Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Terminator is dead. Terminator rises again.

The studios can’t decide of we’re going to get another Terminator film

Wed, Mar 22, 2017, 21:09

   

Okay. What’s going on here? A few days ago we were informed that the plug had been pulled on the Terminator franchise. The stink from the truly dire Terminator Genisys had taken two years to dissipate. Once that had happened, it looked as of the studio were backing away with noses held. “It is over for The Terminator and Arnold,” a source close to Paramount told the New York Daily News. “The studio has taken the sequel off the production slate completely, meaning there is no preproduction or any plans for another sequel. The talent had been offered long-term deals, but this is not happening.”

It would be wrong to suggest the Nerdisphere was taken over with wailing and gnashing of teeth. That series hasn’t delivered a film anyone much liked since T2 in 1991. That’s a quarter of a century ago, date fans. The general feeling was that the franchise should be left to sink gracefully beneath the surface. Have I said “Hasta la Vista, baby!” yet? Well, I have now obviously.

Today we learnt that there is life in the old cyborg yet. David Ellison, CEO of Skydance Media, which produced Terminator Genisys, has stood up to speak of bright new tomorrows and endless possibilities. “I will say we have resolved the future of the franchise and believe me its an incredibly bright future,” he told Collider in disconcertingly Trumpian prose.  I think where it’s going will be the continuation of what the fans really wanted since T2. We have something this year that we will be announcing for the franchise. It’s something we’re incredibly excited about and we think is the direction it needs to head.”

But wasn’t Genisys some sort of huge flop? Not really. As is so often the case, box office chatter was dominated by its underwhelming US performance. The film made just $90  million there on a production budget of $155 million. But it went on to do boffo business in non-Anglophone territories where Shwarzenegger is still king. Terminator Genisys ended up making $445 million. Even with the enormous marketing budget added in, the film is still making some fairly significant profit. It matters not a whit that your ailing goldfish could make a better picture. It is of no consequence that bits of your brain are ground into the carpet of the cinema where you saw it. The sums add up. They will, however, only continue to add up if Schwarzenegger is still on board.

Will he…

be…

ahem…

back?

I’ll get my coat.

Comment on Screenwriter at the author’s Twitter account: @donaldclarke63