Even if you think Arnold Schwarzenegger is getting just a tad too old to play the Terminator, it's hard to not smile reading this news: Megan Ellison's Annapurna Films came in at the 11th hour with a "dramatic bid" and beat out Lionsgate for the rights to make two new Terminator movies starring Arnie and directed by Justin Lin. It's believed that she paid close to $20 million to secure the rights, about $5 million over the asking price sought by the title's previous owners, the ominous sounding hedge fund, Pacificor. The reason this is such smile-inducing news is that you've just got to admire Megan Ellison and everything she's been doing for film lately.
We're talking about a billionaire's daughter (her father is Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle and worth roughly $40 billion clams) who isn't in the tabloids for not wearing underwear, who isn't caught doing coke in nightclub bathrooms and who hasn't made a name for herself for having a sex tape. It's obviously not fair to say that's what most rich daughters do, but if you're an heiress and people are talking about you on entertainment sites, odds are it's going to be because you did something stupid. When it comes to Megan Ellison, though, it's because she started her own production company and has been making power moves throughout the industry.
Remember when you were a young film geek and thought, "Man, if I ever become rich, I'm just going to make the coolest movies on the planet; the kind of movies I want to see that no one else is making anymore." That's Megan Ellison! She was that lucky film geek that happens to have a budgetary war chest at her disposal and she's not using it to start fashion lines, she's using it to pay for new movies from Kathryn Bigelow (yep, Ellison is footing the bill for the SEAL Team 6 movie), Paul Thomas Anderson (following There Will Be Blood with an untitled post-WWII drama) and Wong Kar Wai (The Grandmasters). Sure, two new Terminator movies don't exactly fit the arthouse warrior vibe Ellison had been cultivating, but hey, with her calling the shots, at least it has to be better than McG's Terminator: Salvation, right?