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Looks Like We Have to Start Taking That New Terminator Movie Seriously

To survive as a film and TV fan in 2017 often means to learn how to stop worrying about reboots, revivals and requels and instead love the retread. If your kneejerk reaction to every new relaunch is one of annoyance and negativity then you won’t get very far because in terms of franchise filmmaking old is the new “new” in Hollywood, and will be for the foreseeable future as global market forces and ever-rising levels of competition continues to make investors nervous, thus prioritizing anything with a built-in audience over anything without. Accept that or don’t. But don’t keep being that snarky person on the internet shitting all over something that’s going to happen with or without you.

Or at least that’s what I am trying to tell myself right now while processing the realization that James Cameron’s long-teased Terminator revival might actually happen. After Terminator: Genisys, the prospect of a new Terminator movie, even one produced by Cameron, fell into the “I’ll believe it when I see it” category. However, when most people weren’t looking a lot happened behind the scenes to suddenly elevate this into “Holy shit, I might actually see this” territory.

To recap:

James Cameron is producing. Deadpool’s Tim Miller is directing. Schwarzenegger is returning. A writer’s room consisting of David Goyer (Blade, The Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel), Charles Eglee (Dark Angel), Josh Friedman (Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Justin Rhodes have planned out both a single film that can stand on its own and an entire trilogy should the first film be successful enough to warrant sequels. They are currently casting for an 18-year-old female to become the new female face of the franchise, but she will be joined by Linda Hamilton, who was just announced as returning to the role of Sarah Connor for the first time on screen since T2: Judgement Day (she did make a vocal cameo in Terminator: Salvation).

Found at: (obviously)

Announcing Hamilton’s return, Cameron said: “As meaningful as she was to gender and action stars everywhere back then, it’s going to make a huge statement to have that seasoned warrior that she’s become return. There are 50-year-old, 60-year-old guys out there killing bad guys, but there isn’t an example of that for women.”

Hamilton, it should be noted, is set to turn 61 a week from today, and most recently guest starred on SyFy’s Defiance in 2015.

Story details are scarce, but the general plan, ala Jurassic World, is to simply ignore the sequels we didn’t like and instead make a direct sequel to T2. That means also ignoring Genisys, the hybrid-Terminator 1 remake/reboot Cameron once publicly endorsed with bullshit PR lines like “Terminator has been reinvigorated,” “The twist is more than you expected” and especially “You will love this movie.” No one really believed he meant those words at that time, and he has since acknowledged he mostly did it to help out old pal Arnold. However, he also had a financial incentive since the franchise rights were due to revert back to him, and it did him no good to see the franchise devalued.


Now that Cameron appears to be back in the driver’s seat, however, his credibility and trustworthiness on all things Terminator has seemingly been shot. So, it’s been very easy to simply ignore all of his recent talk of maybe reviving the franchise even though we are only just a little over 2 years removed from Genisys.

Oh, wow, Cameron told IGN (via io9) in August:

“A lot of the things that were science fiction in Terminator are now around us. You know, from predator drones and actual discussions on the ethics of having a robot have its own kill decision possibilities. Things like that. It’s actually happening. So, okay, maybe there is room for a film that examines these themes. It just has to be retooled for an audiences’ expectations now.”

Whatever. Maybe try finishing your fifty Avatar sequels nobody asked for first, James. You keep pushing back those release dates. Don’t pull a George R.R. Martin and lose sight of the prize by busying yourself with side projects. Terminator is dead. Your name is mud. Just let it be.

But we are quick to forget one thing: Genisys grossed $440m worldwide. Off of a $155m budget. Sure, nearly 80% of that worldwide cume came via the international market since the film flopped in the U.S. and Canada to the tune of $89m, but that’s still enough money to convince certain people that this franchise might have some legs left if it’s simply sold in a better package. The word-of-mouth on Genisys was too toxic to greenlight a direct sequel, but Paramount (handling domestic distribution) and Fox (handling international) are betting the official return of Cameron to the franchise, re-teamed with Schwarzenegger and Hamilton, might be the package deal to get this thing back on track.

Never mind that summer 2017 should have taught Hollywood to stop making sequels (or revivals) to movies (or of franchises) no one liked (or are tired of seeing).

Or that the recent 3D re-release of T2 bombed.

Or that Universal Studios Florida just announced it is closing its Terminator 2 3D theme park attraction after 21 years of operation, thus signaling how little value another studio sees in the franchise at this point.

