Terminator: Genisys failed in pretty miserable fashion when it came to rejuvenating the franchise. The movie dramatically underperformed at the box office and was given a pretty serious critical lashing. James Cameron gets the rights back to the franchise in 2019 and has been promising that he is going to produce a new Terminator Reboot with Deadpool‘s Tim Miller directing. Now it sounds like he is feeling a little more ambitious and actually has plans for an entire trilogy of new Terminator movies.
James Cameron is about to be neck deep in Avatar movies as he is finally going to be filming Avatar 2 later this year, as well as the other 3 sequels. But that hasn’t prevented him from having talks with David Ellison, who currently holds the rights to the Terminator franchise. In a recent interview with News Australia, Cameron talked a bit about his plans and where everything stands right now. Here’s what he had to say about it.
“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 (producer) 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.”
It isn’t necessarily surprising that a Terminator reboot would be planned as a trilogy. That is pretty standard practice for big franchises these days. What is a little weird here is how disjointed this project seems to be. David Ellison talked about making a big reveal in regards to a new Terminator project sometime this year and Arnold Schwarzenegger has been teasing his involvement as well. Then you have James Cameron going out and making some pretty lofty promises. The problem is that we haven’t had everyone sit down together and firmly say what is going on. So really, it’s just a little hazy in terms of what we’re actually going to get. Is James Cameron going to work with David Ellison on a new movie? Is he just going to wait to get the rights back? Will Schwarzenegger actually return?
The last few entries in the Terminator franchise have failed to live up to the legacy that was left behind by Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which is still considered to be one of the best sequels ever made. Despite James Cameron’s public support for Terminator: Genisys, he did say in the interview that he has had his issues with the sequels not directed by him. He even went so far as to say that he only supported Genisys because he was supporting his buddy, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“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.”
It will at the very least be interesting to see how this all shakes out. Tim Miller is a very promising director and having James Cameron involved in any capacity with a Terminator movie could really help get the franchise back on track. Will it be a full-on reboot? If not, what will it borrow from the old movies? There are a lot of questions right now and not a lot of answers but it sounds like more Terminator movies are coming. That much is relatively certain.