By Nicole Sperling
Updated May 15, 2009 at 10:39 PM EDT

When Terminator Salvation opens in theaters next Friday (May 22), it’s sure to bring a huge payday to its distributors (Warner Bros. in the U.S. and Sony Pictures internationally). And while star Christian Bale and director McG are already committed for a second go-around — a Terminator 5, if you will — who will be releasing that film is anybody’s guess. According to a Variety story from Thursday, an old rights issue gives the revamped MGM the first right of refusal for the next film. Sources tell EW that once Halycon, the Terminator franchise producers, present MGM with a complete package for the next film — a full script, budget, etc. — MGM will then have 30 days to choose to own domestic, international, or worldwide rights to the film. Any decision is months away, since no script work has been done, and a screenwriter hasn’t yet been hired. But while MGM currently battles with its own financing issues, most insiders agree that if the proposition for the sequel is strong, they will find the money to be become a partner.