Annapurna circling ‘Terminator’ pics

Schwarzenegger, Justin Lin attached to pics

Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Films is closing in on a deal for rights to make two “Terminator” films.

Annapurna and CAA — which has been conducting the auction for the rights — had no comment but an informed source indicated that Ellison’s bid has topped an offer from Lionsgate. Ellison’s expected to arrive in Cannes on Friday.

CAA, which reps former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has been shopping a package to studios with Schwarzenegger starring, Robert Cort producing and Justin Lin (“Fast Five”) as the director. Schwarzenegger, who appeared in some capacity in three of the four “Terminator” movies, has been circling several projects since leaving the governorship in January.

Cort and Lin came aboard last year after Pacificor, a Santa Barbara-based investment fund with no feature film experience, won an auction for the Halcyon Group’s “Terminator” rights to Pacificor over objections from Sony and Lionsgate. Pacificor agreed to pay $29.5 million, along with a provision for payment to Halycon of $5 million per film for any sequel.

Halcyon paid Mario Kassar $30 million for the “Terminator” rights in 2007, but then Halcyon filed for Chapter 11 in 2009 as a result of a dispute with Pacificor.Terminator Salvation,” the fourth film in the franchise, was produced by Halcyon toppers Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson with Warner Bros. handling domestic distribution and Sony taking international. It carried a production price tag of about $200 million and took in $371 million worldwide.

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