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. I didn’t care too much for T4 and wasn’t really that interested in seeing it in the first place, but with this new information I will probably actually be looking a little more forward to the new one. I think it’s kind of stupid though because I thought they were trying to do a second trilogy based totally in the future war to end the series, but at the same time, I kinda lost interest once it went there anyways, so putting it back before that happened might make me a little more enthusiastic.

  2. @Matt

    LMAO, great that you quoted that. I always wondered HOW a Terminator from the “new” future would have known about there being other possible futures, lol, you only know of your own past, the only one that should have known was John Connor. And since when did machines turn philosophical?? Is that one of the “upgrades” in the so-called “T-101?” 😀

  3. @790

    “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 ???”

    I think you missed the point. That line was dumb because in the Terminator’s view, he should have only known about ONE judgment day. If anyone should have made that assumption that Judgment Day is inevitable, it’s John Connor, because he’s the only one that should know about the original date and now thanks to the new Terminator, the new date. But to the Terminator, the new date should be the ONLY one he knows about since he was created AFTER the fact.

    And then to call it “inevitable.” That’s completely philosophical. Maybe they simply didn’t do enough to prevent it, and that’s why it still happened, how does the Terminator know that it’s simply “impossible” to prevent it, did it find a way to prove that through multiple trials?? It doesn’t have to be “inevitable” for the future war to still happen, by making that statement, it really did make it seem like all of the effort made by both Skynet and the resistance in T1 and T2 seem very pointless.

    But alas you and Matt are right to come to the conclusion that it really should have ended with T2, not BECAUSE I didn’t like T3, but because it was meant to end with T2, he even made an ending that proves Judgment Day doesn’t happen, but decided for a more poetic ending with the “black highway” which really was just the road leading up to the Cyberdyne building, lol.

    But now that we’re STUCK with a bunch of new unneccessary Terminator movies, might as well hope for the best. And I hope they ditch this stupid new time travel idea… They should really continue on with the future war stuff and just have it REALLY escalated from what we saw in Salvation…

    We find out skynet has a vast underground backup facility and other Terminator factories and they’ve been waiting until they have completed a large army of Terminators to release all at once, Skynet targets and destroys all of the resistance’s air-fields (I’ve been wondering how all of those wide open air-fields in Salvation don’t get targetted by Skynet…) driving them deeper underground, infantry and maybe some light armor only. Skynet levels the remains of all of the cities to kill off any small cells of resistance that might have been taking refuge inside the buildings.

    And lastly, sorry to say this, but they have to kill off John’s wife… I think he would be more interesting if he was some really bitter leader that is 100% focused on destroying skynet and the machines without any distraction whatsoever. And he has absolutely nothing to live for except to help the resistance win this war.

  4. I don’t think they should actually show the killing of John’s wife, the next movie could start with John already alone and fighting a more intense war, and maybe through flashbacks (glimpses, not long drawn out flashbacks like Watchmen, lol) you see the wife being killed by a Terminator or maybe a vehicle she’s in being destroyed or something. They could skip showing the transition all-together and just show the summary of it in the opening credits sequence. Although that would be very un-Terminator-movie like…

  5. T4, If written properly could have explained why the Terminator in 3 knew what it did.
    There could have been a scene where Connor sends back that model and instructs him to give that response when young Connor asks.
    They could also write in scenes that show that model not killing Connor as it said because of damages during the fighting before they sent it back.
    This could also explain why it got its own id model wrong. T-101
    Everything in T3 could be explained with the right writers.

  6. Nah, doing that would have made it seem like it was made just to add on to T3, they might as well have called it T3.5 then, lol. T3 was T3, it was what it was, some people liked it, I sure didn’t and you know that, lol. But whatever, no need to go back and forth… hey, that’s a good theme for T5, no need to go back and forth (in time), just stick with the future war! lol.

  7. No it would have been called T4 and those scenes relating to T3 would take about 2 min to deal with.

  8. I think, if I may join this discussion… 😉
    There are obviously plot holes in the Terminator universe, which haven’t been explained by James Cameron himself in T2. For example the whole time travel thing. John Connor is a child of Kyle Reese – who came from the future. How is that possible? T2 could’ve cleared that up, but didn’t, so now we’re left with questions that need to be answered for T5, if time travel is back on the board.
    T3 should be forgotten, it was a good thing there were no explanations in T4 about it. T3 never happened.
    Like I said earlier, T4 is just an intro to the new trilogy, sending John Connor, of all people, back in time is ludicrous. He needs to stay in the future as a leader. And where does London come from?
    Maybe the right thing to do with T5 is:
    – They send someone (or a Terrminator model) back in time to protect a young John Connor
    – Let us see how all the decisions that are made, in the past, affect the future
    I think this could be an exciting concept, following two separate stories in different times that affect each other.

