The Terminator Movies – The Future of the Sci-Fi Franchise

One of the most interesting happenings in the movie world of late has been the sale of the rights to the TERMINATOR movies franchise. After the poor response that TERMINATOR SALVATION got, it was deemed to be time to let someone else have a go at continuing the story of John Connor and his freedom fighters in their struggle against SkyNet and the terminators.

The rights were auctioned off, and a rather vicious bidding war was staged in which the ultimate victor was Pacifor, to whom Halcyon productions (the previous home of the franchise) owed a stack of cash. Now, Pacifor is looking to sell off the rights to one or two of the other bidders (Sony and Lionsgate). An interesting piece of news is that William Wisher, who worked on the screenplays of the first two Terminator films (i.e. the good ones), is currently working on the scripts for Terminator 5 and Terminator 6.

The interesting thing is, these new Terminator movie scripts are said to be bringing back Kyle Reece and Sarah Connor, as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character briefly in one of the two films, and are set to end the franchise completely. To me, that is exactly what the Terminator movies franchise needs to regain some ground and some respect from moviegoers and die-hard Terminator fans.

If a definite end was in sight, then there would be interest in seeing just how the characters get there, and how the war with Skynet finally ends. Wisher’s scripts apparently mention ‘shape shifting cyborgs’, and while initial reactions to the mention of shape shifters has made many people think of Transformers, I think that the approach may be closer to the T-1000 from terminator 2: Judgement Day rather than the massive robots we saw in Terminator Salvation.

It was the low key feel and tense atmosphere that made the original movie so special, and then with that classic first sequel it was the heightened action laid over the same tension that helped provide the spark that generated an icon.

The other films have lacked the qualities of the first two, and a return to more dramatic storytelling and less CG-drenched set pieces would be very welcome indeed. One way or another, there are strange things afoot with the Terminator movie series, and it watching how events unfold surrounding the making of these new films may well be just as interesting as the flicks themselves. After all, they did say they’d be back…