McG Updates ’20,000 Leagues’, Prepping Terminator 5

Published 6 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:25 pm,

mcg on set McG Updates 20,000 Leagues, Prepping Terminator 5

Two film directing projects on the horizon for McG (Terminator Salvation) is the Disney remake of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the fifth installment in the Terminator franchise, currently being referred to as simply Terminator 5. It appears that McG’s focus is currently on 20,000 Leagues, with T5 to follow after that. Thanks to IESB and Collider, we have an update on both high-profile projects.


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

McG’s film appears to be both a remake of the Richard Fleischer film from 1954 that starred Kirk Douglas and James Mason, as well as a new kind of adaptation of the 1870 novel by Jules Verne. McG has talked about the aim to for his version:

“It’s a bit of a departure from the Fleischer movie, and much more in keeping with the spirit of the novel, as far as what Aronnax is up to, and the becoming of Nemo, and how the man became at war with war itself. So there’s a little bit more meat on the bone in regard to the genesis of the Nemo character than you’re given in the ’50s movie that Disney made. And also, it’s a little more contemporary.”

“I love that [original] movie, but there were two female characters, and they were both prostitutes. And, there were a couple of black people in the film, and they were all electrocuted. So, nowadays, I think we need to progress a little bit beyond that.”

The movie appears to be quite far along in the development stages, since McG reveals they’ve been scouting various shooting locations around the world from France, Japan and England, to Canada, Australia and Hawaii (the latter for some sort of “little volcano work”). McG has revealed he is aiming for it to be an action-packed film, trying to capture the spirit of the adventure from the original story.


Terminator 5

Although McG says his focus is very much on 20,000 Leagues at the moment, he reveals that he’s also prepping Terminator 5. With such a complex world to manage in the Terminator franchise, I’d say McG is wise to at least have the next installment in mind, even if it’s still a ways off.

McG talked about his intention for the Terminator franchise, speaking about whether or not he wants to take a break from it or dive back in, as Michael Bay did with Transformers 2. He says he’s excited about the next part of the series’ story, and talks about a possible angle for it that could see it getting, “out of the apocalyptic world and into the contemporary world.”


One great thing to hear is that McG is listening to what fans have been saying (good and bad) about Terminator Salvation, and reassures us he takes it on board. He admits that when people don’t like something you’ve done, all you can do is look at what you did wrong (and, indeed, what you did right) and try and evolve as a storyteller.

Although I don’t think McG should allow fans to completely shape his vision for the next Terminator, he should pay at least some attention to those who ultimately buy the tickets to see the movies.

I’m very interested to see how 20,000 Leagues will turn out, specifically with McG at the helm. He’s not the director I would have personally picked, nor did I see coming the news about him being chosen for it, but nonetheless it’s an interesting choice.

The part about the next Terminator possibly going from the, “apocalyptic world into the contemporary world,” was first hinted at a few months ago when McG brought up the time travel angle again. An industry source then said that T5 would see the franchise (specifically John Connor) transported back in time to London, England. That, combined with what McG has said above, could mean that rumor could very well turn out to be true.

If this was the case, it would take the franchise away from the future war between man and machine that we’d heard about for the first three movies, and back to the old (no pun) travel-back-in-time formula. Haven’t we been there and done that? Isn’t three movies of that enough? As much as Salvation had problems, one of the aspects I loved was finally getting to see the future war. I just don’t know if it’s right to revert back to the old ways of the franchise.

What do you think about what McG has said: Do you like the direction he’s going with 20,000 Leagues? How about the direction he’s thinking about going with T5?

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is currently in the development stages and doesn’t have a release date yet. Terminator 5 is in the prep stage and also doesn’t have a release date.

Sources: Collider and IESB

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  1. Terminator is dead. Leave it alone.

  2. I can’t believe he is doing terminator 5! Why has he not been fired? Or maybe it’s the writers that need to go because there was really no good dialogue at all in salvation.

