James Cameron Developing ‘True Lies’ TV Show

Published 5 years ago by

true lies James Cameron Developing True Lies TV Show

James Cameron’s True Lies was a critical and box office hit back in 1994 and although it wasn’t the first action/comedy hybrid, it became the benchmark for every subsequent entry into the sub-genre that attempted to cash in on its formula and success. Although plans for a sequel have never come to fruition, it looks as if the property will continue on in another medium instead.

Deadline reports that Cameron is working on a True Lies television show and will soon begin shopping the idea around to various networks. Rene Echevarria (The 4400, Castle) will serve as the showrunner and executive producer.  Echevarria previously collaborated with Cameron on the acclaimed director’s first foray into television, the sci-fi series Dark Angel.

True Lies followed the exploits of Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a family man moonlighting as a secret agent. After discovering his wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) may be having an affair, he uses his government resources to investigate her lying Lothario and give her the adventure and excitement she’s yearning for. Things go awry and both of them wind up hostages of an Islamic terrorist organization.

When the film ends, there are no more secrets between Harry & Helen and they’re now working as partners. There’s no word if the series would pick up from there and act as a quasi-sequel or simply start from scratch. One thing’s for certain, though – somewhere Tom Arnold is anxiously awaiting a phone call.

Cameron was reportedly ready to get the ball rolling on True Lies 2 back in 2002 but the 9/11 attacks caused him to rethink his plans. Declaring that terrorism was not something to be taken lightly, he put the project on hold and circumstances prevented him from returning to it.

While I’m sure many fans would have preferred a sequel over a True Lies TV series, the fact is the original cast isn’t getting any younger and between Avatar 2, Battle Angel, and The Dive, Cameron’s schedule wouldn’t be able to accommodate it for many, many years.

true lies header 2 James Cameron Developing True Lies TV Show

Of course the landscape for this particular genre is a lot more crowded now and True Lies will have to find a way to differentiate itself from the horde of clones the film helped create. Cameron’s involvement is certainly a plus, but it remains to be seen whether the show will appease fans who’ve patiently waited for the further adventures of the Tasker family.

While it’s not even close to being my favorite Cameron film, True Lies is still satisfying and well-executed. I was definitely interested in a sequel but recognized the window of opportunity had probably closed on that several years ago.  For me, the part of the film that’s the most fun is when Helen doesn’t understand that she’s not really a secret agent and believes the whole mess is her fault. I’m less interested in the Tasker’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith-style team-up.

What do you guys think? Can the premise of True Lies sustain itself as a TV show?

Source: Deadline.

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  1. “You’re fired!”

    Great film, love every second, its the closest thing to an American James Bond film taht you will ever have.

    I presume a tv version will be a spy juggling his domestic life and keeping his wife in the dark, could work, or could be cheesy. If Cameron is actually involved then I’ll hold out some hope.

    I’d rather see Arnie and Cameron back for a sequel though.

    • @Sam

      Well, it wouldn’t be about that since Helen knows and so does his daughter by the end of the film.

      The weird thing is, there’s a tv show called Under Covers or something like that by JJ Arams that when I saw the commercials reminded me a whole lot of True Lies… I really think they got their inspiration for that show from True Lies because some parts look like they were ripped straight from the movie. Like the comic relief inside a van relaying info to them, to them dancing the tango in the middle of a mission, and some other things too…

      Have you seen those commercials? Any idea what I’m referring to? I bet if you’ve seen them you’ll see the resemblance too, lol.

      • Ya know Ken, I was wondering why that show looked familiar!! Now that you mention it, it DOES look like scenes from TL!!

        • @Andy

          Good, so I’m not completely crazy, lol. I recognized the resemblance right away, I’ve seen True Lies too many times, lol, well, there’s no such thing as too many because I would love to watch it again…

  2. hmm, another spy show…why doesnt he just plan another film, who says TL2 HAS to be about terrorism, thats a cop out excuse to me lol.

    • nooob john cena rocks

  3. I guess it’s a mute point with the TV series and all, but how would you guys have felt about a sequel that Cameron produced but didn’t direct? Better than a TV show or no sequel or at all? Or would that be a deal breaker?

    • well, Chris depends on who the director was. True Lies felt to me as a hard PG-13 film, not an R rated film, given the fact that there are have been so many PG-13 sequels, i dont thk i would mind it at all, and for me to say something like that is a big deal lol, considering, i hate PG-13 sequels to r rated films and all. if say McG did it…lets not get into that one LOL.

