Between them, James Cameron (Avatar), David Ellison and former Deadpool director Tim Miller are stripping The Terminator down to the bare bones – or metallic frame, if we’re staying true to the topic at hand.
A “three-film reinvention” is on the cards, and James Cameron and Tim Miller recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk at length about their bold masterplan. It’s one that will not only welcome the return of series stalwarts Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (T-800/T-850), but also retcon the events of Terminator: Genisys, Alan Taylor’s botched reboot that was once angled as a bona fide franchise-starter before Paramount pulled the plug.
In fact, as Cameron stresses to THR, the sixth Terminator movie is a “continuation of the story” from T1 and T2: Judgement Day, and this laser focus will allow Miller’s reboot to pretend the other films were nothing more than “a bad dream.” Cameron’s words, not ours.
This is a continuation of the story from Terminator 1 and Terminator 2. And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream. Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse. This was really driven more by [Tim] than anybody, surprisingly, because I came in pretty agnostic about where we took it. The only thing I insisted on was that we somehow revamp it and reinvent it for the 21st century.
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It’ll revamp and reinvent the sci-fi franchise for the 21st century, which is just as well considering that Cameron’s Terminator series has fallen on hard times. With the exception of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Skydance’s crown jewel has churned out one middling reboot after another, so the return of James Cameron ought to be welcomed with open arms.
What’s more, the esteemed filmmaker fully intends to use The Terminator as a means of introducing a “new generation” of characters – not unlike Disney and Lucasfilm’s new Star Wars trilogy.
Absolutely, yeah. A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters. We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories. And then a number of other characters around her and characters from the future. We still fold time in the story in intriguing ways. But we have Arnold’s character and Linda’s character to anchor it. Somewhere across there, and I won’t say where, the baton gets passed, so to speak.
The Terminator is expected to go before the cameras sometime next year ahead of a potential release in 2019. Should everything go according to plan, it’ll birth a new trilogy with Linda Hamilton and Arnie at its core.