Joss Whedon may have thought he was low-balling when he offered to pay $10,000 for the Terminator movie rights. But it turns out that's an example of runaway inflation: James Cameron originally sold them for $1.
As Cameron does press for Avatar, he's been asked again and again what he thought of Terminator Salvation, which he apparently watched on his hotel-room TV late at night, over three consecutive nights. The first few times, Cameron was pretty nice, telling MTV back on Dec. 9:
It's better than I thought it was going to be... It's actually quite reverential to the mythos of the 'Terminator' world," he said. "I think McG and the writers tried hard to keep reacquainting you with some of those ideas in the story that they were weaving. So actually I thought it was pretty cool. I did feel that it sort of lacked Je ne sais quoi. Although I love Sam [Worthington] in it.
But today, talking to the Toronto Sun, he was a bit more damning:
I've moved on creatively from The Terminator, so I'm not really interested in that imagery and even those ideas anymore - and I'm not sure the world is that interested either. It's run its course, I feel... [Arnold Schwarzenegger's] persona was part of The Terminator and when you uncouple those, you get Terminator Salvation, which is actually a fine film from a pure filmmaking standpoint - it just doesn't gel up into anything mind-blowing... I wish I hadn't sold the rights for one dollar.
Apparently Cameron sold the movie rights for a dollar in exchange for the right to direct the first movie. He adds:
If I had a little time machine and I could only send back something the length of a tweet, it'd be - ‘Don't sell.'
I sort of like the idea that James Cameron sits around fantasizing about twittering backwards in time.