Arnold Schwarzenegger’s staging a comeback (beginning with tomorrow’s The Last Stand), but there’s been little to nothing of substance to report about a new installment in his iconic sci-fi/action franchise, The Terminator, over the past year. That changes today, with a concrete update on Terminator 5.
Director Justin Lin left the project back in 2011, in order to take on Fast and the Furious 6 instead; though, the absence of an actual script probably contributed to him passing on T5 for a faster-moving blockbuster. That’s allowed Megan Ellison – the current owner of the Terminator franchise rights – more time to seek out and hire on screenwriters appropriate for the job.
Deadline is reporting that Terminator 5 screenwriting duties have been assigned to Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier. Kalogridis’ writing resume includes director Timur Bekmambetov’s Night Watch, Oliver Stone’s Alexander, both the unaired and aired Bionic Woman pilot and Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. Moreover, she served as an executive producer on Terminator creator James Cameron’s Avatar, did some scripting on the filmmaker’s stalled Fantastic Voyage remake – which he is producing, not directing – and has been associated with his gestating Battle Angel adaptation in some creative capacity. (Coincidence? Probably not.)
Lussier, on the other hand, has made his living as an editor for over twenty years and also been working as a writer, director and editor working on the Dracula 2000 series. He handled all three jobs on the 3D My Bloody Valentine remake and Drive Angry, while also finding time over the years to edit Wes Carven’s Cursed and Red Eye (not to mention, Apollo 18).
That’s to say: Lussier and Kalogridis make for a curious pairing on Terminator 5, seeing how the former specializes in B-movie horror fare and the latter traditionally contributes to either high-minded material or concept-oriented science fiction (and sometimes, a combination of both). Then again, there are currently no confirmed plot or character details floating about, so it’s hard to determine if the planned T5 story – which (back when Lin was directing) was gearing up to break continuity from both Terminator: Rise of the Machines and Terminator: Salvation - plays to the different writers’ strengths.
Last we heard, Arnold plans to be involved with the film in some sgnificant capacity (despite the obvious constraints that come with his age). Moreover, the implication was that Terminator 5 won’t move forward until Schwarzenegger agrees the film is shaping up as superior to Rise of the Machines. In the meantime, he’s planning to revisit some of his other 1980s properties, with Legend of Conan and Triplets instead (take that as you will).
More on Terminator 5 as the story develops.