Terminator reborn with Schwarzenegger and Lin?
Since Arnold Schwarzenegger left office there has been talk of him returning to film, and that's been initiated from his side as well, but the idea of returning to the Terminator franchise was pretty much put down because he himself said things had moved on and frankly an aging Terminator just wouldn't look right.
Now it's early days but Universal seem to be making a play for the rights for the Terminator franchise which the company Pacificor are currently sitting on, and with that they have a director, writer, potential star and treatments for two new instalments. Will Terminator return?
Right now there's a lot of speculation, and I mean a lot, but the rumours and "insider" suggestions are looking interesting.
The latest round of rumours come through Deadline who suggest that Universal are looking at buying the rights from Pacificor, mind you it's a big risk because they bought them for US $29.5 million in a slight less than understandable bankruptcy auction. I remember writing about it at the time and it did seem a bit of a minefield and not as clear cut as an auction should be, especially considering that the company that bought the rights are the one that forced Halcyon into bankruptcy and out of the bidders was the one company who couldn't make or distribute a film.
So it's going to at least cost them the price that Pacificor paid for the rights you would expect, and that's a lot of money to put into a franchise that hasn't performed as well as hoped last time around with Terminator Salvation (Filmstalker review).
Before that bankruptcy it was McG and Christian Bale who were expected to move forward on the franchise and there was word that William Wisher, the collaborated with James Cameron on Terminator 2: Judgment Day, had written a treatment for a new Terminator film and a concept for one following that. The word was that it kept the storyline going through the post-apocalyptic universe with the same characters but also included time travel once again.
So that's where we were, and with those concepts on the table the story is Universal would like to get Justin Lin, the man who has a large responsibility for the Fast and the Furious franchise being where it is today, to direct a script from Chris Morgan who wrote Wanted (Filmstalker review) and the recent Fast Five, and there's very loose speculation that Arnold Schwarzenegger would return.
Okay, perspective. Something I like doing when there are so many stories leaping on wild rumours. Universal hasn't done anything yet. The cost of the franchise is huge. Terminator is rather lacklustre from a few previous outings, and I do argue that Terminator Salvation (Filmstalker review) wasn't as bad as most make out. Universal don't have the rights for the film so casting, writer and director talk is premature. Schwarzenegger has just said he wants to return to acting, that's all.
So those are the home truths, but let's indulge ourselves for a moment, if Universal did buy the franchise they have to get those Wisher treatments and give them to a strong scriptwriter or more, get them right before you proceed. Find a director that can breathe life into the franchise once again, and don't just get an action director who will work with 3D, get a cool, young science fiction director in on the project and put something new into it.
If Arnie is to come back, make him the human who gave birth to the Terminators in the first place, the first man on whom the robots were based, that is unless he can regain his awesome physique for the film. Don't try and use CG to bring him back to the way he was.
Do you think they'll listen to me? Not a chance.