While the dust is still settling from the sale of the Terminator franchise rights, people are wondering what the new owners, the hedge fund company Pacificor, will do about moving the franchise forward.
A few more Terminator movies are almost certainly on the horizon (would Pacificor spend $30 million + for the rights if they weren't going to use them?), and fans are already worrying whether the franchise will undergo some kind of reboot, or continue on with the plot elements introduced in Terminator Salvation, including the proposed storylines that were pitched for Salvation's sequels.
Quick recap: when director McG came up with the concept for Terminator Salvation (namely examining the events of the future war between Skynet and humanity) he planned it as a new trilogy. The idea was to tell the stories we only heard about in James Cameron's original Terminator films: How John Connor rose up to lead humanity against the machines; how Connor met his father Kyle Reese and sent him back in time to save his mother, Sarah Connor, in T1; the development of the T-800, T-100, and the end of the future war.
That all sounded cool on paper, but then T4 handed us some business about Sam Worthington as a human/machine hybrid who discovers Kyle Reese; John Connor being implanted with a machine's heart to survive, blah blah blah...
Worse yet, before Terminator Salvation was even in theaters McG was already talking about changing the game for T5 by transporting the future war through time into a modern day setting where contemporary society would have to defend itself against an invading horde of machines... And we all cringed in unison.
Deadline has picked up the exclusive news that William Wisher - who co-wrote Terminator 1 & 2 - has been doing some story treatments for Terminator 5 & 6. Wisher apparently has a 24-page detailed treatment for T5 and a 4-page concept treatment for T6. So what does Wisher's version of the future war read like? Deadline's Mike Fleming reports:
As a Terminator fanboy myself, I think Wisher has done a terrific job with a plot that accepts the storylines from Jonathan Mostow’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and McG’s Terminator: Salvation...
Wisher’s 2-picture construct takes place in a post-apocalyptic battleground, and factors in an element of time travel that allows for Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese to interact beyond their single fateful meeting when he traveled back in time to protect her in the original film. Wisher has created a role for Arnold Schwarzenegger that is as surprising as his shift from villain in the first film, to John Connor’s bodyguard in the second. Schwarzenegger wouldn’t be needed until the final film, which wouldn’t shoot until after he ends his term as California Governor. And who wouldn’t want to see Linda Hamilton back in aerobic top fitness form as Sarah Connor?
There are several new villains, and plenty of firepower. For instance, a swarm of “Night Crawlers,” 4 1/2-foot tall border sentries that are set like mines to spring up out of the ground and ambush rebel fighters with 10 MM pistols built into their wrists, and fingers and feet that are razor sharp. Also fresh off the Skynet assembly line are new shape-shifting cyborgs that can morph together in Transformers-like mode, and are more lethal than anything we’ve seen in previous Terminator installments.
Wisher presents a satisfying conclusion to what by then would be a 6-picture struggle between Skynet’s machines and John and Sarah Connor to preserve a future that allows mankind to prevail over the machines.
One thing the post-Cameron Terminator films have sorely lacked is a respectable villain. The T-1000 remains, in my opinion, the pinnacle of scary, badass villains (the "T-X?" FAIL). I like the sound of these "Night Crawlers" (they would make for some great scares) and I DEFINITELY find this shape-shifting, mighty-morphing cyborg concept to be intruiging. An army of advanced T-1000's perhaps?
And bringing back the actual Arnold Schwarzenegger for a surprising role? SIGN ME UP.
I'm a little nervous about this Kyle/Sarah time traveling idea, though. How would that work? The one thing that has practically strangled the life out of this Terminator franchise is all the paradoxical problems that go with a time travel plotline. I don't even want to talk about it - it only makes my head hurt trying to figure it all out.
How do you feel about Wisher's concept for Terminator 5 and Terminator 6? Better than McG's? Still not what you're looking for?
Sound off in the comments (or on Twitter @ppnkof)