James Cameron wants to make new Terminator trilogy
The filmmaker who directed the first two films in the original trilogy, plans to reinvent the franchise with a new three-film arc
James Cameron is considering a relaunch of the Terminator franchise. He says he plans to do it with a three-film arc. The filmmaker, known for Avatar and Titanic, wants to "reinvent" the big-budget sci-fi franchise that paved his way to success and recognition in 1984.
The rights to make the films have changed several times since the release of the first film, but under US copyright law some rights will revert to Cameron in 2019.
His original Terminator, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a cyborg sent from the future, was made on a $6 million budget, and went on to mint $78 million and became a cult classic. It's 1991 sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day was an even bigger hit. Cameron opted out of directing the third film Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which was directed by Jonathan Mostow. The franchise lived on with 2009 film Terminator Salvation and 2015's Terminator Genisys.
Cameron says he is in negotiations to oversee a new three-film arc if the ongoing issues with the rights to the franchise can be resolved. He adds that Schwarzenegger will be involved "to some extent" in the proposed trilogy but the plan is to introduce new characters to "pass the baton."
"The question is - has the franchise run its course or can it be freshened up?" Cameron wonders. He adds, "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)."
The filmmaker says he is in discussions with David Ellison, who is the current rights holder globally for the Terminator franchise. "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."
"We'll put more meat on the bones, if we get past the next couple of hurdles," he concludes.