“I’ll be back.” Those three words became iconic in film history following the release of 1984’s The Terminator. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger – in the role that launched him to A-list status – as the titular murderous cyborg, The Terminator was directed and co-written by James Cameron, long before he became the Hollywood heavyweight the world knows today. A huge success both commercially and critically, The Terminator led to an even more highly-regarded sequel, 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. With Cameron and Arnold both back, many hold T2 up as one of the best action films of all-time.
Unfortunately, the Terminator franchise’s fortunes have steadily fallen since then; 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – the first installment with zero involvement from Cameron – garnered a mixed response from fans at best, and 2009 prequel Terminator: Salvation has already been mostly forgotten. An aging Arnold came back to star in 2015’s Terminator: Genisys, which drew even worse notices from critics, and tanked at the domestic box office. This effectively put the kibosh on plans to continue Genisys’ story with sequels.
With the once-dominant Terminator franchise currently on the ropes, now would be a great time for Cameron to return and take a shot at getting his creation back on the right track. Thankfully, according to a new report by Deadline, that’s exactly what’s he gearing up to do. Cameron – who regains full legal control of The Terminator in 2019 – is reportedly preparing to shepherd forth a new entry into the storied series, with Deadpool helmer Tim Miller in early talks to direct the project.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this story that remains unclear at the moment is what exactly Cameron and Miller plan to do with the film from a creative standpoint, assuming this deal gets finalized. Will the duo opt to simply ignore the Terminator sequels Cameron wasn’t involved with, and make a film that concludes the original Terminator 1 and 2 continuity? Or will they instead choose to reboot the franchise entirely, crafting a Terminator movie for a new generation? Questions like these are likely to remain unanswered for quite some time to come.
If Cameron and Miller do indeed decide to resume the original franchise continuity, one wonders whether there would still be a place in the series for former mainstays like Arnold and Linda Hamilton, or whether their roles would simply be recast with more age appropriate actors. Of course, that presumes that the semi-retired Hamilton would even be interested in returning. After all, she declined to come back for T3, and made only a vocal cameo in Salvation. As for Arnold, it’s quite possible Cameron and Miller might want to make a clean break from the baggage attached to a misfire like Genisys, including its star. Only time – and James Cameron – will tell.
We’ll keep you updated on The Terminator as more information becomes available.