Earlier today, geek guru Joss Whedon posted an open letter on fansite Whedonesque.com announcing a $10,000 bid for the rights to the Terminator franchise. (The Financial Times first reported the very real auction, with Sony Pictures and Summit Entertainment reputedly among those in the running.) Almost immediately, the web lit up wondering just how serious Whedon was (sample suggestion for how he’d change the franchise: “Christian Bale’s John Connor will get a throat lozenge”). So EW phoned Whedon, and asked him: Was he just being funny? Or making a bid for the franchise by way of being funny?
His first response: “What do you mean, funny?! You think $10,000 is funny?!”
His second response: “Here’s the thing: It’s not a slam on The Terminator. I love The Terminator. That part’s totally true. I was thinking to myself, ‘Not since they auctioned off frames from The Little Mermaid have I wished I had more money this much. So you know what, never hurts to ask.’ I loved the movies, even the later movies. I loved the mythology. I loved the TV show [The Sarah Connor Chronicles]–like, really loved. Not for pretend. And not just because of [star] Summer [Glau].
“But mostly, it’s just me being a dumb-ass, because that seems to be what I do best — I’m not even very good at that. So, no, I do not think they’re going to call me and say ‘Congratulations! We’ll have that $10,000 now.’ Although, it would be non-exclusive. Other people could make Terminator movies and TV shows too. I’m just putting that out there in case you publish this.
“But I adore the franchise. I literally did learn a huge amount from that [franchise]. [The Terminator] came out when I was in college, and I was like, This is how you construct a story. It’s very important to me. That part was true. The part where I think I’m going to get it, not so true. And certain ideas, like [bidding for] The Lord of the Rings and the Batman franchise, also possibly not true. If they will give them to me for $10,000, I absolutely would write a check. That’s true. They just didn’t say those [properties] were for sale. They said they were on back-order, is what I understand. It’s all ridiculous, but it comes from love.”
So there you have it, but all joking aside, no matter who actually ends up controlling the rights to the Terminator, it seems like Whedon just made a savvy play to be the new creative force behind it. Would you like to see him try his hand at the franchise, or do you think there is someone better suited to it?
Photo Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos