In news that will thrill the pants off of moviegoing audiences circa 1995, Arnold Schwarzenegger is gearing up to make a new “Terminator” movie. Various movie studios are eyeballing the project with Arnold in the lead and Justin Lin (“Fast Five,” the paintball episode of “Community”) directing. This isn’t a done deal or anything, but a “rights package” being shopped to allow studios to make another film in the franchise.
The former governor turns 64 years old in July. I’m not saying he’s too old to do a lot of things. He is perfectly within his rights to send soup back at a deli at least a dozen times in one sitting if it so suits him. But maybe, just maybe, he’s a tad too old to play an ageless cyborg killing machine.
Now, remember that studios nowadays are still obsessed with finding the next big potential franchise. Any studio that takes on this movie will have until 2018 to make these movies with full ownership (well, co-ownership with a financing partner), because in 2018 the rights revert to James Cameron. That doesn’t mean he would have any interest in making a new “Terminator,” but a serious chunk of change would have to be directed his way. So let’s say a studio bids tomorrow and gets this project. They have just seven years to make highly expensive movies (the last movie, 2009′s misbegotten “Terminator Salvation,” cost at least $200 million) with a big cut of money going to the highly expensive 64-year-old star (Schwarzenegger is sure to get an insane contract, just like he did for 2003′s “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines”). This movie will get a lot of attention for Schwarzenegger returning to the role, and with the “Terminator” brand it’ll make some easy money. But is there that much money? It doesn’t seem like it.