Terminator is a cult smash that began with former bodybuilding god, Arnold Schwarzenegger, began playing the iconic T-800 in 1984. Although James Cameron had originally chosen him to play the film’s hero, Arnold managed to convince the director that he’d make a better job of the robot. The initial sequels, Judgement Day, released in 1991, and Rise of the Machines, released in 2001, were huge successes, bringing in more than $2 billion between them. Schwarzenegger then went on to appear in Terminator Salvation in 2009, though in CGI form. It’s estimated that the franchise has netted him a cool $100 million over the past 33 years.
However, after the release of Terminator: Genisys in 2015, which was generally hated by the critics, the planned new trilogy was shelved by Paramount – and that seemed to be the end of it. “The Genisys movie was seen as a way of reviving (the franchise), but the critics were not happy and somehow the studio bosses fell out of love with making more”, an LA based source explained to the New York Times.
New hope came in the form of James Cameron, who dusted off the series at the beginning of 2017 and was ready to play an active role in bringing Terminator 6 to the screen. The gossip linked director of Deadpool, Tim Miller, with the project, as Cameron is still tied up with the colossal Avatar franchise. But that too seems to have gone off the rails, as recent reports reveal that the ‘talent’ wasn’t asked back for more, despite being offered a long-term deal with the studio initially. With Arnie out of the picture, Paramount would need at least one recognisable face, and the current Sarah Connor, Emilia Clarke, hasn’t been picked up either. Now there are no preproduction plans in place at all at Paramount, meaning that the character could still be revived, but only by an independent production company – which is unlikely.
Ironically, despite the criticism, Terminator: Genisys was not a failure in terms of box office takings, raking in a sizable $300 million in profits. The trouble is that without Cameron around to direct the next instalment of the cult series, it’ll be hard for fans to work up any enthusiasm about another reimagining. Reboot talks aren’t an impossibility of course, but in a few years the rights to the franchise will revert back to the original creator, James Cameron, so maybe we’ll have to wait until then for a worthy sequel.