Everyone in Hollywood wants to be master of the universe, it would seem. While DC and Warner Bros. are often accused of trying to emulate the unprecedented success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many other companies are trying to adopt the commercially enormous strategy – production company Skydance included.
With its Terminator: Genisys about to hit the big screen, Skydance CCO Dana Goldberg, and CEO David Ellison have been explaining their grand plans to the gathered press – detailing plans for a new Terminator TV show in the process.
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Initially, David Ellison laid out the rationale behind the development of such a project.
“It’s something that we’re developing as we speak. To speak kind of larger to that, one of the things we would love to do at Skydance – it’s a very lofty goal – is to build worlds across multiple mediums. And to me, I think everyone talks in Hollywood about franchises, ‘it’s a franchise business, it’s a franchise business.’ I think that’s a slightly old-fashioned word, and I think it’s a world creation business. The dream for us would be to obviously make film, television shows, we have a video game with Glu, comic books, and they should all be standalone experiences. If you just watch the movies, or if you just watch a television show, it’s a complete experience. But if you are the kind of fans that we are over this material, and you watch all of it collectively, it all interweaves to feel like a larger universe that you can experience if you’re a huge fan of Terminator, or any other franchise that we’re fortunate enough to work on.
“[It’s] a little premature to be able to say [if it will tie directly into the movie], but I will say anything we do along those lines, it will absolutely have connective tissue. It would be a mistake and a little old-fashioned to have a television show and a movie – both based on something, [but] that actually doesn’t cross over in any way, shape, or form.
“Our gut aspiration would be a cable-driven show for something like Terminator.”
While there is no confirmation of where this television Terminator may ultimately make its home, Dana Goldberg was quick to emphasize the fact that the narrative underpinning the venture will always be the priority.
“At the end of the day, everything we do at Skydance is going to come back to one thing and one thing only, and that’s the story. It always starts with the story. It’s where everything else starts – it’s the thing you layer everything else on top of, so [even if] it’s going to have huge action – [and] of course we’re gonna do shows that fit into [this] sci-fi fantasy action and adventure space because we love them.”
There was, of course, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which ran for two seasons before being cancelled in 2009. That was a relatively well-received show with a dedicated fan-following, so perhaps Skydance is hoping to bring those viewers back with a new TV project, giving the whole thing a boost with the idea of a cohesive fictional universe. With projects such as Star Wars and Transformers employing the same strategy, this type of project is certainly part of a new era of entertainment. Thankfully, the storyline involved in the Terminator universe is sufficiently rich and complex to support such an endeavour.