A few months ago, Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures and her brother David Ellison’s Skydance Productions announced that Terminator 5 would receive a 2015 release date. The fifth installment in the Terminator film franchise will also launch a new trilogy that will continue the legacy director James Cameron started back in 1984. Now it appears the first film in a new trilogy has found a director and hopefully the project will start production soon.
According to Variety, director Alan Taylor is in negotiations to helm the long-awaited Terminator 5. While it’s still unclear what the film will be about, it is believed that it might be a prequel that would star Arnold Schwarzenegger. There were early rumors suggesting that the film would take place in the 1940s or ’50s and would follow Sarah Connor’s parents, who would be targeted for termination. Schwarzenegger would theoretically play their human protector.
Alan Taylor is the director of the upcoming Thor: The Dark World sequel for Marvel Studios. Taylor’s most notable work come from directing television shows for premium cable network HBO, such as Sex and the City, The Sopranos, and Game of Thrones. He has also directed episodes of Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, Lost, and The West Wing.
While I’m not too familiar with Alan Taylor’s work, apparently Megan Ellison was impressed with the production of Thor: The Dark World. If Taylor ends up getting the Terminator job, he would’ve beaten out directors Rian Johnson (Looper), Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners), Justin Lin (Fast & Furious series), and Ang Lee (Life of Pi) for the position. Ang Lee’s Terminator 5 would have been interesting to say the least.
There were also rumors that Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson might join the cast of Terminator 5. He would play the film’s Terminator machine and might go head-to-head against Schwarzenegger’s human character. According to The Examiner, Skynet was so impressed with Schwarzenegger’s character that they modeled future Terminator machines on his likeness. While this premise sounds silly, I wouldn’t put it past Hollywood writers to come up with something like this. Remember Schwarzenegger’s “cameo” in Terminator Salvation?
The Ellisons acquired the film rights to the Terminator franchise from James Cameron for a reported $20 million in 2012. If Annapurna Pictures and Skydance Productions don’t make a Terminator film before 2018, the film rights revert back to Cameron. Annapurna Pictures is mostly known for high-brow art-house films like Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, so it’s surprising to see a summer blockbuster action film as part of Annapurna’s catalog, but I guess they have to pay for the smaller art film somehow.
Screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier are tasked with writing the script for Terminator 5. Kalogridis’ writing credits include Pathfinder, Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, and Battle Angel for James Cameron. She also produced Cameron’s Avatar and the TV series Birds of Prey for the CW. Patrick Lussier was the writer and director of Dracula 2000 and Drive Angry, starring Nicolas Cage.
While I’m pretty apprehensive about Terminator 5, Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures and director Alan Taylor screams high quality. Add Skydance Productions (Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, Star Trek Into Darkness, and World War Z) into the mix and there’s a good chance that Terminator 5 and possibly the new film trilogy might be something worth watching. Whatever the new film turns out to be, it has to be a better movie than Terminator Salvation. Arnold Schwarzenegger called that film “awful,” so hopefully Terminator 5 will be a step up.
Terminator 5 will hit theaters everywhere on June 26, 2015.