The Terminator Creator James Cameron Plotting A Three-Film “Reinvention”

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys

Humanity’s war against Skynet is far from over.

The Terminator creator and all-around franchise mastermind James Cameron has revealed plans for a three-film “reinvention” of the famous sci-fi series, with Deadpool‘s Tim Miller on board to spearhead this latest reboot.

Cameron, who currently has his hands full with the Avatar sequels – a textbook example of a tale that grew in the telling, if ever there was one – was out doing the press rounds recently to promote the screening of Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 3D, and spoke to (via Bloody Disgusting) about what the future holds for one of cinema’s time-honored IPs.

Negotiations are underway, it seems, which would certainly explain Skynet’s Skydance’s hope of a “major announcement” in 2017. And if you’re worried that The Terminator is nursing a rather potent case of franchise fatigue, don’t; that’s something that Cameron and producer David Ellison have discussed at length.

The question is — has the franchise run its course or can it be freshened up? Can it still have relevance now where so much of our world is catching up to what was science fiction in the first two films. We live in a world of predator drones and surveillance and big data and emergent AI (artificial intelligence).

So I am in discussions with David Ellison, who is the current rights holder globally for the Terminator franchise and the rights in the US market revert to me under US copyright law in a year and a half so he and I are talking about what we can do. Right now we are leaning toward doing a three-film arc and reinventing it.

Ever since Tim Miller was appointed at the helm for this latest franchise revival, longtime fans of the Terminator series have wondered if Arnold Schwarzenegger will reprise his role, particularly after Genisys, a film that was also angled to be the beginning of a three-part series, was dead on arrival. James Cameron doesn’t answer that question specifically, but he does address the films that launched after his triumph on T2.

I think it’s fairly widely known that I don’t have a lot of respect for the films that were made later. I was supportive at the time in each case for Arnold’s sake because he is a close friend. He has been a mate of mine since 33 years ago so I was always supportive and never too negative. But they didn’t work for me for various reasons.

The Terminator is back – well, almost. It’s clear that James Cameron’s plans for a three-arc revival are still a little rough around the edges, but we’ll notify you if and when the filmmaker is ready to share what’s next for this most beloved of franchises.