There were several highly successful franchise relaunches in 2015 (Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Creed), but Terminator: Genisys was not one of them. Despite the nostalgia trip of seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger in his iconic T-800 role once again, the reboot was seen as one of the more lackluster tentpoles in the summer movie season. Panned by critics upon release, it struggled at the box office - making just $89.7 million in the states. However, it received a massive financial boost from the international markets, and its global haul ended up being $440.6 million, on a $155 million budget.
While Genisys ended up not being a total wash, it was hardly what distributor Paramount was hoping for. After the film's disappointing performance, the studio announced that future plans for the franchise were being "readjusted" before removing the previously scheduled sequels from the release calendar. It would appear that a Terminator 6 is not in the cards at all now, but according to Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Genisys follow-up could still become a reality one day.
While talking with Channel 9 in Australia (via Telegraph), the action star was asked about the chances another Terminator film is made. His answer was simply, "I'm looking forward to it, absolutely." That's hardly an official confirmation, but it does indicate that Paramount has not completely killed the project yet. If that were the case, Schwarzenegger would most likely have a different response, perhaps one reflecting on the failings of Genisys and why it's best to not go back.
It will be interesting to see if the Terminator series has a future or if Paramount just lets it be. The studio isn't exactly hurting for a franchise; they're moving ahead on an expanded universe for the billion-dollar Transformers property and the modern Star Trek films are still going strong with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto signed on for a sequel to this summer's Star Trek Beyond. They could be better served further investing in those brands instead of trying to continue something that did not excite many moviegoers. There aren't a ton of people clamoring to see more of the new Terminator world, meaning that additional sequels could yield diminishing returns for the studio.
At the same token, there are ways to salvage a Terminator 6 and get people enthused for more stories set in the world. The franchise's mythology runs deep enough that filmmakers can take a page from the Marvel or Star Wars playbook and craft adventures about new characters fighting indestructible killing machines (without handcuffing themselves to the Connor family). Dark Horse did that in the comic book medium during the 1990s, so all it would take is a director with a vivid imagination to bring something new and fresh to the franchise. If Paramount is game for a sixth film, that may be the best way to go.
That said, ever since the release of James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the series has been on a steady decline. Three films in a row haven't impressed viewers, including Terminator 3 and Terminator: Salvation. Since it's been so difficult to continue the series in the post-Cameron era, maybe there isn't anything left to do. Schwarzenegger is hoping he gets another shot to play the T-800, but in the end, it could just be wishful thinking on his part. Unless Paramount comes across a great idea for a narrative, Terminator 6 isn't going to be high on their list of priorities.
We'll keep you updated on Terminator 6 as more information becomes available.
Source: Channel 9 (via Telegraph)