Or that we’ve already been sold the Terminator nostalgia act before with Genisys, and it didn’t go over that well.

But now is where I circle back around to my opening paragraph and remind myself to stop being that snarky dude on the internet complaining about something that’s going to happen with or without him. Remember, learn to love the retread. Because, after all, is it so impossible to believe that a James Cameron-produced, Tim Miller-directed, Linda Hamilton-starring Terminator movie could actually be pretty good? And even if it’s not who cares? There’ll probably something better on TV that weekend anyway. Damn, there’s that snark again. Try to be more positive. Try to be more positive. Try to be more positive.

Well, I’ve gone to my, um, happy place, but while I’m busy chanting let me know what you think of all this. It’s okay if your thoughts about it aren’t positive.

Source: THR


  1. I still do not buy this. Especially cameron who stalled on spiderman film for years and promised a true lies 2. I think the ship has sailed with T2 which was ahesd of its time (if you excuse the pun} in 1992 but none of the sequels followed the same mark and I cant see a new one having the same technology. All of the leads that count are too old. Unless they do a cgi makeover which again defeats the point they should abandon this now. I can see JC dropping out leaving the Director alone to save this. Would it not be better to see cameron revive the aliens franchise instead? And as for the opening comment on accepting revoots as the new new. Forget that. Dont pee in a jar and tell me its peach tea. Cinema seats are dwindling and reboots are a reason why.

    1. “Dont pee in a jar and tell me its peach tea.”

      Lex Luthor, is that you?
      Sigh. BvS reference.

      “I still do not buy this. Especially cameron who stalled on spiderman film for years and promised a true lies 2.”

      The thing with Cameron, though, is that while there have been plenty of projects he’s failed to ultimatley deliver his career is one of constantly defying expectations. There was every reason in the world to doubt Titanic/Avatar, and he only came out of it with the highest two grossing films of all time. I’m not saying a new Terminator will follow a similar path. It just won’t, not with the damage done by years of inferior sequels and ongoing unwillingess from the stakeholders to see that. However, if Cameron actually gets this going with the Deadpool guy directing history suggests it would be foolish to dismiss it outright. But the question would then be whether or not Cameron really has another one of these in him, and I don’t mean Terminator movie when I say “another one of these in him.” I mean does he really have another “You all think I’m licked? Well, screw you. Here’s a masterpiece or at the very least a wildly successfull movie that’ll show you how licked I really am!”

      “Cinema seats are dwindling and reboots are a reason why.”

      I know. It’s just…I’ve spent literal years complaining about that on this site. I’m now fighting against that impulse because what’s the point anymore. If you simply accept the realities of the playing field in Hollywood you can open yourself up to the possibility that, hey, a new Terminator movie with these people involved might not actually suck even though Genisys did. And if you can’t bring yourself to truly believe that then maybe stop writing about it and start writing about stuff you do care about, like the latest TV show you binged or documentary you watched on Netflix. I’m trying to get closer to doing more of the latter instead of the former, but the former usually gets read more.

      1. Yep thats the one. Weird but strangely interesting. Refreshingly different. Waste of casey affleck though. Could have been me under that sheet.

      2. It would be hilarious if Affleck gets nominated for a bunch of awards, and then at all the awards shows when they play a clip from the movie it would just be a scene of Rooney Mara looking sad while Affleck lurks in the background under that sheet, with all of us left to just trust that’s actually him under there and not some random extra they pulled off the street.

        Of course, none of that will happen, but “And Casey Affleck for The Ghost”/cut to shot of him just standing there under a bed sheet sounds pretty amusing.

  2. I normally shout “let the franchise die already”. Nobody listens.

    Since they don’t, I wish they would consider something different such as different protagonists. Not everything has to be directly about the Connors. Maybe do a story about people in China surviving Terminators and having to prevent some powerful satellite from finding John Connors bunker. Create new characters. Argh. Or have some characters we care about in futuristic rubble trying to survive a cat and mouse game.

    T2:3D is one of the few films I saw at the cinema this year. It was enjoyable because T2 is a great film and It’s been a long time since it was at the theatre. However it was meh overall. The 3D effects were very disappointing- nothing much popped out enough. It was the theatrical cut in 3D – none of the cool director’s cut stuff.

