Well isn't that something for a nice Friday evening surprise – Deadline is reporting that it appears rights to the Terminator franchise will be reverting to original creator James Cameron in 2019. With the clock ticking, he's started talking with Deadpool director Tim Miller to direct at least one more film to reboot the series and to try getting it back to the quality of it's first two films.
As of '19, it will have been 35 years since the original film hit the big screen, thrusting Cameron into the spotlight and affirming a young Arnold Schwarzenegger on his path to stardom (Schwarzenegger's only prior big role had been two years earlier in Conan the Barbarian). Cameron himself had only previously directed the entirely forgettable Piranha Part Two: The Spawning in '81. In order to secure financial backing for Terminator, he sold the rights to the property for one million dollars and the guarantee that he couldn't be fired from the project.
While Cameron did agree to continue on as director for the first sequel, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, after the second installment he's had no further involvement in any of the remaining three films or TV series.
There seems to be an atypical rights contract around Terminator, since in most cases rights-holders need only keep the property "alive" by making a new film every so many years before the rights lapse back to the prior owners. Fox and it's railroading of the Fantastic Four film through production before the rights would let it lapse back to Marvel. In the case of Cameron, it seems that the term was for a fixed number of years (35), regardless of what downstream owners were doing with it.
So we're reaching out to some of our other contacts from the first two Terminator films to see if there's any more information to be had, so stay tuned.