The Terminator will be back. Again.
After the Terminator franchise hit a critical and commercial wall in 2015 with Terminator Genysis, the original shepherd of the series, director James Cameron himself, wants to bring it back to life.
While no deals are official, Cameron, who directed both The Terminator and the legendary action sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day, told reporters in Australia that he’s ready to “reinvent” the franchise with a new series of three movies.
“The question is—has the franchise run its course or can it be freshened up?” Cameron said to the News Corp Australia Network while promoting the release of Terminator 2 in 3D (Watch the trailer here). “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].”
Another major question, naturally, is the involvement of original Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger and whether he would star in the films. Well, according to Arnold, he’s in. In May 2017, ScreenDaily spoke with the star at the Cannes Film Festival, and he didn’t leave much doubt.
“It is back. It is moving forward. He (Cameron) has some good ideas of how to continue with the franchise. I will be in the movie,” Schwarzenegger said to ScreenDaily.
Even though Terminator Genysis had a pretty awesome cast, including Schwarzenegger, Game of Thrones’ Mother of Dragons Emilia Clarke, and Suicide Squad badass Jai Courtney, the film wasn’t the hit that producers expected, and they shuttered plans for a potential new trilogy.
Now Cameron wants to pick things back up again.
“I am in discussions with David Ellison, who is the current rights holder globally for the Terminator franchise,” Cameron said. “The rights in the U.S. market revert to me under U.S. 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.”
While Cameron wouldn’t be in the director's chair for these films—he’s hard at work at multiple Avatar sequels—he would be the “godfather” of the franchise.
In January 2017, Deadline reported that Cameron was in talks with Ellison and Deadpool director Tim Miller (who is known as one of the top visual effects minds in all of Hollywood) to kick-start a new set of movies.
Even though nothing is official and the rights don’t go back to Cameron until 2019, it looks like the Terminator franchise is rising back from the dead—and Arnold is ready to come back.