“I’ll be back!” — So proclaimed the Terminator way back in 1984, and what was a humorous threat at the time has seemingly become a universal truth. Not only is that unstoppable cyborg killing machine from the future returning yet again, but his creator, filmmaker James Cameron, is making plans for a brand new trilogy.
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In an interview with news.com.au, Cameron, currently prepping no less than four sequels to 2009’s Avatar, explains, “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].”
He is currently talking to producer David Ellison, the current global rights holder for the Terminator franchise, while, thanks to US copyright law, Cameron will retrieve North American rights in about 18 months.
“He and I are talking about what we can do,” he says. “Right now we are leaning toward doing a three-film arc and reinventing it. We’ll put more meat on the bones if we get past the next couple of hurdles as and when we announce that.”
The concept for The Terminator, especially when the first entry was released in 1984, was frakkin’ brilliant: A robot from the future, essentially an agent for the A.I., Skynet, comes back in time to murder the woman who is destined to give birth to the man who will some day lead the human revolution against the machine. And this is before she’s even pregnant with the to-be-named John.
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In the first film, Arnold Schwarzenegger (prior to going all heroic on us) was the Terminator, and Linda Hamilton the target, Sarah Connor. It was followed by Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), in which Ahnuld comes back as a reprogrammed (by John Connor) Terminator to save Sarah and John; Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines (2003), which allows us to see Skynet come on line for the first time, all hell breaking loose instantly and the message driven home that no matter what, we can’t escape destiny; Terminator Salvation (2009), which practically no one has a good thing to say about; Terminator Genisys (2015), a reboot of sorts (think of the Star Trek reboot from 2009, which kept certain things as canon but changed lots of others by messing with the timeline), and the television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-09).
And for anyone who needs their Terminator itch scratched, on August 25th T2 is returning to theaters on August 25th in a newly converted 3D version, which, based on the trailer, looks spectacular even without being three dimensional.
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