A rare window is opening up for MGM to make a power play at the Terminator films, and rumor has it, they're going to make McG and company and offer they can't refuse.
According to Variety:
MGM has a 30-day right of first refusal to finance and distribute the fifth "Terminator" film, a right earned through the settlement of a lawsuit between the studio and Halcyon partners Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson. According to sources, MGM has every intention of making a serious play for the franchise, potentially trumping Warner Bros...
Halcyon is obligated to give MGM the first run at the next Terminator movie (after seeing a first draft of the script) and while I can see how this would be a tempting idea for the studio I don't see how they'd have the funds to launch such a gigantic movie. The publicity alone is too much bank, they'd need to partner up with another studio. Sony is currently distributing Terminator overseas, but the WB is carrying the weight of domestic distribution.
The one thing the Terminator franchise needs is money, and a lots of it. Money for the writers, actors, FX, sets, puppets, the list goes on. Once you break the bank purchasing the next film how on Earth would MGM market it? I shudder to think of completely CG created robots and other cost cutting expenses that could potentially happen if they tightened the belt. Also I really have to tip the hat to the WB for learning how to become one heck of a genre-specific distributor. They seem to really understand their audience and market, and how to generate buzz among early adopters. Sure it's all hype but weren't you just a wee bit excited about the underground Dark Knight ARG? I kind of hope MGM passes, and reallocates that money to some other up-and-coming scifi projects.