Everything we know so far about the new 'Terminator' trilogy
After learning in January that James Cameron (the bravest pioneer) was thinking about bringing the Terminator franchise back, we weren’t sure what to think. The first two films in the series — directed by Cameron himself — are iconic, with Terminator 2: Judgment Day considered one of the finest sequels in Hollywood history, but more recent entries like Terminator Genisys and Terminator Salvation aren’t exactly beloved by fans.
Despite having contracted a serious case of reboot fatigue in recent years, we’re tentatively excited about the prospects of a new Terminator trilogy — especially considering Cameron (who dropped directorial duties after T2) is back, albeit as an executive producer. Deadpool director Tim Miller will helm the first film in the new trilogy, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Terminator himself, is also returning, though we don’t know in what capacity. David Ellison’s Skydance Media is also involved.
We don’t yet know when the first film will release — as of September 2017, filming has not yet begun. Regardless, we’re interested to see where this goes, and we know you are, too. With that in mind, here’s everything we know about the upcoming Terminator reboot.
A REVEALING INTERVIEW
On September 27, as part of its cover story (below), The Hollywood Reporter published an extensive interview with Cameron and Miller, in which the two divulged several juicy nuggets of info regarding the upcoming films.
‘A BAD DREAM’
When we found out about the reboot, we naturally wondered how it would fit into the existing narrative. After all, a true sequel would have to consider four films’ worth of backstory — Genisys acted as a hard reboot of the series — right? Well, it turns out the trilogy will follow Terminator 2 sequentially, as Cameron is more than happy to “pretend [the three most recent films] were a bad dream … or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multiverse.”
The duo (along with Ellison and a team of writers including David Goyer, Charles Eglee, Josh Friedman, and Justin Rhodes) believe that the basic concept for the first two films — AI becoming self-aware and then murderous — is extremely relevant today, given recent advancements in technology.
A NEW GENERATION OF TERMINATORS?
When asked about his plans for future casting (Schwarzenegger is 70, while Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor) is 61, Cameron admitted that he’ll be following the Star Wars template and seeking out fresh faces. “A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters. We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories,” said the director.
AN AGING T-800
According to Cameron and Miller, Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character will show signs of age in the new trilogy: “You don’t have to get around [Arnold’s age]. The beauty of it is: He’s a cyborg. And so, the org part is on the outside, meaning organism … there’s this idea that flesh sort of sheaths over a metal endoskeleton. So that would age normally. So, obviously he’s one that’s been in action and operation for a long time. And that’s all I want to say about the actual story part of it.”
Miller teased that the T-800 character will have grown and evolved under the hood as well, saying “… they’re learning machines.
A STAR RETURNS
The Terminator franchise is going back to its roots. Linda Hamilton, who played Connor in the first two films, has signed on for the latest film in the series, according to Variety. In doing so, she’ll be reunited once again with her co-star Arnold Schwarzenegger and the franchise’s creator, producer James Cameron.
Plot details for the upcoming Terminator flick haven’t been revealed yet, but whatever the story is, it must be something special if it lured Hamilton back. After starring in the series’ original 1984 film, The Terminator, and its 1991 sequel, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the actress declined to return to the franchise for the third film. She didn’t like the direction it took and felt the story was “complete” with the first two movies. Although she later did agree to do voice work for the fourth film, she wasn’t thrilled the franchise was continuing.
“I thought it was perfect with two films,” she said at Excel’s MCM Expo in 2009, according to the U.K.’s The Wharf. “It was a complete circle, and it was enough in itself. But there will always be those who will try and milk the cow.”
A big part of the problem for Hamilton seems to have been the fact that Cameron, whom she was married to from 1997 to 1999, stepped away from the franchise for those films. At the same 2009 expo, she credited him with much of the success of the franchise, saying it was “his vision that really made it soar.” Cameron’s return may have been what was needed to convince Hamilton to reprise her role.
Hamilton’s co-star Schwarzenegger did appear in the franchise’s most recent film, 2015’s Terminator: Genysis. Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) played Sarah Connor, meaning we’ll need an explanation for the change back to Hamilton in the sequel. We’re not worried, though. Cameron worked on the story with Miller.
The upcoming Terminator film is expected to be the start of a new trilogy, so depending on the fate of Sarah Connor in the upcoming movie, we may or may not be seeing a lot more of her in the coming years.
This article was originally posted on Digital Trends