It’s been rumoured for a while but now its official – Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to return to his signature role as the unstoppable killing machine (now with added rust!) in a new instalment of the Terminator franchise. Deadline reports that Arnie and director Justin Lin (The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast & Furious and Fast Five) are shopping the project around Hollywood studios today, with Universal, Sony, Lionsgate and CBS Films all said to be highly interested.
It was way back in 1984 when Schwarzenegger got his major breakthrough as The Terminator in James Cameron’s sci-fi classic, and he went on to star in sequels Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) before putting acting on hold to focus on his political ambitions. Arnie’s likeness (well, his 80s one) did make a cameo appearance in McG’s reboot Terminator Salvation back in 2009, but Jonathan Mostow’s Rise of the Machines remains the last time that Schwarzenegger headlined a movie. Despite his rumoured interest Lionsgate’s The Last Stand it now looks as though Schwarzenegger’s CV is set to include back-to-back outings as the T-101.
The Deadline piece goes on to try and unravel the confusion over the Terminator rights, which were purchased by current holders Pacificor from Halcyon in February 2010 for $29.5m and under American copyright law, are expected to revert to James Cameron in 2018. The new project is being shopped to studios with a reported price tag of $36m plus the fees for Schwarzenegger and Lin and, with a shortening window of opportunity to further milk the franchise, you’d have to imagine that studios will act quickly.
As a Schwarzenegger fan, I’m pretty disappointed by this news and can’t help but think it’s a bad idea. There hasn’t been a good Terminator movie for two decades and in all honesty Arnie looked over-the-hill in third one. Unless he’s going to play a scientist responsible for creating the machines or they plan to go along the Salvation CGI route then all believability goes out the window. I mean, why would Skynet bother using a battered, out-of-shape old cyborg when they have an absolute beast at their disposal in the original Cyberdyne Systems Model 101?
With this and The Governator, I’m beginning to think Arnie should have stuck to politics.