It might be one of the most iconic sci-fi brands in the history of cinema, but it also wouldn’t be too harsh to say that there probably wouldn’t be much of an uproar if the Terminator franchise was quietly retired.
After all, the property kept repeating the same mistakes over and over again, to the point where even the stars of the last installment admitted that audiences have lost interest in the cybernetic blockbusters. In the space of ten years we were told that Salvation, Genisys and Dark Fate would launch a brand new trilogy to restore Terminator to the forefront of pop culture, only for all three of them to fail in making it past the first hurdle.
Even with the return of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor and James Cameron’s name slapped all over the marketing, Dark Fate wound up as one of 2019’s biggest box office bombs after losing more than $120 million. Rights holders Skydance haven’t exactly got a return on their investment yet, then, so it’s inevitable that they’ll try and mount a new project eventually.
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When that’ll be remains unclear, but insider Daniel Richtman claims that Arnold Schwarzenegger has told Paramount that they need to get moving on the next installment before he ages out of the title role, with the action legend turning 74 this summer. Of course, we should point out that Paramount don’t actually own the rights to Terminator and the decision is entirely up to Skydance, but the two parties do have an exclusive co-financing and co-production agreement, so the studio does have a stake in the property.
As you’d expect from a man in his 70s with a long history of heart issues, Schwarzenegger has played it safe over the last year in terms of his workload, but he does have Netflix’s untitled globetrotting spy series up next, and it may well be Terminator or bust after that.