Back in January it was announced that James Cameron will be returning to the Terminator franchise, and is expected to “godfather” a new instalment from director Tim Miller (Deadpool). This was welcome news after many considered Terminator: Genisys to be the death knell for the long-running franchise. Speaking to IGN, the director revealed what pulled him back in:
“When I became aware of the fact that I could back into a control position on the rights, then I started to ask myself artistically, ‘Is there anything there? Is there anything to be said that I haven’t already said, and that would even be relevant in the 2020s (when these hypothetical films would come out)?’ I thought, ‘Well, let’s look at that.’ I mean, a lot of the things that were science fiction in Terminator are now around us…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 audience’s expectations now.”
Cameron’s involvement coincided with news that Arnold Schwarzenegger would also be making a return. The actor once again confirmed his involvement in a recent interview with The Playlist: “In March next year, I am shooting Terminator 6, James Cameron and David Ellison are back on board and then comes a Conan.”
It’s also been revealed by James Cameron that the next film will explore the genesis of Arnold’s traditional T-800 character, and potentially the actual human prototype that all T-800 models are based on:
“You got to ask yourself, ‘Why did they make these characters look and sound like Arnold?’ There has to be a reason. So yeah, it has flashed through my mind that there has to have been a prototype. There has to have been a guy who’s DNA was harvested from, that they grew the organic outer layer that they grew the Terminator from…and that presumably was a real person at some point.”
Of course, Arnold has been no stranger to the franchise in recent years; his T-800 has made appearances in Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: Genisys (although the former was done entirely via CGI). However, this would be James Cameron’s first involvement in the Terminator franchise since 1991’s fantastic Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the entry that put the series on the map, and a film which many still consider to be the best action film ever made. Furthermore, Cameron’s take on the next film could go a long way in legitimizing the franchise: Terminator: Salvation released to middling reviews, while Terminator: Genisys sits at a measly 25% Rotten rating over at Rotten Tomatoes.
James Cameron has a habit of making great sequels to established franchises, and with Arnold himself on board (as well as the talented Tim Miller), there is a very good chance that we may have a proper Terminator movie within the next few years.
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