Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group (SPWAG) has picked up international rights excluding South Korea and select territories in the Middle East to The Halcyon Company's Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins.

The first episode in the revived franchise will be directed by McG and produced by Moritz Borman and Halycon co-CEOs Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek.

Production is set to begin in New Mexico in the spring in time for a 2009 release. Warner Bros holds North American rights.

Christian Bale will star as John Connor, who leads the resistance against the machines after the computerised network Skynet has all but obliterated the human race.

'The Sony distribution team is really energised by this opportunity to work with Victor and Derek at The Halcyon Company in continuing our involvement with the Terminator series,' Sony's president of worldwide affairs Peter Schlessel said.

'We all loved working with Moritz on T3 and look forward to another wonderful experience. It's also a great pleasure to work again with our friend, McG.'