      • You’re right, it would depend on who it was. I should have clarified if Cameron were at least producing and involved with the film then we could at least be certain it’d be a filmmaker who had his blessing. Not a Terminator situation where the franchise gets hijacked and he has no participation.

        A Cameron produced sequel vs a Cameron produced TV series was what I was getting at. The former gets my vote I think, but alas- it wasn’t meant to be.

        The film balanced the action and humor so well. So much better than a lot of other similar films. If they can preserve that it might be worth checking out.

        • Let’s face it though, no way can Arnold reprise his role as Harry if they did a sequel now. He’s a bit longer in the tooth now.

  4. What kind of sick b**th steals the ice cube trays!?

    I love that movie.

  5. I could deal with a sequel directed by someone else, I’d like Cameron to be involved though.

    • just not McG!!

  6. I’m probably gonna get some heat for this, but ‘True Lies’ is my least favorite film from Cameron. IMO, a sequel would be pointless. There’s really no where you can go with the story other than making it a re-hash of the first film, but have Tasker’s daughter as the main character (cliched). The only reason I would want to see a sequel is b/c I loved the chemistry between Schwarzenegger and Tom Arnold.

    • I’ve said the same thing – least favorite Cameron film tied with Avater (I’ll probably take more heat for that one).

      True Lies was a fun movie tho, had it on VHS and watched it many times during my college years.

      • Come on, no way Avatar was as good as True Lies… So you say least favorite, so this is behind The Abyss and Titanic??

        For me, it’s:
        Terminator 2
        True Lies
        The Terminator
        The Abyss/Avatar (kind of tied in my opinion)

        • This is how I list his films:

          Terminator 2
          The Abyss
          True Lies

          • Crap. I forgot ‘Aliens’ lol. I’d put that before ‘Titanic’.

            • I’d put watching paint dry before Titanic. Never have seen, never WILL see it.

        • Ken – yep. People say what you want about Titanic, but it is still a great movie. I liked Abyss too.

          I’ve watched Avatar a couple times since it came out on Blu-ray, and I still ask myself “why do people love this movie so much?” I just don’t get it. I cared way more about hte characters in both Titanic and Abyss than I ever did with Avatar.

          The only major problem I have with True Lies is the middle 45 minutes or so when the plot forgets about the terrorists trying to blow a nuke on US soil so Harry can follow his cheating wife. A little rediculous. That and “jump! Daddy will catch yooo!” makes me cringe

          • @”The only major problem I have with True Lies is the middle 45 minutes or so when the plot forgets about the terrorists trying to blow a nuke on US soil so Harry can follow his cheating wife. A little rediculous.”

            Yeah. I have that same problem with the film. Not to mention, the terrorist just show up out of nowhere again. I did think Paxton was HILARIOUS in that role though.

  7. 1. Aliens
    2. T2
    3. Avatar
    4. True lies
    5. Terminator
    6. The abyss
    7. Titanic

    I wont count his documentaries. But they are really good too.

    • Everyone is leaving out Piranha 2… Cammy directed that sucker too(albeit trunkated but still credited none the less).

      • gee I wonder why…

      • @dc

        That doesn’t even count, I’m sure even James Cameron wishes he had nothing to do with that crapfest. But if you must, my amended list is:
        Terminator 2
        True Lies
        The Terminator
        The Abyss/Avatar
        And in a distant last Piranha 2


        • I heard him say once that he doesn’t count ‘Piranha 2′, b/c he dropped out half way through the film or something. I forget his exact quote.

  8. Ive only seen avatar and titanic ill get to his others eventually!

    • Not even Terminator or Terminator 2? If not, then stop what you’re doing, and rent both of them lol.

    • Yah, seriously, you’ve only seen his two worst movies in my opinion. I liked Avatar, but compared to his other movies, not even close…

      You HAVE to watch the first 2 Terminators and Aliens. Terminator 3 and 4 were done by other people and both of them sucked big time, especially 3. 4 had good action scenes but the plot had more holes than a deer crossing sign in Mississippi…

  9. Rickster, wth!? Never seen t2, aliens, terminator or the abyss? Dude watch those asap!

  10. ‘Cause the Terminator series was so good…?

