It was recently reported by movies.com (among other websites) that, He’s back! I’m pretty sure, I’m not the only that has used that line but I don’t really care. So the news that is being plastid all over the internet is that Arnold Schwarzenegger is confirmed to be the main star for “Terminator 5.” Also, he goes on to say that the shooting of the film will begin in January 2014.
So what does this news tell us? One thing it tells us is that this has been in the works for a while now. If what he said is true, and they will indeed start filming in January, then they must have a script ready from writers Patrick Lussier, and Laeta Kalogridis. However, if they want to reach that shooting date, then they will properly see casting over the next couple months for this film. The film is also waiting on a director, which they originally had “Fast and Furious” director Justin Lin but then dropped out. But how do I feel about another Terminator Film?
(Note this article contains spoilers)
Should there be a Terminator 5?
The Terminator series is one that seems to be just barely hanging on by a thread. The first two Terminators are classic films, films that had great action along with a compelling and an interesting storyline. It looked like at the end of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) that the series would end with only two entries. The loose ends were tied up and the characters stopped the threat of judgment day from ever happening. However, over a decade later, the studios returned to the Terminator series with “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” (2003), the first not to be directed by James Cameron. Although it had some success with the critics, it was less accepted by fans. The film ends with the Judgment Day actually becoming a reality, and the Machines rising up to rule (much like the tile suggests). Although the film continued the same formula as the first two flicks in the series, with a Terminator being sent back in time to kill a target, and wasn’t highly regarded by many fans. The ending left the door open for an interesting continuation of the series. “Terminator Salvation” (2009) was the next step in the story. With interesting trailers and the hope of a bold new direction, making the series fresh again by , showing the actually war between man and the machines. The trailers made it look amazing, but the film unfortunately did not live up to the promise of the coming attractions. Critics did not respond kindly and the film was once again mixed amongst fans.
So where does the series go from here? With as many flaws as “Salvation” had, it still was by no means an awful film. However these past two films is a film series shows that its holding on to some shred of quality, but it could be running out. Should they make a Terminator 5? Yes! I believe there is much more story to be told. The writers of “Salvation” missed out on a big opportunity here to make something remarkable and completely reinvent the franchise. It still wasn’t a bad movie, but so much potential was there and even at the end, there is still more story to tell. They should make two more films to cap off the series, two trilogies telling a full story of the terminator universe. The first three sets up the Man vs. Machine war and the next three be about that war, and the 6th film be a big epic finale that ends the series off. This is the only way I think they should go about another film, no more time traveling terminators, we got as much as the series could handle with those plots it’s time to move on but this recent news possibly suggests otherwise.
With Arnold back, and in a “starring” role, it means that the terminator from the first three films is back (no pun intended), and it also means they are going to use him heavily. Does that mean he will be the Terminator in “the war”? Or (a more likely answer) will he be sent back in time again to bring the franchise back to its roots? It’s likely they will try to bring the next film back in that direction since the latest installment didn’t do well at the box office. If this is the case, then any excitement level I had for Terminator 5 is shot completely down because then it’s another rehashed storyline. Terminator 3 already feels like that, but that gets the pass because the chapter was necessary in order to move ahead with the “Salvation” storyline. What they have in store for the 5th film is yet to be seen, but with Arnold in a starring role I fear a rehash.
In the article it does mention a key piece of information that Lin no longer has “Fast and Furious” commitments, he could realistically take over the reins again. However, the only reservation about him so far is in his directing credits, we have yet to see him take on a film where story is equally important as action. Sure the most recent “Fast and Furious” films have had awesome action, but if he were to come back to Terminator 5, would he be able to tell a story properly? “Terminator” is an action packed series, and Lin would be great with that part, but “Terminator” isn’t just an action film. It’s got a real story to it and the series has been long without a director who can properly tell that story. I would be up for Justin Lin as director and give him a shot. Hell, we gave Mcg a shot didn’t we? If I were the studio exc. in charge of finding a director for the project (for the storyline I want to see, “The War of the Machines”) is Edward Zwick, director of “Glory” (1989) and “Blood Diamond” (2006). Although he hasn’t done many science fiction films before he has done a few war films, that is based largely on character and story, he can pull off an action sequence. Once again, if they kept with the “Salvation” storyline he would be perfect fit because that’s really what the film would be, a war film set in the future. Neill Blomkamp is a great choice because of his directing credits and his style would be a great fit for the series. He directed District 9 (2009) and the upcoming sc-fi film, “Elysium” (2013). Even a Francis Lawrence would be good (I am Legend (2007)). There is no way James Cameron can come back, he is just too busy with Avatar 2 and 3, and besides even if he had the time I doubt he want to do it. I’m not against Justin Lin directing I just think there are a few people I would choose before him.
The Bottom Line
I’m excited over the prospect of a new Terminator film if they continue with the story that “Salvation” set up with, the human and machine war. If they go back to the original formula then I wouldn’t be that interested at all and would give Justin Lin a chance at directing (however there are few better candidates). We will have to watch continuing news closely.