It’s a good news/bad news day aboard the good ship Terminator: Genesis. The bad news is that one of the film’s major financiers, Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, has pulled out of the production. The good? According to Deadline, an extinction level event has been averted by her brother David, whose Skydance Productions has taken up the budgetary slack.
In truth, Annapurna’s involvement in the re-reboot always seemed a little surprising. Megan Ellison, who remains aboard in an exec-producer capacity, has established herself as a backer of hard-to-finance prestige indies and patron of filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson and Spike Jonze. Killing Them Softly, Zero Dark Thirty and the upcoming The Grandmaster and Foxcatcher seem more obviously to her taste than a cybernetic organism that looks a lot like Arnie.
“We have been working closely with the filmmakers and have the utmost faith in their abilities,” said Megan Ellison. “We love this project and the direction it is going in, but for now Annapurna’s primary focus is to produce independent films. As I am staying on as executive producer, I am looking forward to working closely with David and Paramount to make a film that will live up to the brands’ legacy and one that I know audiences will love.”
Her brother’s production shingle, meanwhile, has a successful pedigree in franchise filmmaking with Mission: Impossible, Jack Reacher, G.I. Joe, Jack Ryan and Star Trek all behind it. “Skydance Productions focuses on elevated event-level filmmaking and the relaunch of this iconic franchise is a perfect match for our company,” said David Ellison. “I am very confident in our top-notch creative team and the material driving this project. I’m grateful to Megan, who will remain involved as an executive producer, and for initially bringing the Terminator franchise to us. I look forward to our continued creative partnership as we prep for production in April.”
According to the Deadline abacus, Skydance will fund 66 per cent of Terminator: Genesis, while Paramount will chip in the remainder.
And what of the movie itself? Thor: The Dark World director Alan Taylor is calling the shots, working from a script by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier, with Jason Clarke aboard as John Connor and Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor. One Arnold Schwarzenegger will also be appearing, presumably as soon as he’s finished helping out at this gym.