  9. The whole Kyle Reese being John’s father thing is a paradox, BUT you have to think about it in the same sense I was talking about how the product of the timeline will only know of that one possibility. Maybe before he sends Kyle back, Sara meets another guy and gets pregnant, names the son John Connor, that becomes the leader of the resistance. So maybe that John has blonde hair and blue eyes and his birthday is March 20. But then he sends Kyle back, and Skynet sends the T800 back and that interrupts Sara meeting that guy. Instead, she sleeps with Kyle, get’s pregnant, names the boy John, and he becomes the leader of the resistance, now he has brown hair and brown eyes and his birthday is February 15. See what I mean? Maybe she was going to have John regardless of if Kyle was sent back or not, but Kyle becoming the father would simply change slight details about him.

    Time travel will always be full of paradoxes, but it’s how the director handles it that makes the difference. Most people didn’t really notice these things watching T1 and T2 because they were more the result of the plot and not as contrived as some of the ones found in T3 or T4.

    And I think we all agree that bringing back the time travel thing is not a good idea, especially if John Connor himself will go back… Who’s going to lead the resistance??? Wouldn’t skynet win then, since all they’ve wanted was to get rid of John??

  10. Sorry, meant to say Sarah, and I didn’t complete my point in the first paragraph. He only knows that Kyle is his father, and not of the other timeline since he’s altered it. And James Cameron made a boo boo with the time too, he made T2 10 years later because John Connor was supposed to be 10 at the time. But he must have forgotten that in the beginning of T1, the bum says it’s May. So given the 9 months Sarah has to be pregnant with John, in order for him to be 10, T2 should have taken place in 1995, not 1994, lol. That was just a mistake, no explanations for that one.

  11. “There could have been a scene where Connor sends back that model and instructs him to give that response when young Connor asks.”

    That would be impossible(unless you are talking about Kate Brewster Connor)b/c John in T3 is dead, well future John Connor that is.

  12. Matt K, if you read my entire comment on the subject I state that the Terminator in T3 could have been damaged and or had its programming compromised, etc during the final battle to send it back. It was after all the last one Connor sent. It believed it killed Connor but who really knows what happened til some writer creates it,,, :-)
    It could have programmed that way by Connor himself so that he would prevent it from happening,,,

    I would have loved to see ties to the first 3 films in T4. All we got was the comical tape scene.

  13. Wouldn’t that seem REALLY contrived 790? I mean, not to say that a lot of the stuff in T4 didn’t seem like that already, because they did, lol.

  14. Sending Reese and the 2 Terminators back through time under heavy Skynet resistance, sounds contrived,!,?,

    Enjoy Terminator Salvation,,,,

  15. Wha?? I’m talking about your explanation for the explanation given in T3, how it thought this, and they damaged this, and it was reprogrammed like that, to explain why it “thinks” it kills John, and why it says this wrong, and why it says this other thing, etc. And what do you mean “under heavy skynet resistance”? In case you missed it, they sent Kyle and the Terminator back AFTER Skynet was basically defeated and it sent the Terminators back out of desperation… So, if by “heavy resistance” you mean maybe a computer voice going “no wait, you don’t want to do that, you will be given cake if you don’t do that.” Then yes, they did it under heavy resistance… (wonder if anyone knows what I’m referring to…) 😛

  16. Ken J, I’m not trying to justify my point in a riddle. (Let me try and explain it this way),,,,

    My view on a Terminator 3 sequel (T4), would have been a stand alone future war epic that would have wrapped up the Judgment Day timeline and covered the victory over Skynet.?. The events that we knew to take place (as T1-T2-T3 canon) would be shown as Time Travel side effects. We would see how Connor’s tech team under fire from “back up systems” of Skynet reprogrammed and sent back the 2 Terminators.
    Reese wouldn’t know about them because he was sent back before they came on line. This would end everything Reese knew about the future (T1 canon) the second he left 2029.

    You see how the future events can be altered to line up with T1,T2 and T3 canon… We don’t need to send HK’s back to London Mcg you moron!!!
    Mcg took a dirt road on this franchise.

  17. Well, I don’t think anyone here thinks we should send HK’s or John Connor to London, lol. That is just a wacky idea…

  18. Ken get ready to see Connor in London.
    As well as HK’s and Harvesters in T5.

    I have a friend that knows a guy in the UK that’s working on T5 and that’s what they’re gonna do. At least at this point. No sheet.

  19. If terminator 5 isn’t a movie about the future war like salvation should have been I won’t seeing it. Mcg is an idiot.

  20. McG suffers from what he himself calls a “long-standing broad spectrum anxiety disorder”, and it’s almost as if he’s bringing some kind of massive self-destructive baggage to the table (which is probably why he feels he can put “a little bit more meat” on Nemo’s bones). Not exactly making things easy for himself, is he?

    He’s had at least one (costly) public meltdown, refusing to board a plane to Australia to shoot the JJ Abrams Superman in 2003; he needs to be put on 24-hour watch and given a slap if he doesn’t take his medication. And once he’s back from the realms of his own super-ego, THEN he might be fit to make a movie.

