When a movie is successful, the first thing that pops into Hollywood’s collective mind is, “Let’s crank out a sequel!” If you’re like us, you always have to wonder what a filmmakers, an artist with a very specific vision for their work, feels about these follow ups. Some films are ready made for multiple chapters—just look at every superhero movie Marvel makes—though so many are forced and subpar. James Cameron delivered Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which are easily the highlights of that particular franchise. As it turns out, he thinks they’re better than the others, too.
On principle, Cameron has no beef with sequels. During his Ask Me Anything session on Reddit this weekend he noted that the scripts are almost done for Avatar 2, 3, and 4, all of which he plans to direct. During the same conversation, he touches on everything from Titanic to Prometheus, but he also makes his feelings known on Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and the most recent endeavor, Terminator Salvation.
Well, I have to be objective, or as objective as possible about that. I’m not big fans of the films, I think that the big ideas of the first movies – I didn’t make the second film until I had an idea as big as the first film, and it had to do with the moral complexity of the story, and asking the audience by the end of the film to cry for a Terminator. I don’t think that the 3rd or 4th film lived up to that potential. Sarah Connor Chronicles, I never really watched much of it, so I never gave it a chance… to get hooked, like you have to with a TV series.
Out of the three non-Cameron iterations, The Sarah Connor Chronicles is easily my favorite of the bunch. And though Cameron hasn’t watched it, that certainly didn’t stop him from tapping Josh Friedman—who developed, produced, and wrote the show—to collaborate on the Avatar 2 script.
Despite multiple less than stellar outings, many of us are intrigued by the idea of upcoming Terminator: Genesis. The film, and also the proposed TV show, promise to reboot the franchise, shift timelines, and generally shake things up. As for the prospects of the new outings, Cameron is optimistic. He says, “I’m hopeful that the new films, which are being made right now as a reboot, but still involving Arnold, will be good. From what I’ve seen from afar, it looks like they will be quite good.”
The fact that series icon Arnold Schwarzenegger is back where he belongs after his foray into politics is also one of the things we’re most excited about. Though let us not forget that he was in Rise, and that movie sucked. But we share Cameron’s enthusiasm. From what we know, the Genesis looks like it is going to do some interesting things. The production hired Thor: The Dark World director Alan Taylor, and has recast some of our favorite characters, like Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), John Connor (Jason Clarke), and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), and multiple time lines are going to come into play. If nothing else, the story sounds ambitious, and if they pull it off, it could be a fantastic new addition to the club.
Terminator: Genesis is scheduled to start shooting in late spring/early summer, and hits theaters everywhere July 1, 2015.