Back in the late 80's and early 90's R-rated science fiction ruled Hollywood with the first two Predator movies, Aliens and Alien 3, the first two RoboCop movies and the first two Terminator movies. Sadly, each of these beloved hard hitters has fallen from grace with the last and forthcoming Predator movies doing little to assure fans the franchise is heading back on track, the recently released Alien: Covenant polarizing a fan base already divided from the release of its predecessor Prometheus, and 2014's RoboCop reboot turning the late 80's video nasty into a PG-13 farce. Then we have the last Terminator which followed two sub par sequels by shooting itself and the series in the foot, effectively terminating the franchise. How the times have changed.
Yet it seems Terminator fans may be getting a reprieve. Following news that Deadpool director Tim Miller, star Arnold Schwarzenegger, and producers Gale Anne Hurd (one of Cameron's ex-wives) and David Ellison are working together with the franchises co-writer/creator James Cameron on a collaborative return to the franchise. With Sonja Klaus' recent hiring as the Production Designer, it appears that Cameron is preparing his core production team, seemingly readying to begin production the moment he re-acquires the production rights in 2019. The question remains, however; what exactly is Cameron planning? Maybe his recent interview while promoting the upcoming 3D re-release of Terminator 2 Judgment Day will shed some light on what may be in store...
“The question is — has the franchise run its course or can it be freshened up? Can it still have relevance now where so much of our world is catching up to what was science fiction in the first two films? We live in a world of predator drones and surveillance and big data and emergent AI (artificial intelligence). So I am in discussions with David Ellison, who is the current rights holder globally for the Terminator franchise and the rights in the US market revert to me under US copyright law in a year and a half so he and I are talking about what we can do. Right now we are leaning toward doing a three-film arc and reinventing it. We’ll put more meat on the bones if we get past the next couple of hurdles as and when we announce that.”
During the marketing campaign for the latest installment, Terminator: Genisys, Cameron appeared to give the movie his blessing, a move that upset Schwarzenegger who felt Camerons "stamp of approval" wasn't needed (above video courtesy of Collider). To assure fans that the duo and his plans for the Terminators future are still in good circles Camerons response was...
“I think it’s fairly widely known that I don’t have a lot of respect for the films that were made later. I was supportive at the time in each case for Arnold’s sake because he is a close friend. He has been a mate of mine since 33 years ago so I was always supportive and never too negative. But they didn’t work for me for various reasons. I think the critical balance to be struck in the sequels is to make sure that it doesn’t thematically overwhelm the entertainment value. And it won’t. If you have great characters and great visuals and great settings and a powerful story, which I believe we do, then the thematic stuff can continue at about the same level as in the first film and to me then it’s a positive resonance. I think people will expect the Avatar sequels to do what the first one did, which is to appeal to them at different levels, including even a spiritual level and hopefully that will all be there for them. I can’t become more didactic and start banging people over the head with something that a lot of them don’t want to hear about. I’d rather do that in my non-Avatar activism and philanthropy and investment in which I am very active in trying to reinvent our perception of food and agriculture.”
So it appears Cameron is planning a reboot trilogy starring a new cast, with the story possibly be retold from a different perspective (the future war? the original timeline?). Considering Cameron is still directing a series of four sequels to his box office record breaking Avatar it is unlikely that the Canadian director will be helming this planned trilogy, with the likelihood being that either Tim Miller will direct, or someone Cameron can trust to realize his vision, such as Zero Dark Thirty's director Kathryn Bigelow, another of Cameron's ex-wives. With this new trilogy looking to pass the baton, who will Cameron cast? Will Arnold be recreated digitally or will Dwayne Johnson become the new face of the T-800? More importantly, will Cameron's iconic two Terminator movies be "canon" within this new trilogy?
More about Terminator (movie)
Directed by Tim Miller, Terminator's release date is November 22nd, 2019.
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