Terminator Genisys didn’t exactly prove to be the lucrative reset for the long-running robopocalypse franchise that many involved were hoping it might become. While it was successful enough overseas to avoid major failure ($350 million from foreign markets), the 2015 film topped out at less than $90 million in the U.S. and failed to generate the kind of buzz that gets sequels made. (We here at CoS, like many, found it underwhelming to say the least.)
Nobody has been able to crack the code on what makes a good Terminator movie since James Cameron, which is why the legendary director is clamoring to oversee future installments himself. Last week, news emerged that Cameron will be retaining his copyright to the Terminator series in 2019 (when his original film turns 25). Accordingly, Deadline reported that Cameron is looking to “godfather” a new installment that will serve as a “reboot and conclusion” to the dystopic saga.
However, since Cameron is keeping busy with those four Avatar sequels that may or may not eventually come into being, he’s reportedly been circling Deadpool director Tim Miller to pick up where he left off in 1991 with Judgment Day. After three distinctly different botched attempts to reinvigorate Cameron’s iconic action films for various new generations, Miller would be tasked with trying to bring relevance back to a series that’s been chasing it for years. Or, at the very least, potentially herald its long-overdue return to an R-rating. (We hope.)
In an interview with The Daily Beast over the weekend, Cameron was asked about the series in a discussion that also touched on his feelings about superhero franchises (“I’m not the slightest bit interested in laboring in someone else’s house”) and President Trump (“It’s basically the upside-down world right now, and the kind of dialogue coming out of these guys sounds like George Orwell”). As the rumors surrounding a new Terminator continue to mount, here’s Cameron on whether the property has been “hijacked”:
“It hasn’t been hijacked. It’s really just stumbled along, trying to find its voice again. There’s probably some degree to where it’s lost relevance, you know? Maybe the things that made it good back then are kind of a yawn now. It’s easy to remember fondly the things that kick off a franchise. It’s hard to keep a franchise vigorous, and relevant. I haven’t had my hand on the tiller since Terminator 2, and that was 1991. So what’s that? Twenty-six years? But look, I think it’s possible to tell a great Terminator story now, and it’s relevant. We live in a digital age, and Terminator ultimately, if you can slow it down, is about our relationship with our own technology, and how our technology can reflect back to us—and in the movie, literally, in a human form that is a nemesis and a threat.
But also in those movies, in the two that I did, it’s about how we dehumanize ourselves. In a time when people are being absorbed by their virtual-social world, I mean, just look around. I always say: if Terminator was about the war between the humans and the machines, look around any restaurant or airport lounge and tell me the machines haven’t won when every human you see is enslaved to their device. So could you make a relevant Terminator film now? Absolutely.”
Color us excited.