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James Cameron Wants to Oversee a New ‘Terminator’ Trilogy

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Aw man, we’re never gonna find out who sent the Arnold Terminator back through time in Terminator Genisys, are we?

This dawning realization (I legitimately want to know!) is brought to you by the fact that not only is the Terminator Genisys franchise totally dead, there’s new rumblings that James Cameron may be retaking the reins of the series and bringing it back to life. Cameron told News.com.au that he’s hoping to supervise a brand-new “three-film arc.” Here’s how he described the state of Terminator in 2017:

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.

He also said Schwarzenegger would be involved “to some extent” but that the ultimate goal would be to “introduce new characters to ‘pass the baton.’” (That was almost certainly the ultimate goal of Genisys, by the way.)

Cameron also candidly stated his dislike for the three Terminators after he left the franchise: Rise of the MachinesSalvation, and, yes, Genisys. “I was supportive at the time in each case for Arnold’s sake,” he explained, “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.” (When Genisys came out, Cameron actually filmed an interview where he said “I feel like the franchise has been reinvigorated, like this is a renaissance … In the new film, which in my mind, I think of as the third film.” Um, oops?)

I still like parts of Rise of the Machines and Genisys. (Salvation was beyond salvaging.) But there’s no doubt the series never returned to anything close to the heights it achieved under Cameron. I don’t know the ins and outs of the legal situation involving the property’s rights, but clearly it belongs in Cameron’s hands. If they are going to make more of these, he should be the one steering the ship. That said, if the Genisys screenwriters want to tell me what they originally had planned for the next film, I’d greatly appreciate that. (Also, don’t forget: T2 is getting a 3D re-release in theaters next month.)

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