In a recent video posted on his official social network accounts Terminator franchise star Arnold Schwarzenegger has asked his fans to help him terminate gerrymandering (the act of manipulating the boundaries of an electoral constitution in favor of one political party over another) while offering fans the opportunity to spend a day on the set of the new Terminator movie of which the legendary action star recently joined for filming in Budapest. Political aspirations aside what should be drawing the attention of Terminator fans is the Terminator endoskeleton of which Arnold is stood next to throughout the video (below).
Since its first appearance in theaters in 1984 up until, and including the release of Terminator Salvation in 2009 the design of the series 800 Terminator's endoskeleton remained virtually unchanged. Yet with the release of Terminator: Genisys in 2015, 31 years after the release of the original movie the practical visual effects people at Legacy Effects (founded by former Stan Winston Studios alumni John Rosengrant, among others) saw fit to needlessly "update" the look of the series 800 Terminators Endoskeleton by adding a Cyberdyne Systems logo to the chassis' chest and adding plastic/rubber embellishments to certain parts of the model (such as the hands).
While it is possible that the Terminator prop featured in above video could be of an earlier (or later) series of Terminator, the fear is that this could be another redesigned look for the series 800. If this is the case, then as a long-term fan of the franchise I have to ask why Skydance Media (formerly Productions) and Paramount Pictures feel the need to redesign a classic and iconic character in modern cinema, especially when considering that the previous four movies, including the lesser well-received Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation respected the iconography of the characters design, which was originally created by the late legendary Stan Winston which in-turn was based on virtually unchanged designs from the series creator James Cameron (below).
Don't get me wrong. I appreciate and understand that as franchises age the design of key characters needs to be updated, as we can see when comparing the awesome performance capture apes in the recent Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy against their rubber masked predecessors. But, as the timeless saying goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!". In the Predator franchise, with the exception of the second movie all installments have added newer interpretations of the design while continuing to feature the design of the "classic" Predator that first appeared in the 1987 original.
If however, the endoskeleton alongside Schwarzenegger is of a model of Terminator other than the series 800, then we have to ask which series Terminator it is. While most audiences are aware that both the series 600 and series 800 featured in Terminator Salvation, most audiences may actually be unaware that the 2009 movie also featured series 700 Terminators. The 700 series of Terminators were being mass produced in the Skynet factory within which John Connor (portrayed by Christian Bale) was being hunted by the T-RIP (Terminator - Resistance Infiltration Prototype), which itself was the only one of its kind. Because of the movies troubled production Connor misidentifies the series 700's as series 800's, although in all honesty the mistake is easily made - aesthetically the series 700 and series 800 Terminators look almost identical, with the key differences being that the series 700's chassis' are composed of titanium, as opposed to the 800's hyper-alloy, and that the series 700's teeth are also metal, whereas the 800's are (seemingly) organic. The series 600's, which were heavily featured in Terminator Salvation were also shown to be heavier and much more primitive to the 700 and 800 series'. But with the new Terminator movie rumored to be disregarding Terminator: Genisys and the latter two sequels it is possible that endoskeleton beside Schwarzenegger could be that of a redesigned series 600.
Terminator November 15th, 2019
More about Terminator (movie)
Directed by Tim Miller, Terminator's release date is November 15th, 2019.
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