Hasta la vista, critics, because it looks like the Terminator really will be back. Taking a shotgun and hoping to blast his way back into the box office, a whole new era of cyborgs and Skynet is ready to be ushered in. And who better to upgrade the T-series models than sci-fi aficionado James Cameron?
The Aliens and The Terminator alumnus isn't just looking at one Terminator movie, he is now planning on developing a trilogy of Terminator movies to completely reinvent the franchise. Given that 1984's The Terminator was entered into the National Film Registry, and T2 is lauded as one of the best films ever made, there could be exciting times ahead for a series that has slipped into mediocrity.
I'll Be Back
In a recent interview with News.com.au, Cameron unveiled bold plans to save the universe that he created:
…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.
Terminator is a strange beast, and following the 12-year break after T2, some argued that incoming director Jonathan Mostow should've never taken over from Cameron to turn the series into a trilogy. Picking up on the success of the first two films in 2003 with Terminator 3: Rise of The Machines, it was a solid affair, but it is arguably here that Terminator began to short circuit.
Next came director McG, who went in with all guns blazing and gave us the star-studded Terminator Salvation. Not only responsible for that infamous Christian Bale rant, it was the only movie to not include Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, even bringing back the biggest star couldn't save 2015's Terminator: Genisys from the scrapheap, and it was then that Cameron stepped in, bringing us to where we find ourselves now.
It'll Cost You An 'Arn' And A Leg
Thankfully, the announcement isn't just some director aiming to make a quick buck, and he clearly holds the series close to his heart. Sure, Cameron may have given us the two best movies out of the entire Terminator run, but even he realizes the risks of tackling more of these movies:
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).
However, Cameron remained coy on whether we will have another version of Arnie teleporting into the new era of the franchise. 69-year-old Schwarzenegger had previously said he would be involved in some form, but didn't specify if he would be taking the lead once more.
Die hard fans of the series will undoubtedly be split on that prospect, and it just wouldn't be Terminator without the former Governor of California. That being said, there is no denying that Arnie had started to show his advancing years in Terminator: Genisys. Remember as well, we have seen the Terminator entity survive without the original T-800 before. Looking back to Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, we saw the likes of a pre-Game of Thrones Lena Headey hold up a show that many argue was cut down in its prime.
Cameron's first movie in the trilogy will be directed by acclaimed movie whizz Tim Miller, and with Miller crafting the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, Deadpool, surely he and Cameron can work their magic on the world of artificial assassins. Whatever your feelings on the never-ending Terminator series, it definitely seems that "Judgment Day" is upon us. With Genisys dropping the franchise into a vat of molten metal, only time will tell if Cameron can breathe new life into this robotic dog.
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