Next Terminator: Genesis begins filming, the end of a franchise?
In case you were in any doubt about what the next Terminator film will be doing with the story line let me put it straight for you, it's rebooting it.
There have been a number of signs so far, not least the Terminator: Genesis title that it began production with, but there are more details now that suggest this is a little more to the franchise than simply seeing a new start of SkyNet. Is this the film that really will put pay to the idea that James Cameron would ever come back?
I've already discussed the potential for the reboot and what its intentions would be, and you can read about that in this article which talks about the title, the returning cast, the time passed and what it all means.
Now there are some more details. A nice small teaser arrives with the first clapperboard closed on the Terminator: Genesis set with the words delivered through First Showing of:
"::SKYNET preparation routines complete.
::Initialization sequence complete.
::Reboot initiating in 03m00s."
If you didn't know that was a reboot already then you do now. These intentions are very made very clear, in three minutes the filming of the reboot begins.
Yet a reboot in a series about time travel shouldn't be too surprising should it? Well yes. With time travel there's no need to be rebooting any story, you just transport your characters back in time to the point you want them to be at, change something slightly, and boom you have your version of the story.
That's not what a reboot suggests though, that doesn't say "hey we've just tinkered with time and now here's a slightly different take", no this is saying something much bolder. We're ripping up what has come before and we're delivering our story.
Terminator: Genesis has a new cast coming in of new faces and younger talent, but there's still the recognisable in Arnold Schwarzenegger and the hugely talented Jason Clarke, with a script from Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier with Lussier taking the leading keyboard and Alan Taylor, director of Thor: The Dark World, behind the camera, it seems an interesting proposition, but a risky one.
For me the idea of rebooting the Terminator franchise is a risky one and frankly I don't see that there's the talent behind the script to deliver something that has the pedigree to carry it through to hit the same level as some of the older films, but then that's always been a problem with the franchise since the departure of James Cameron.
More than that this is a clear intention. We're going to use the time travel aspect to turn away from all that has happened and start anew. I know that's something that works with the time travel premise and in particular with Terminator, but we haven't really seen them reboot the story. There have been attempts by the characters to change the timeline before but the interesting thing about the Terminator storyline is that it always gets back on track, somehow. SkyNet and time always win out.
So what happens with a reboot? Is that out the window? Will this story manage to rewrite what always seems to happen in the Terminator storyline? Surely though that's one of the attractions of the whole franchise though?
There has always been a hope that James Cameron might return to his franchise and deliver a final film or two, perhaps even ending the series. However it is a slim chance and I think with a modern reboot and what that currently means in cinema, we're looking at the end of that dream.
Reboots these days are not good and they don't tend to deliver successful films. They tend to be big PG-13 engineered, effects and 3D driven spectaculars to get the audience spending the largest ticket price they can in as many cinemas as possible.
A reboot doesn't bode well for the franchise does it?