The Terminator movies have been critical flops since the highly regarded Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 1991. This sequel, and the original 1984 film, were both directed by the incredibly successful director James Cameron. Unfortunately, Cameron lost the rights to the franchise years ago, but in 2019 he will once again have control.
Recently there has been news that Cameron plans on restarting the dormant franchise with a new film with the help of Deadpool director Tim Miller. Although nothing has been confirmed, The Daily Beast asked Cameron how he felt about the movies made after Judgement Day and whether or not the franchise was hijacked:
“It hasn’t been hijacked. It’s really just stumbled along, trying to find its voice again. There’s probably some degree to where it’s lost relevance, you know? Maybe the things that made it good back then are kind of a yawn now. It’s easy to remember fondly the things that kick off a franchise. It’s hard to keep a franchise vigorous, and relevant. I haven’t had my hand on the tiller since Terminator 2, and that was 1991. So what’s that? Twenty-six years? But look, I think it’s possible to tell a great Terminator story now, and it’s relevant.”
Cameron is certainly right in saying that the Terminator franchise is still relevant. With movies like Ex Machina and TV shows like Westworld and Black Mirror becoming all the rage, the Terminator series could certainly prosper again under the right direction. As Cameron goes on to say, its hard to not see that the machines “won” the war in our present day.
“We live in a digital age, and Terminator ultimately, if you can slow it down, is about our relationship with our own technology, and how our technology can reflect back to us—and in the movie, literally, in a human form that is a nemesis and a threat. But also in those movies, in the two that I did, it’s about how we dehumanize ourselves. In a time when people are being absorbed by their virtual-social world, I mean, just look around. I always say: if Terminator was about the war between the humans and the machines, look around any restaurant or airport lounge and tell me the machines haven’t won when every human you see is enslaved to their device. So could you make a relevant Terminator film now? Absolutely.”
Who knows whether or not the series will find its voice again, but if Cameron wants another crack at it, then I have faith in it. As Schwarzenegger reminds us again and again, he’ll be back.