domestic gross of Terminator Salvation actually fell about $75 million short of its $200 million production budget, it was probably safe to assume that whichever movie studio is holding the Terminator rights (this week anyway,) are adamant in staying far away from another live-action effort. After the release of Salvation last year, rumors still persisted that a sequel was coming and personally, I didn't think the film was all that bad. (That's as close I will come to a compliment.) However, the film did serve in exposing the stark reality that the franchise itself had hit the creative wall. The robots rule the future, life is tough, sometimes they time-travel...it's all pretty much covered by now!
No details have been released about the plot or style of Terminator 3000. With plans to begin production in January 2011, hopefully, it will be able to take the mythos into different places, while still complementing the integrity of what made
the franchise the first two films so innovative and memorable.
Are you up for an animated 3D Terminator feature? Or are you tired of scratching "no fate" into park benches with scary-looking knives?
*Update: It seems the issue of exactly who holds what rights is being disputed. A cease and desist letter threatens to entrench this project in legal quagmire.