Apr 29, 2011

Posted in 2010s, Coming Soon, Guest Writer, Reviewers

Original cast returning for Terminator 5 but it’s not Arnold’s next film

Original cast returning for Terminator 5 but it’s not Arnold’s next film

As a Terminator fan, a sci-fi geek and general film enthusiast, it’s been a pretty good couple of weeks. Last week, we approached the launch of Skynet and the coming of Judgement Day (by the Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles timeline, the latest Judgement Day in the multi-timeline franchise).

After Skynet supposedly launched in this fictional universe on a Thursday, The Playstation Network was compromised on Friday along with a massive outage of the Amazon Cloud servers, sending many huge sites down. Skynet lived, ever so briefly. At 8PM last Saturday, Skynet was supposed to launch a bunch of nukes. We lived through it, and at 1:30AM this past Sunday @OfficialSkynet became my 2,000th Twitter follower.

As if I couldn’t geek out enough, news hit this week that Fast Five director Justin Lin was a Terminator fan and is passing around a pitch for a new Terminator flick with Arnold Schwarzenegger attached. Reports suggest that it was on the desks of at least Universal, Sony, Lionsgate and CBS.

Original Arnie back in a Terminator movie? I’m not as against it as one might think. Mostly because it gives us the opportunity to rectify some unresolved questions about the T-800/T-101 model (are they they same model named differently on different timelines?), but also because it a mythology that relies so heavily on time travel could actually make me feel better about the past two, lackluster entries into the franchise. (Anyone who is watching Community and felt knowing that Jeff and Britta were having sex off-camera informed the previous episodes’ wildly inconsistent chemistry between the two knows exactly what I’m talking about).

With franchises being the norm and television shows being capable of going the Arrested Development or Family Guy or Firefly route of using DVD sales to justify the existence of a low-rated the series to network, we need to be disciplined enough to take the long-view on the franchise after each installment. It’s the difference between liking watching a TV show week to week and liking watching it in huge, multi-hour chunks. It’s the mainstream’s way of taking long-form storytelling and transforming it into continuity. It’s best for all because continuity is nerd fan service and something familiar is populist. Thus: sequels, franchises, spinoffs, prequels. They are ways to expand the existing story.

The one common type of big-budget film that studios consider a safe bet is the re-boot or re-imagining. The problem with a franchise like Terminator is that you can’t reboot stories where the focus of each individual chapter is the characters trying to re-boot their own destiny. Time travel stories about prevention can’t be rebooted, because the implication is that we’re just seeing another part of the grander, multi-reality, multi-time epic story of Man Vs. The Singularity.

Why bring this up? Because I have news. That’s right, I’m going to bury the news almost 500 words into a rant about how much I like Terminator. Why? Because you deserve better than one-line of new information about a project that doesn’t have a script yet. You deserve to know the context and why this little bit of information suddenly has me pro-Terminator 5.

Or should I say “Terminator 2012” which is the title the pitch is going under right now. It involves time travel back to the present day, and – the exciting and mind-bending part of it all – is that it has the “entire original cast” attached to it, not just Arnie.

Disclaimer time: This is from a real source, I’m not bullshitting you. I don’t know what “entire original cast” means, but it’s safe to assume that AT LEAST means Linda Hamilton is coming back to re-establish herself as the face of Sarah Connor. At best, we somehow get Michael Biehn as some sort of old Kyle Reese…

… which is AMAZING.

I’m not even sure what kind of time travel backflips are even required for this sort of thing, but I’ll share with you my most exciting thought, AKA, how I would pitch this:

FORGET TERMINATOR 3 and SALVATION. They took place on the same timeline, a timeline we never want to visit again (mostly because it was boring, but also because rampant disregard for the previous mythology makes stupid, stupid implied subplots)

The best thing that can be done is to go back and ask: What if Sarah Connor survived to 2012 (invalidating her death in Terminator 3 and all the events of Salvation)? What does that look like, and what has to be different for that to happen?

Take the JJ Abrams Star Trek, the most successful mainstream time-travel story of my lifetime that managed to exist in a world where time travel and changing the future is possible, yet still managed to head-fake general audiences into feeling like it was a re-boot. That’s what Mr. Lin and The Governator should be shooting for, and that’s what people want to see.

Really, the question I’m now asking is: Are we looking to bring slightly-plumper Eddie Furlong (who was last seen in The Green Hornet, I believe) back and really commit to forgetting the shitty timeline of 3 and 4 or does someone remember Christian Bale has supposedly signed on to 2 more Terminator flicks?

Because if John Connor is just going to scream his way through 2012, I’ll take the old-school, non-technological Mayan Apocalypse, please.

– From Latinoreview.com

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