    1. First of all, T2 is my favorite film of all time. Feels like I should have said that in the article.

      Second of all, T2:3D never came near me. So, I didn’t get to see it. But your assessment of the experience roughly aligns with everything I’ve read, e.g., the 3D was ho-hum, would have been cooler if they’d at least run the director’s cut (the one with Michael Biehn’s dream sequence scenes put back in, I assume).

      Lastly, “Maybe do a story about people in China surviving Terminators and having to prevent some powerful satellite from finding John Connors bunker”? Not a bad idea.

      Salvation at least tried to move away from such a central focus on John Connor. Of course, it cast Batman to play him fresh off of Dark Knight. So, naturally, JC took over the final act of the film. However, so much of that film is trying to be about someone whose story happens to eventually intersect with John Connor’s, and that was at least an interesting new angle to take.

      From what I’ve read, Cameron might have similar plans in play, with the yet-to-be-cast new girl as the new central figure who happens to bump into Sarah Connor ala Rey with Han and then Leia in Force Awakens. You’re right, though, that if they insist on doing this they’d creatively be better off simply creating new characters, but Linda Hamilton’s name being attached to this is what got people’s attention. So, here we are, I guess.

      1. Its gonna suck and we are all going to spend our hard earned cash and see it because of the marketing and then read your damning review of it after and blog about it.

      2. Please somebody suffocate me with a pillow if we are here doing this when the film gets released and we do watxh and hate it.

      1. T2 is awesome ad was ahead of its time. The twist in the story to have arnie be good and the special effects of the t1000 not to mention the casting choice of robert patrick rather than a similar build to arnie had us all talking for months about how good a film this is. There hasnt been such a movie since. The 15 rating rather than 18. Guns and roses soundtrack and the first time a dvd had so many deleted scenes to show. So the only way cameron can get lightning in a bottle again is to recreate that standard. T3 couldnt do it and that storyline really had the potential with arnie young enough to still pull it off and that gloomy ending being quite cool now. By the way. Has the world given up on eddie furlong? Wouldnt it work more if they fixed him up and put him back. He was sorely missed in t3 and might have helped that movie. Yeah i know drugs and that.

      2. “Has the world given up on eddie furlong?”

        The answer appears to be yes. Not only that, it’s not evena question anyone asks anymore. Furlong is but a distant memory on the pop culture plane. I’m not even sure what he’s doing these days. He’s still alive, what with being interviewed for various T2 remembrances for the 3D re-release. But I don’t know if he’s acting or not.

      3. Hmm noo dont buy that. Pekka was pretty good and Little Odessa. And we all trust Wikipedia for the truth (to quote Micheal Scott “Wikipedia is the best thing ever. Anyone in the world can write anything they want, so you know you are getting the best possible information.” Anyway He is working. Nothing memorable but…
        2014 Stitch, Marsden, The Last Light, Noah Aftermath Brad
        2015 A Perfect Vacation Berto Also known as Awaken
        2016 A Winter Rose Willy
        2017 The Reunion, Skip

      4. Cool. Good for him. Loved him when I was a kid. Just knew he’d had lots of legal issues and hadn’t popped up in anything of note since maybe American History X.

  3. Tim Miller wrote a few shorts and directed ONE movie, the idiotic Deadpool movie. And he’s supposed to helm the next true Terminator movie? For real?

    1. That’s kind of how it works for a lot of directors these days. There are, of course, all those directors who work in TV and/or keep building up impressive indie film resumes, but for big blockbusters we’ve been in a cycle for a while now where the studios like to give it to some relative unknown they can hire for cheap and possibly control or replace if they get in over their head. The fact that Miller got to direct at least one biggish movie before this is at least better than the going average. Plus, to be fair to him after you’re the guy who proved all of Hollywood wrong by working with Ryan Reynolds to turn a passion project like Deadpool into a colossal hit you should have a lot of new leverage after that, and he’s clearly using it to try his hand at being the latest person to relaunch Terminator.

      I’m at least slightly more optimistic about Miller than I was about Alan Taylor of GoT and Thor: The Dark World before Terminator: Genisys, but your point is right – there’s next to no track record for us to go off here. My optimism about Miller is really just “well, I did like Deadpool.”

      1. And the fever he came down with and despair he felt after being fired from Piranha is what gave him the idea for Terminator, i.e., he had a fever dream about a metal skeletal figure emerging from fire.

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