It’s time to get excited about The Terminator franchise again. That’s because James Cameron is all set to regain the rights to The Terminator in 2019, and he is reportedly already working on a sixth film to the series.
James Cameron gets the copyrights for The Terminator back in 2019, 35 years after the 1984 sci-fi classic was released to critical acclaim and a box office haul of $78.3 million from a budget of just $6.4 million. But since James Cameron is rather busy with the Avatar sequels, Deadline has reported that he is now looking to Tim Miller to direct a reboot and finale for the franchise.
Skydance’s David Ellison is also in early discussions with various sci-fi authors for which direction to take the potential new Terminator film, and the studio will once again put up the money for the blockbuster.
Before the release of The Terminator, James Cameron had only directed Piranha 2. But after writing The Terminator, Cameron sold the rights to producer Gale Anne Hurd for just $1, in exchange for a promise from Hurd that he wouldn’t be fired as director during its production. He needn’t have worried. Because The Terminator went on to wow audiences and became an instant classic, launching the career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, too.
James Cameron still had more plans for the franchise, though. Because in 1991 he returned to co-write, produce, and direct Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Somehow Terminator 2 managed to outdo its predecessor, as it went on to gross $519.8 million at the box office, was heaped with praise because of its visual effects, and it is roundly lauded as one of the greatest action films, sci-fi films, and sequels ever made.
Since then, though, James Cameron has had very little to do with the franchise. For 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines, 2009’s Terminator Salvation, and 2015’s Terminator Genisys, Cameron was only credited with creating the characters. James Cameron did publicly praise Terminator Genisys, though. During an interview with Yahoo, via Cinema Blend, James Cameron said of the fifth film to the series,
I start to see things I recognize. It’s being very respectful of first two films. Then all of the sudden, it swerves. And now I’m going on a journey. I feel like the franchise has been reinvigorated, like this is a renaissance.
Audiences weren’t quite as enamored with Terminator Genisys as James Cameron, though. It only grossed $440 million from a $155 million budget, while its domestic gross of just $89 million meant that the future of the franchise was written off. However the return of James Cameron, who has previously directed Aliens, True Lies, Titanic, and Avatar, to the franchise in any creative role would inject fresh enthusiasm to the Terminator films.
For the time being, though, James Cameron’s focus is on the Avatar sequels. The Oscar-winning director of Titanic plans on shooting two of these films at a time, which he hopes to release in December 2018, 2020, 2022, and 2023, respectively.
The man who has been linked with overseeing the new iteration of the Terminator franchise under the stewardship of Cameron, Tim Miller, recently found himself free after he left Deadpool 2. Miller, who co-founded the visual effects, animation, and design company Blur Studio and worked on Hideaway, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Thor: The Dark World, made his directorial debut with Deadpool, which became the highest grossing R-rated film of all time with $783.1 million and was a critical darling. However, he became embroiled in creative differences with producer and star Ryan Reynolds over the casting of Cable, and he decided it was best if he left the franchise. Tim Miller was replaced by David Leitch on Deadpool 2.
[Featured Image by Orion Pictures]