    • The first two were. 3 and salvation, not so much…

      • Terminator 1 and 2 were just EPIC MASTERPIECES. 3 was complete crap, but Salvation was great as a mindless action flick.

        • @Matt K

          I agree with you completely on that.

          I think anyone who says 1 and 2 were not great movies just forfeited their credibility as opinionated movie-goers… lol, just kidding, but seriously, they were awesome. T2 is one of the very few movies I could watch 10 times in a row and never get sick of it.

          • ken, im still reeling over here at the fact you saw Titanic lol. sorry man, holster your .45 now, thanks :)

            • @anthony

              LOL, it’s the downside of having a girlfriend. :-D

              Yes, the one positive thing about being single, you don’t get forced to watch stupid love stories. You think Titanic is bad, at least it has a very realistically recreated Titanic. I’ve been forced to watch… I’m afraid to say it… The Notebook… *drops head in shame*

                • I was not the greatest movie, but I am glad I saw it in IMAX 3-D. Not a big fan of 3-D, but Cameron really made a movie that is an experience in 3-D.

                • When avatar came out i told my girlfriend it was a james cameron film, she said: didn’t he do that retarted titanic movie. She is awesome.

                  • @sully

                    Well, other than the watching crappy movies thing, I like having a girlfriend who is girly girl. So I guess I’ll put up with it, lol.

                • @anthony

                  Considering the hype because it was James Cameron, there was almost no way in hell it would match that kind of hype. Not that I don’t have faith in James Cameron, but it’s really hard for anyone, even him, to follow his previous movies like The Terminator movies and Aliens…

                  I also agree that Avatar wasn’t all that it was hyped up to be, but the amount of hate and anger it has spawned on internet blog sites is very entertaining to me. Just because it’s not as good as we’d hoped, is it really worse than the other garbage being released lately?? I mean seriously…

                  • LOL point noted ken :)

              • Oh me too. The second half of Titanic was enjoyable until all the floating dead people. But there was no sinking ship in the Notebook. There were some explosions though :)

      • I meant the Sarah Connor Cronicles. Sorry. Should have specified :/

        I actually liked all the Terminator films. But The first 2 were the only ones worth calling “great”

        • @foopher

          Oh, lol, but Cameron didn’t make the tv series. And I thought the first season was ok, but the second season was pretty horrible…

          • I know he didn’t. But it was from the franchise he started. I’m just thinking that they might run out of ideas real quick. I mean we have that J.J. Abrams show “Undercovers” now, so another spy couple show might flop.

            • That show seems like such a True Lies ripoff, lol.

  11. T2
    True Lies
    The Abyss

    I could watch the first 4 over and over. I liked the Abyss, but it really moved VERY slowly. Avatar at least had a lot of action.

    • @Andy

      Which version of The Abyss did you watch? The theatrical or the Director’s Cut? I understand you said it moved slowly and the Director’s Cut is actually LONGER, so it’ll probably be even slower, lol, but to me it’s definitely the way to go. They cut out too many important parts in the theatrical cut, so much so that the plot actually didn’t make sense toward the end without the scenes they deleted… But your list is very close to mine, just with The Terminator and True Lies switched. And I also placed The Abyss pretty low because of its pacing, but overall I still really like the film. Avatar had some pretty awesome action, but I was a little distracted at the fact that the people who looked like American troops were the bad guys… But I know that’s not Cameron’s intentions so I tried to not think about it that way while watching it…

      • yeah when i saw it in the theaters ken, i walked out of it scratching my head..”why were they there in the ocean” bought the directors cut when it came out years ago. my question was finally answered :)

        • @anthony

          Yah, it boggles my mind why they felt the need to cut out such important parts in The Abyss while leaving a lot of more boring parts in tact. Then to further confuse me, Titanic comes out in all its 3 hour glory. How come they didn’t cut that movie???? Hollywood is so strange sometimes…

          • yea after seeing the directors cut, i shook my head. such a rookie choice in cutting out the main reasoning behind them being there.

            • @Ken J…


              I watched the theatrical version. I will have to check for the directors cut on Netflix.

              • @Andy

                Yah, a lot of burning questions will be answered after watching that. We’re not joking when we say they cut out probably the most important aspect of the entire movie…

                • Just added it to my Netflix queue….

