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Schwarzenegger to reprise his role as the Terminator

After seven years at the helm of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to return to the big screen in a role that helped make him a star. Deadline is reporting that the actor-turned politico-turned actor has attached himself to a Terminator package in which he will star, and director Justin Lin (Fast Five, Fast & Furious) will direct.

There is no screenwriter or script attached, so it isn’t clear if the film will be a reboot or a sequel to 2009’s Terminator: Salvation. The film met with critical disappointment, but still made a healthy profit and would have spawned another film if not for the legal shenanigans surrounding the movie, which threatened to kill the franchise deader than any robot from the future (or Christian Bale-rant) ever could.

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In February 2010, The Halcyon Company–after a long legal battle to win the rights that concluded in 2008—lost the rights after declaring bankruptcy. The hedge fund company, Pacificor, won a bankruptcy auction for the rights with a winning bid of $29.5 million (and a complex agreement to pay millions to Halcyon for each film created thereafter). Pacificor is currently accepting bids for the rights to Terminator, and several studios  are said to be interested, although no official bids have been received.

To further complicate matters, the Terminator franchise will revert back to James Cameron in 2018. Although Cameron has repeatedly claimed he has no plans to continue the franchise himself, any films made after 2018 will require a deal to be made with him. Anything made before 2018 will be owned by the studio responsible.

Now that Schwarzenegger is on board, and Fast Five is set to make Lin a fairly hot commodity in Hollywood (early reviews and international box office numbers are both looking very good), the bidding for the next Terminator film should begin to heat up.

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