  3. lmao salvation didnt even have a first place week at the b.o.

    he took a golden ticket and made it a bronze paperweight.
    for shame, for shame

  4. he didn’t get the memo

  5. Terminator Salvation was great. Lay off the mandatory (since The Phantom Menace) sequel bashing. I’m all for McG making Terminator 5, as long as it takes place in the future.

  6. @pongo
    I’m not bashing Mcg but salvation was not that good. It was mostly the writers fault but Mcg has already stated that he wants terminator 5 to be set in the present and not the future. I watched T2 last night and the opening scene in that is what T salvation should have been like. There were more terminators in that scene than all of salvation.

  7. Less of the future war,,, that’s a joke! I didn’t see anything I would consider the future war in T4. T4 was a complete pile of crap!

    Get ready for Connor in England next film. Oh won’t that just make up for the abortion that was T4.

    Mcg needs to get out of my life! The guy sucks and has completely ruined the Terminator franchise.

  8. MCG sucks. If you look at the movies he directed all of them sucked. The idiot that hired him needs 2 be fired. They also need 2 put it in the present because the future is borring.

  9. The future war is boring because of the writers.

  10. Has the studio really given the ok for a Terminator 5 ? I thought Salvation lost a lot of money

  11. Brett Ratner is on standby for T5. LOL

  12. I want more of the future war.


    It was T3 that ruined the franchise.

  13. Matt,,,,T3 delivered the future war on a plate!!!
    Its the producers of “Terminator Salvation” that decided to sacrifice a great film for a ill conceived prolonged trilogy.
    They continued to stick it in and break it off, when they allowed Bale to rewrite the script… 8-O
    “Terminator 3, Rise of the Machines” was a masterpiece compared to Terminator Salvation. (IMO)

  14. @Erik

    While it didn’t do that well in the U.S. if you add in overseas box office it brought in $340MM.


  15. good point vic

    yeah yall need to lay off mcg
    he has directed some good films and T4 was not that bad
    seriously compare T4 to wolverine originz
    and ask your selfwhy did wolverine make more money?

    and yes the writers were mostly at fault for the story directors dont have much of a hand in that…well sorta you know what i mean
    but the action sequences were sick and you know it and thats a directors job primarily is to manuever the camera

  16. @Matt

    Yah, T3 ruined the franchise, but T4 didn’t really bring it back. It was entertaining but in terms of fitting in the Terminator universe, eh, it’s pretty lacking. Way too many plot holes, Bale’s acting was more robotic than Marcus the Terminator, and not enough Terminators in this so-called future “war.”

    More like squirmishes with the machines, lol.

    But as far as McG goes, I wouldn’t mind seeing what he can do with the next one as long as we get better writers. It didn’t look like the directing was THAT bad. Somehow CG Arnold had better facial expressions than Kristanna Loken in T3, LMAO. The action sequences were pretty intense without seeming far too drawn out, although the scene with Marcus and Kyle getting away from the Harvester was kind of silly, they took their sweet time trying to light up that tanker, all the while the Harvester doesn’t just blow them up… But at least that chase scene wasn’t super drawn out like so many cheesy action movies do now-a-days. Cheap way to make a movie longer…

    I’m not sure how I feel about them going back to the time travel aspect of it. The reason why T1 and T2 succeeded in that is because Cameron is good at character stories, and the time travel helped in that since it kept it intimate instead of an all-out war involving large groups. McG seems better at the “blow crap up” department so an all-out-war might suit him better. Because frankly, some of the person-to-person dialog in T4 was just not that good.

    They have a good opportunity for this though, in Salvation we see they are just starting to make the T800. In almost all of the future war flashbacks we see in T1 and T2, the Terminators walking around look like T800′s without skin, so they can be T700s or T800s. Either way, they could have the excuse that the big conflicts we remember don’t happen until AFTER the events of Salvation. So in T5, they could have shown how the war goes from Salvation to the flashbacks we remember. By the last half or quarter of the movie, just make an all-out action scene looking just like those clips, fans will be happy to see that if done right.

  17. I don’t think any director or writer can top James Cameron’s T1 and T2, ever. I did like T4 a lot more than the absolute rubbish T3, but it was all just a prologue to what’s next to come. We might look at it differently when the ‘new trilogy’ is complete.
    I don’t see why John Connor would travel back in time, let alone why he would go to London.

