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Justin Lin May Be Back In For Terminator 5

At this point, it’s safe to say that the future of the Terminator franchise is uncertain and seems to be creeping closer an closer to an apocalypse of Judgment Day proportions. Recently, it was reported that Justin Lin, director of not one, but three existing Fast and the Furious films with one more in the works, had to drop out of directing a fifth Terminator film because he was finishing up the latest Fast and Furious outing. So apparently he was too busy squeezing the last grasp of life out of one franchise to squeeze the last gasp of life out of another. But now, Deadline is reporting that there may be a way for Lin to return to direct Terminator 5 after all.

The new owner of the rights to The Terminator, Annapurna Films, is so eager to get the franchise back on its feet that they want to put two new entries into production at the close of 2012. But if Annapurna Films is willing to halt production on the new films until Lin finishes The Fast and the Furious 6, he is willing to return to direct. Why are the new rights-holders even considering holding up production on these films to secure Justin Lin? Granted, he did make quite an impression with his 2002 film Better Luck Tomorrow, but since then has directed films ranging in quality from mediocre to unwatchable. Is there really no one else than can possibly direct a new Terminator film? Why is Lin the deal-breaker? Of course, if the chief concern is scoring a hit at the box, Lin has proven quite capable of that; Fast Five netting over $600 million worldwide. So I suppose that at least the fiscal logic behind wanting Lin back is sound.

The more exciting aspect of this story is that working alongside the new rights holders on the new films is none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he has convinced his good friend James Cameron to sit in on "brainstorming" sessions. Hopefully this will help us avoid another nuclear disaster like Terminator: Salvation. But with Cameron consulting on the script, the foundation of this project seems solid. So there’s the potential for a triumphant return to the series… if a decent director is found.