    I mean…London? That’s as bizarre a choice as Will Smith for Nemo. Can’t he just wear a hair shirt and leave the rest of us right out of it? Does we really want to see an endoskeleton hopping on board a double-decker bus? Or an HK being forced to pay the congestion charge?

    Does anyone know why it’s London that gets singled out for the enactment of McG’s psychosis, as opposed to…oh, I don’t know…any other unlikely location on the planet?

  21. Do we really

  22. On a sidenote: what about bringing Robert ‘T-1000′ Patrick back for T5? Weren’t there rumours about that?

  23. Yeah Rhaemye, Mcg want to use him as a resistance research scientist that’s working on a cure for childhood diabetes of something like that.
    Of course Skynet captures him and turns his work into what will become the T-1000 more or less. That’s the rumor.

    I think its an absolutely craptacular idea and just goes to show how completely out of touch Mcg is with the Terminator franchise.

  24. How can John connor lead the resistance to victory in the future if Mcg sends him back in time? Has Mcg just decided to change everything?

  25. @Ken
    why would a terminator, that gets updated constantly with information, not know about the events in T1 or T2 even if it was created after the fact?

  26. Choice McG quote: “I’m reintroducing the fist-fight to movie sets. I don’t think there’s been a film I’ve made where there hasn’t been some kind of physical fight. I mean, I’ve been headbutted by an A-list star. Square in the head. An inch later and my nose would have been obliterated. I probably shouldn’t (reveal the name), but it was Bill Murray. Y’know, it’s a passionate industry.”

    Which might put a slightly different perspective on the “Bale throws a wobbler” incident. I picture him now whispering to that DoP, “Shane, my friend, would you just go over there and shift that light a liiiittle bit to the left for me, please? Just a touch? Christian’ll love it…”

  27. @critic

    Not the events of T1 and T2, it wouldn’t be aware of the “original” date of Judgment Day before it was “changed” due to the events we watched in T1 and T2. Terminators don’t exist until after the whole Skynet goes crazy, causes Judgment Day blah blah blah. Remember in T1 and T2, they keep saying it’s going to happen in 1997? Well, obviously according to T3, it didn’t happen in 1997, but later, so the date was changed. But according to the Terminators and Skynet, they should only be aware of the new date, since that’s the only time it happens for them and the only time that really exists for them. Nobody should really know about how it was “supposed to happen” in 1997 but didn’t except John, Sarah, and anyone else who were told that it was supposed to be so. Even for them it was just someone’s word and even they don’t know for SURE that it was actually going to happen on that exact date…

    What if you were “supposed” to have been born a day earlier, but sometime in the future, a time machine is invented and someone went back in time and delayed your mom and dad meeting by one day. Would you know that “hey, I was supposed to be born a day earlier.” Or would you only know of your current birth date? That’s the same with the Terminators, they are only aware of their current timeline, not of timelines that never happened to them.

  28. @Dentist

    LOL, that would have been pretty funny if it was all instigated by McGriddle…

  29. Quote:“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.”

    I think McG should let the rumor continue to be a rumor.

    Terminator Salvation started a new beginning for the franchise, and opened up a world of future war between humans and machines that hadn’t been seen much before. This is a new beginning, a new age for the Terminator Series.

    However, the “out of the apocalyptic world and into the contemporary world”idea means that we will see the story take place in the past again. But we have already seen enough of the past in the Terminator Past Trilogy(T1~T3).
    The idea of going back doesn’t seem reasonable nor acceptable to me.

    “THE FUTURE IS NOT SET, THERE IS NO FATE BUT WHAT WE MAKE FOR OURSELVES!” This is the Terminator Spirit. For the new Terminator movies, the idea of John Connor leading the human resistance to the ultimate victory is magnificent, for we can see more glorious side of the spirit of humanity, and that is the core of the series, the soul of the franchise. The storytelling of the future war can show that better, so I hope to see the story remain happening in the future after what Terminator Salvation left off.

    Besides, there is much more to explore in the future world. So why not leave the job of telling the story to the new Terminator movies?Terminator Salvation did a terrific job by giving us something we had never seen before, the unique plot, emotional characters, great visual effects, and at the same time, leading us to the deep thought of the differences between humans and machines——-THE STRENGTH OF HUMAN HEARTS.

    Another reason why I would like to see T5 take place in the future is that, as a faithful audience of the franchise, I look forward to seeing more connections built between the new Terminator movies and the Terminator Past Trilogy. For example, how the Terminators got sent back, how the more advanced terminators which appeared in the Past Trilogy got created and how they would make a difference in the future, what happened to the important human characters……So you see, there is much more to explore in the stories, much more to tell to the audience, and much more for the great franchise that could be done to complete the magnificent series.

    TERMINATOR, this word stands for more than just a name of a movie series, it stands for an age of inspiration.