Word that multiple stars of the original Terminator movie, not just Arnold Schwarzenegger, were officially attached to Terminator 5 prompted speculation that the film would essentially amount to a partial reboot of the sci-fi franchise - a series that, due to its overuse of time-travel as a plot point, has technically already "rebooted" itself several times in the past.
Director Justin Lin has now dismissed the rumor that stars like Linda Hamilton are on-board to reunite with Schwarzenegger in the new Terminator flick; however, he hasn't denied the possibility that the series continuity could be "rebooted" again in the (for now, still theoretical) fifth film.
Lin had the following to offer MTV, on the subject of Terminator 5 in its current state:
"Everything has just been between me and Arnold, you know? Just us going out and trying to find the right partners. I have certain elements, but it's never been about, 'Hey, let's bring everybody back!' I just don't process that way.
To me, thematically, there are certain things that I want to see in a 'Terminator' movie. A lot of that does draw back to creating this timeline that is an extension, closer tonally to the first and second movies. But to me, it's not as mathematical as, 'Hey, let's get everybody back together and we'll shoot the movie.'"
The prospect of another Terminator movie is still not one I'm all that excited about, but at least the proposed "original cast reunion" idea is not in the cards. That rumored approach, which involved the Sarah Connor character still being alive in the year 2012, just read as too messy and confusing, even given the already-convoluted nature of the Terminator franchise timeline.
It is encouraging to hear Lin express a desire to return to the tone and structure of James Cameron's first two Terminator movies - which are (pretty much) universally considered superior to the last two films but then again, wouldn't it be more shocking if he didn't say something along those lines?
That brings us to what Lin did say on the subject of maintaining the continuity of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator: Salvation in the fifth film:
"I always feel like what's great about the 'Terminator' franchise is that there's time-travel and there are different timelines to play with. There are also a lot of gaps from what we love about all of the 'Terminator' movies, so there's a lot of things we can do and play with... ['Terminator'] does have that capability, finding fresh ways of going back without destroying other [movies], because you can tell your own stories."
So, essentially, it sounds as though whatever Lin is cooking up for Terminator 5 will almost certainly involve more time-traveling and further rupture of the series continuity. The question now is whether or not the movie will also involve John Connor slowly being erased from existence after a Terminator prevents his mother and Kyle Reese from ever meeting and falling in love at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance (I kid, I kid).
On a more serious note: Terminator 5 is still not "a sure thing" just yet. Lin looks to have Fast and the Furious 6 on his plate in the future, and Schwarzenegger is already pressing ahead with several other projects. So for now we just have to wait and see if this new installment actually comes to fruition.