Where The Terminator Franchise Is Going Next, According To James Cameron

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator: Genisys

Following Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the Terminator franchise has made a series of less than impressive sequels. However, the series is still going and now the man that made it great says he's working on where it goes from here. The rights to the Terminator brand have changed hands a lot over the last few years, however, as it turns out, due to some regulations in US copyright law, James Cameron will be getting some of the rights to Terminator back in 2019, but he's already begun conversations with the current Terminator studio in order to find a path for the story to move forward.

So I am in discussions with David Ellison, who is the current rights holder globally for the Terminator franchise and the rights in the US market revert to me under US copyright law in a year and a half so he and I are talking about what we can do. Right now we are leaning toward doing a three-film arc and reinventing it.

The Terminator franchise recently tried for something of a reinvention with Terminator: Genisys, a film that was supposed to help reboot the series to some extent, and while the movie ended up making money, mostly due to some success in China, overall the film was panned across the board. A couple of months ago Arnold Schwarzenegger made comments that a new Terminator film was moving forward, but it would seem that what Arnold was referring to is the same thing James Cameron is talking about with Australia's News.com, as Schwarzenegger said at the time that James Cameron was involved.

While James Cameron says that they're looking at putting together a new trilogy of Terminator films, it's not entirely clear just how much they've really flushed out. Based on other comments from Cameron, it seems that they're still really in the conversation stages, trying to figure out if there's really more story to tell here. It does sound like if more movies happen, they require some sort of serious reset. Cameron says that a lot of what was in the Terminator movies just isn't science fiction anymore, though that could lead to a new direction for the films.

The question is --- has the franchise run its course or can it be freshened up? Can it still have relevance now where so much of our world is catching up to what was science fiction in the first two films? We live in a world of predator drones and surveillance and big data and emergent AI (artificial intelligence).

If something does happen here, expect James Cameron to act as a producer and find somebody else to direct the next Terminator movie. Cameron is busy with a small franchise called Avatar which is currently set to keep him busy for the rest of this decade and beyond.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.