Though it got the project started in the first place, Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures is now pulling out of financing on “Terminator: Genesis,” the upcoming reboot of the action franchise.
Annapurna scored the rights to the franchise in 2011 and has since made some good progress with various cast members locked in and Alan Taylor (“Thor: The Dark World,” “Game of Thrones”) onboard as director.
Now that pre-production in underway though, Annapurna has dropped out as a co-financier. Ellison’s brother David and his Skydance Productions will now take over two-thirds of the financing, with Paramount Pictures picking up the rest. Megan Ellison will retain an executive producer credit though.
The move isn’t a major surprise. Annapurna tends towards more indie and awards fare like “The Master,” “Her,” “American Hustle” and “Zero Dark Thirty”. Skydance on the other hand is behind Paramount’s biggest franchises of recent times – “Mission: Impossible,” “Star Trek,” “G.I. Joe” and “World War Z”.
In a statement, Megan Ellison says: “We love this project and the direction it is going in, but for now Annapurna’s primary focus is to produce independent films”. David Ellison adds: “Skydance Productions focuses on elevated event-level film making and the relaunch of this iconic franchise is a perfect match for our company. I’m grateful to Megan, who will remain involved as an executive producer, and for initially bringing the Terminator franchise to us.”
Filming on the project is still slated to begin this spring. Emilia Clarke and Jason Clarke are set to star as Sarah and John Connor, while Arnold Schwarzenegger will return as the Terminator. Various actors are currently being considered for the role of Kyle Reese.