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“The machines rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire. Their war to exterminate mankind had raged for decades, but the final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here, in our present. Tonight…”
—- Terminator (1984)

Humans vs. Machines plays out well on film, but in Hollywood it’s a different and bloodier story.  Currently, two film companies are in a bidding war over the rights to “Terminator 5.”  On one side is Lionsgate Films, which up until yesterday, had the property locked up with the top bid.  On the other side is Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Films, which currently has a higher bid.  Whichever company wins, they will pay a lofty price to extend one of cinemas most iconic franchises.

As reported a few weeks ago, Agency CAA is shopping the rights around to Hollywood studios to drum up interest and capital.  Expensive to be sure, hedge fund company Pacificor paid $29.5 million for the rights after a bankruptcy auction in February of 2010.  Pacificor promised that additional multimillion-dollar payments for each film would go to Halcyon, the company that made the 2009 McG-directed “Terminator Salvation.”

Apparently, the deal will close shortly, and the project could become another hot Schwarzenegger title at the Cannes Film Festival market that’s just getting under way. It would be the third Schwarzenegger movie there. Lionsgate also has Schwarzenegger in the action film “The Last Stand,” set up as the English language debut of Kim–ji-Woon. Schwarzenegger is also at the center of a QED-funded project that Schwarzenegger is also attached to star in titled, “Cry Macho.”

Regardless of which company acquires the expensive and costly franchise, copyright law dictates the Terminator property will revert back to creator/writer/director James Cameron in 2018.  The battle continues.

No writer has been attached to the film as of yet, but the legendary Robert Cort will produce.  Arnold Schwarzenegger is attached to the project with Justin Lin (“Fast Five”) directing.  “Terminator 5” is expected to explode into theaters sometime in 2014.

One question remains.  With Schwarzenegger’s separation and possible divorce from his wife, Maria Shriver, will his head be in the game to shoot his scenes as the death wielding cyborg?

“That son of a bitch took my pants.”

Sources: Deadline (Mike Fleming), IMDb