Terminator 4 without Arnie or John Connor
While discussing the possibility of Robert Patrick reprising his role as T-1000 in the Terminator TV series, the Producer James Middleton revealed that the film Terminator 4 is really going to break from the Terminator franchise.
According to the Producer the new film is not only going to drop the beloved Terminator of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it's also going to add in a brand new hero, i.e. not John Connor.
"It would include John Connor and it would also include a brand new hero for the movie…We envision this T4 would be the beginning of a new trilogy. We had talked about having Arnold doing a cameo and we've never been at a point where that could happen."
At the moment, according to the comments in iF Magazine through Moviehole, he's keen to point out that there are still lots of decisions to be made and with the new owners on board they are just seeking financing, so Terminator 4 is early days at the moment. However it does seem that we won't be seeing the original franchise hero and Terminator apart from a hand over of the torch to the new franchise.
Now this could go either way, but for me I can't see it working as a new Terminator franchise unless they are very, very careful about how they create the new characters. Pay close attention to the films that worked, and ignore the one that didn't.