Here’s an unusual story for a Friday night, perhaps even more unusual given the already strange turn of events that have followed the development of the Terminator franchise. What started as a time travel slasher movie in 1984 became one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, and despite numerous attempts to keep the gravy train going – Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation, and Terminator: Genisys – Hollywood just can’t seem to make Terminator work, at least not without its creator. Perhaps that why there’s news tonight that James Cameron is plotting a Terminator comeback, and he’s bring a special new friend along with him.
In a report from Deadline, it’s been revealed that Cameron is working on a reboot and conclusion to the movie series he started 33 years ago. What exactly that will look like is to be determined. These are very early days and the details are thin, but the unexpected news is that Cameron already has a director lined up and it’s Deadpool helmer Tim Miller. Cameron will act in a “godfather” capacity to the new movie with Miller taking point because Cameron, as you know, has about 84 Avatar sequels in development.
So how and why has all this come about? Well, according to Cameron’s original Terminator agreement when he sold the idea to producer (and future ex-wife) Gale Anne Hurd, certain rights to the story are to revert back to Cameron once the original film turns 35, which is coming up in 2019. David Ellison, whose Skydance Productions funded Genisys, currently holds the rights, and will hold on to some still after 2019. Evidently Ellison is part of the new endeavour, scouting perspective stories for the new Terminator adventure with top flight science fiction authors.
So this is kind of exciting, but how serious is the attempt and did we learn anything from that whole Genisys experiment? Sure, least year’s attempted reboot didn’t even make $90 million at the domestic box office, but it did make $350 million in foreign ticket sales, which is almost as much as Terminator: Salvation made with a combined domestic and foreign box office take of $373 million. So the case can be made that there’s still some juice in this franchise. Adding Cameron back into the mix will only sweeten the deal since the director added his endorsement to Genisys, the only one of the Terminators not made by Cameron to get his seal of approval. So image what it will do to the box office if his name’s in the credits…
We’ll have more news about this project as it comes in, but in the mean time a 3D version of Terminator 2: Judgement Day is expected to be released in theatres sometime this summer.