I’ve always felt that the Terminator films worked best in tandem with Arnold and James Cameron as a team, and it would have been great to see them make a third one when the series was still in its prime.
Yet you get the feeling that time has long passed. Cameron’s now in the Avatar business, Arnold’s past his prime as an action star, and to keep handing over the franchise to interchangeable hack directors like McG just seems like a waste of time.
That said, it looks like the next Terminator is going to have a little bit of Cameron in it because Deadline reports the franchise has just hired on Laeta Kalogridis to work on the script.
Kalogridis did considerable work on the Avatar script, and her credits also include Shutter Island and Alexander, Oliver Stone’s biopic of Alexander the Great. Also onboard to work on the next Terminator script is Patrick Lussier, who wrote Wes Craven’s Dracula and the remake of the ‘80’s slasher flick My Bloody Valentine.
As we previously reported on TG, producer Megan Ellison and her brother / partner David bought the Terminator rights from Cameron from a cool $20 million. The Ellison’s production company, Annapurna Pictures, has to get a Terminator film made by 2018, or the rights revert back to Cameron. (Annapurna has also made the films Lawless, The Master, and Zero Dark Thirty).
So is there still life left in that great, classic sci-fi cyborg? Frankly, it’s too bad Arnold and Cameron couldn’t make one last Terminator flick together when the time was right, and it would have been nice to wrap up the series as a trilogy. Of course, sequels to Hollywood are like potato chips, you can’t eat just one, and even if the series wrapped up perfectly with three great movies, it certainly wouldn’t stop anybody from making more.
There’s something to be said for wrapping something up before it gets embarrassing, and while the first two Terminators are classics, to try and recapture magic from the eighties and nineties today could be a futile exercise. And again, the whole point of the Terminator is he’s strong and invincible, who wants to see him in his sixties?
Can the franchise be successfully reinvented with a new model T-1000? It’s going to be a very tough order to fill, because the remake Total Recall had a hard time fighting Arnold nostalgia, and trying to bring back the character that made his career will have even more nostalgic baggage to battle with fans.