  18. I want the sodding war i dont want time travel the first bloody three movies wher about time trave(and cat vs mouse stories) show me a good old war something we aint seen yet
    and tell mcg to go away

  19. I will never understand the hate for T4. Did anyone go in really expecting it to be on Cameron’s level?

    I think Ken J put it really well.

    The movie was entertaining. There were a few plot holes that bothered me, too, but on the whole I enjoyed it. McG is pretty darn good with the visual aspect of directing, so if he got better writers he could make a better film.

    That said, I cannot and will not ever be behind him bringing adult Connor back from the future to present day London. That’s a stupid, stupid idea.

  20. Ken,

    Yeah there were alot of plot holes in T4, but at least they don’t ruin the film like the ones in T3 did.

    “You only postponed it. Judgment Day is inevitable”

    That one line of dialogue is enough to ruin the entire film of T3 and make the first two films pointless and even makes T3 pointless.

  21. Josh R,

    Whats even worse is that McG is planning on having HKs going back in time, and if they watched the first film they would realize thats IMPOSSIBLE…well only if you are sticking to continuity.

  22. Matt K, first you said that you want more of the future war, then you say your biggest gripe about T3 was this line, “You only postponed it. Judgment Day is inevitable.”
    How do you expect to have a future war without Judgment Day occurring ???

    Personally when I heard that line, I dug the fact that we were about to see the event and there was nothing Connor could do.
    You guys can hate T3 all you like I thought it was miles ahead of Salvation.
    Also, if Mcg sends HK’s back through time I won’t even watch T5.

  23. I was refering to the idea of McG sending Connor back in time, we spent three films getting to the war might as well see more of it, even if it was a piece of crap film its still part of continuity so no sense in denying that, besides that scene alone makes the series entirely pointless.

  24. Again I ask, how that scene makes the series entirely pointless.

    Did you expect Connor to save the world from Judgment Day in every sequel?

    We know that JD happens, when is a good time to get there Matt? If JD is postponed that also effects continuity.

  25. Its pointless b/c if the future is set and you can’t change then sending terminators back in time to kill Connor would do NOTHING, and even if it sees Connor as a threat it would still do nothing, thus making the events of the first two films pointless.

  26. Don’t know about anyone else but I think they should just quit the entire franchise, plain and simple. It’s just not meant to be. You can make a Terminator movie and all that, but McG completely(especially in Salvation’s case) missed the point of what makes a Terminator movie great: Character development. Not that it matters anyway since the film is now out of theaters but McG should just quit while “he’s ahead”. Personally I don’t think McG is the right man for Leagues under the Sea, someone like Lawrence Kasdan should’ve been chosen. I haven’t seen the old film, but there’s no denying that something like that should be handled with great care and dedication. Now I know Kasdan is no director but he’s a very talented writer; look at the marvelous job he did on TESB, the best Star Wars film out of the two. Now all we need is a director. I’m not pointing any fingers but someone who can bring the material to life in a way that is close to the source material. McG has good ambitions but his execution of them is mediocre at best. Sorry, but that’s my 2 cents.

  27. Ok so you have a problem with the “Future isn’t set” line. I ask you this Matt, what would have made T3 a decent film.
    Crystal Peak was Skynet and they get there just in time to shut it down?
    Just keep the sequels locked into the prevention of JD ???

  28. No, it shouldn’t even had been made…T1 and T2 summed up the story nicely enough, we didn’t need another Terminator film after T2. I know I know its all about the money, and I’m all for sequels, its just unnecessary sequels(like T3) I have a problem with.

  29. Well you may have a point there, but a lot of the Terminator fans wanted a future war after they got a taste in T2..

    Personally I would have thought the direction of the story after T3 was very clear as far as Connor’s perspective. The only way to stop JD would be to prevent Skynet from developing the time machine. As that is the only way to stop the causality loop and JD in the first place.
    Doing it that way, as more of a reverse infiltration on Skynet would have been great.