New Terminator to ignore last three films; will address Arnold Schwarzenegger’s aging

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Nobody can ever accuse Arnold Schwarzenegger of a lack of dedication to a cause. When he says he’s coming back, he’s coming back damn it! Arnie famously made the promise of his return in both 1984 sci-fi classic The Terminator as well as its timelessly awesome 1991 sequel Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Unfortunately, being a man of his word, we’ve had to sit through three further Terminator films, each one arguably worse than the last. Not that they actually matter though.

That’s according to James Cameron, the creator of the franchise and the man behind the seminal first two films. Cameron had not been involved in the franchise since then, but after the failure of 2015’s Terminator: Genisys soft-reboot, he will be returning to produce/develop a new film directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller. We recently heard that Cameron will be bringing back Linda Hamilton, who starred as the iconic heroine Sarah Connor in the first two films, which prompted some questions as to how the character can still be around. Simple: Cameron and Miller are going to completely ignore the events of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: Genisys.

The two filmmakers addressed this in an interview with THR, with Miller confirming that this is not some alternate timeline, but will be the new official canon picking up after T2.

I don’t believe in alternate realities. I think that takes the stakes away from some things. It’s not like every time something new happens, it spins out a new reality. In order to make the stakes real for our characters, you have to look at our time as the only time. Maybe it stretches backward and forward. Maybe we don’t understand completely how it works. But this is not an alternate timeline.

While the last three movies have essentially now been tossed out as glorified fan-fiction, Cameron will be borrowing one idea from Genisys though. In that film, Schwarzenegger’s real life aging is worked into the script through the fact that the robot he plays only has an artifical shell, but that is wrapped in living human flesh which ages as well. Cameron explained that this aging – much like it did in Genisys – will factor in the still untitled new film’s story.

So, obviously he’s one that’s been in action and operation for a long time. And that’s all I want to say about the actual story part of it. But it’s actually quite intrinsic to the story, that he’s subject to the frailties of the flesh. In fact, in the first film, the flesh is burned away completely but that endo-skeleton… has a power cell that will last 100 years. So, he’s still got 30, 29 years.

Miller continued, explaining that Schwarzenegger’s T-800 Terminator won’t just be maturing on the outside though.

Emotionally and intellectually he will have evolved. They’re learning machines. But I think that’s a way to make it different than it was. I think we should embrace his age. And that’s what’s going to make it interesting and fresh for the fans. And I can’t tell you, but man, some of the scenes that the writers wrote to embrace that idea are f-cking fantastic.”

Speaking of “f-cking fantastic”, T2 was a groundbreaking film when it came to visual effects, revolutionizing the entire industry in Hollywood. Following up that kind of legacy is not easy, Miller won’t be expressly trying to one-up it on the visual front though as special effects can at times be “a trap for filmmakers.”

Believe me, there was no lack of things up on the whiteboard. He could do this and he could make a marching band out of endoplasmic metal, but who the f-ck cares? I don’t want to see that. So we’re trying to keep it grounded like Jim did for Terminator.

T2 may have featured a morphing liquid metal T-1000 nigh-unkillable robot, but Cameron made sure that things didn’t get too silly by putting rules in place that it could only form complex objects with moving parts like bombs, resulting in a whole lot of robo-stabby action. Keeping things simple like that is what helped to make the admittedly unbelievable action seem believable.

It’s when you break the rules and just make stuff up and pull it out of your ass in Act Three and people feel like they’re on shifting ground. But if you just set out the rules, and you play by those rules. Then, I think it just works better. People are more engaged.

Hopefully Cameron and Miller will ensure that people are more engaged in this franchise as a whole again, after too many bad creative decisions have all but ruined it. They have a little bit of time get that right, as they filmmakers have penciled in a possible 26 July, 2019 release date.

Last Updated: September 28, 2017

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