One of the biggest regrets from James Cameron’s illustrious and consistently game-changing career was that he sold the rights to The Terminator to Gale Anne Hurd for the princely sum of one dollar, leaving him powerless to watch his creation continually being sequelized and rebooted without his involvement, and none of the subsequent four films have come anywhere near to matching the quality of his all-time classic opening duo.
Andrew J. Vajna and Mario Kassar ended up producing Rise of the Machines, before The Halcyon Company stumped up $25 million to secure the rights and make Terminator Salvation. In 2012, they were picked up by Skydance, who delivered Genisys and Dark Fate, and none of the three reboots in the space of ten years managed to attain either the critical or commercial success required to launch a brand new multi-film series.
Everyone knows what the definition of insanity is, and having heard on three separate occasions we were getting the launchpad for a brand new Terminator trilogy that would finally deliver worthy successor’s to Cameron’s work only to see each of them fail, the future of The Terminator is surrounded by question marks. However, Hurd thinks there’s a way for the property to return to the forefront of the cultural conversation.
“Honestly, I have no idea. I wasn’t involved in the last one. To give you some perspective, I used to have a scuba diving practice in Micronesia, and we found that they even screened The Terminator, albeit a bootleg video version, of one of the most remote islands in the world. The awareness is already built in, and I do think it’s a perennial with the right story with the right cast and the right direction. I think there could still be a potential future there.”
Even the stars of Dark Fate admitted people had lost interest in The Terminator, which is hardly what you want to hear, but the facts are right there after the sixth installment lost over $120 million despite the return of Linda Hamilton, not to mention Cameron’s presence as producer and co-writer. Make no mistake, another reboot is coming eventually, but if it marks the fourth dud in a row, it could well be game over.