For an indestructible killing machine the Terminator has been having a tough time of it in the cinema. Hope is on the horizon though as in 2019 original director James Cameron will regain the rights to the film franchise and is looking to make a new film with Deadpool director Tim Miller.
After he had wrapped up his story in the highly acclaimed Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) Cameron walked away from the Terminator franchise. Since his departure the franchise has unsuccessfully tried to replicate the success of the first two films through a sequel, a prequel, and a reboot/reimagining. Both Terminator Salvation (2009) and last year’s Terminator Genisys were supposed to kick start a multi-picture film series. Both were put back on the shelf after poor box office returns and critical reaction.
In an interview with the Daily Beast to promote his new documentary Atlantis Rising, Cameron touched on the Terminator films. He told the site that he believed that the franchise “[had] really just stumbled along, trying to find its voice again. There’s probably some degree to where it’s lost relevance.” However he did also state in the interview that he felt a Terminator film could work for today’s cinema audiences. “I always say: if Terminator was about the war between humans and the machines, look around any restaurant or airport lounge and tell me the machines haven’t won where every human you see is enslaved to their device.”
Cameron is not the only director in recent years to revisit former glories in order to save the franchise. Forbes reports that Alien: Covenant will be released later this year and it is director Ridley Scott’s third film in the Alien franchise that launched his career. Like the Terminator series, the Alien franchise struggled after the success of the first two films (the second Aliens also directed by James Cameron) until Scott returned with 2012’s Prometheus. The film was critically and financially successful although fans of the franchise were split over the direction the film took. Alien: Covenant is a return to horror aspects of the original. The new Blade Runner film is also due out this year with Ridley Scott acting as the ‘godfather’ to the film in the same way that Cameron will potentially be with the Terminator franchise. The film will act as a measure to whether a director can recapture the original magic while not being in the director’s chair.
One of the key reasons that franchises such as Terminator and Alien continue is that they can cover a wide range of mediums. The Terminator franchise has expanded to cover many different entertainment platforms from video games to online gaming sites. Popular gaming platform Spin Genie is one of those that has tapped into the franchise’s fandom, dedicating one of its slot games to the Terminator 2 movie. With so many ways to interact with a film, studios are looking to maximise the exposure a film such as Terminator will get. Through digital offshoots, this has proven to be a great way to market franchises to new audiences.
After Terminator Genisys appeared to kill the franchise, despite Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to the character, fans will be hoping that Cameron will deliver on his promise to restore the franchise to its former glory.