Brash overconfidence might not be a new trend in Hollywood, but from a studio/ producing perspective it certainly is. We’re all very familiar with actors and directors blathering on about how brilliant and Earth-shattering their upcoming films will be, but only recently have producers started investing large pools of money on laying the groundwork for sequels on the assumption that their movies will be hits. Recently, executives behind Divergent plotted shooting schedules, release dates, scripts, actors and directors for two subsequent movies before round one even hit theaters, and now, producers of the upcoming Terminator trilogy are reportedly planning to take that model to almost Lord Of The Rings territory.
According to Deadline, the first film will begin principal production in the immediate future in the increasingly popular film location of Louisiana. Down the road, the producers are reportedly making plans to shoot the second and third installments in a row during one nine-month mega-shoot. Such a move would require a gigantic commitment from the money end of the equation, but if the first of the proposed three films puts up the type of box office returns Terminator films have in the past, that schedule should save money in the long run.
That "if", however, is a huge "if" right now. Arnold Schwarzenegger might have been money in the bank at one point in his career, but the general public’s reception to him post California Governorship has been, well, tepid, to put it nicely. His newest effort, Sabotage, couldn’t do any better than seventh place this past weekend, and his attempts before that, while enjoyable, didn’t pack a huge right hand.
The reckless thing to do would be to throw five hundred million dollars at Terminator to make three more movies that the general public may or may not want. The conservative thing to do would be to make one movie, wait for the box office returns, greenlight a second movie with a corresponding budget and then later do the same for a third movie. What producers are aiming for right now is the middle ground. Prove there’s a market for this franchise first and then bet the farm everyone will show up two more times.
The one big pro here is if the script writers work off the assumption that they’ll have three movies to close everything up properly, there’s no reason to think we won’t get a really satisfying resolution to the franchise. In fact, I think we should all be expecting one. There’s too much talent in Hollywood and too much money here to not do it right.
We’ll keep you updated on Terminator-related shenanigans moving forward.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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