  12. i actually liked The Terminator better than T2 :) still cant beat Aliens though no way

    • I loved the original Terminator film, Anthony, but watching it now the SFx are borderline cheesy compared to T2.

      • yes i know, i still like it better lol. it doesnt need to be SFX heavy in order for me to enjoy it a lot more :)

        • I agree, but SFx that are blatantly bad compared to other films can be a distraction. The eyeball scene in Terminator is that way to me. Good for it’s time, but just blatantly obvious SFx now.

          • i see your point trust me :) but youre talking to a guy that STILL enjoys the heck out of old school 50′s scifi classics

            • As do I, Anthony. Still love The Day the Earth Stood Still, and any time I pass by a B&W scifi flick I have to check it out.

          • But you can’t make it look more like a robot than having an actual robot. Haha

            • foopher makes a very valid point… lol

              • well, Stan Winston was ahead of his time LOL

                • Totally agree on that point! Stan was the MAN!!

      • @Andy

        It wasn’t Borderline cheesy, it IS cheesy compared to T2, but it was also, what, close to 10 years that separated them? The effects in The Terminator were good for its time. But with that said, I still love The Terminator, not for its special effects but for the suspense, story, and action. Great movie.

          • @anthony

            In case you’re wondering, that was an AMT Hardballer. Made famous by the movie, the prices soured, problem was, AMT was a horrible company and they were probably the least accurate and least reliable 1911 style pistols you could buy, lol. Overpriced crap basically…

            But yes, that was part of why the movie was so good, there was no glorified stylized shootouts, it was about a robot that had only one intention in mind, no need to do anything fancy, just bust in the door and shoot her with everything in the magazine! If something like that was real and wanted you dead, I think even the bravest man will need to change his underpants…

              • Not dissing The Terminator at all, I love that film and was one the first films I bought on DVD when I got my first DVD player. I just think that the better SFx as well as a solid storyline, makes T2 beter to me.

  13. I wouldn’t mind a TL tv series if they can differentiate from the other spy shows on TV (or have been on TV). Although, as someone mentioned, it would almost feel like a Mr. and Mrs. Smith show now. Arnold in no way can return to his role as Harry and Jamie Lee Curtis can’t return as Helen. Their chemistry, as well as the chemistry between Arnold and Tom Arnold, was what made that movie so much fun. To recast those roles right now would almost make the show feel like a ripoff of True Lies. I’m racking my brain, but I can’t think of ANYONE who can take over those roles and do them justice.

    • Man, you can’t compare those two movies. Sure I agree Mr. and Mrs. Smith probably stole a few ideas from True Lies, but to me they are MILES apart. To me it’s like comparing food a poop. Sure technically both have some of the same ingredients since one is the result of the other, but you’ll only want to eat one… Man that’s such a disgusting metaphor, but in terms of True Lies and that stupid Pitt and Jolie movie it’s the best I can come up with…

      • “it’s like comparing food a poop”

        that’s probably the hardest I’ve laughed all year. thanks for that one

  14. Wow. I will see his other films guys dont worry! Titanic is really good guys and avatar,masterpieces those who say titanic sucks are completely WRONG.

    • LOL, youre letting your little crush on leo cloud your film judgements :)

  15. If theres no point time for a sequel to True Lies, Why bother with a tv series? Id just leave True Lies by itself. Ending was good. Heres my list of Cameron’s films ive seen

    1. The Terminator
    2. Terminator 2 Judgement Day
    3. Aliens
    4. True Lies
    5. Avatar
    6. Titanic

    Never seen The Abyss. I liked all the Terminator films and felt T4 had more story to it while T3 seemed like the one that was more of a action flick. I tried to watch the TSCC but wasn’t the same and glad knowing it ended with a cliffhanger as i would be ticked off as. But the first film was always my favorite.

  16. Anthony
    Im serious titanic is really good,one of my fave movies.

    • i am sorry to hear that sir, turn in your Man Card now, k, thanks :)

  17. Anthony
    What?!? I dont think youve seen it so u cant say bad things about it.

    • “You jump, I jump”

      I jumped… off the sanity cliff

    • what “bad” things did i say about it on this thread? lol

  18. Pikachu

    I know but we all know all the bad things you think of titanic lol!

  19. Well ok then. ;)

  20. notice how the people at the begginning of the thread are the same in the middle and the and and they are repeating the same things over and over again. titanic was good. the part when the boat just ripped apart was the best