James Cameron Says Terminator Reboot Discussions Are Happening

It remains to be seen if The Terminator will get another sequel after Terminator: Dark Fate, the sixth installment of the movie series, underperformed in 2019. Prior to the movie’s release, there seemed to be a great deal of excitement with the fans as Dark Fate marks the first time since Terminator 2: Judgment Day Linda Hamilton had played Sarah Connor. Many longtime fans of the franchise were also excited to hear that Edward Furlong had signed on to reprise his role as John Connor, as along with a returning Arnold Schwarzenegger, the film would feature a cast reunion for the franchise’s most popular film.

Unfortunately, Dark Fate wasn’t embraced when it was released. It tanked at the box office, costing Paramount Pictures upwards of $120 million – one of the biggest bombs in cinema history. That effectively killed all tentative plans to pick up from where Dark Fate left off in another sequel. Three years later, the franchise remains dormant with no clear indication that it will ever be given any new movies.


But James Cameron, who directed the first two films and served as a producer on the previous two, is now teasing that the machines may rise once again. The Avatar: The Way of Water director touched on the possibility of doing more Terminator in a new interview on the Smartless podcast (via ThePlaylist) while speaking about artificial intelligence in movies. Cameron casually mentioned that there are some active discussions happening for a relaunch of the Terminator franchise, but that nothing is set in stone at this time. From the interview:

“Well, the Avatar films are about the environment; I’m not dealing with AI. If I were to do another Terminator film and maybe try and to launch that franchise again, which is in discussion, but nothing has been decided, I would make it much more about the AI side of it than bad robots gone crazy.”

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Cameron recently touched on what went wrong with Terminator: Dark Fate as well. In a separate interview with Deadline, the filmmaker blamed his insistence on getting Arnold Schwarzenegger involved for causing the sequel’s downfall. He feels that having either Schwarzenegger or Linda Hamilton would have been sufficient, but to have both aging stars in the same film, made the movie feel dated, as Cameron theorized.

“I think what happened is I think the movie could have survived having Linda in it, I think it could have survived having Arnold in it, but when you put Linda and Arnold in it and then, you know, she’s 60 something, he’s 70 something, all of a sudden it wasn’t your Terminator movie, it wasn’t even your dad’s Terminator movie, it was your granddad’s Terminator movie. And we didn’t see that. We loved it, we thought it was cool, you know, that we were making this sort of direct sequel to a movie that came out in 1991.”

But some fans and critics would argue that bringing back Hamilton and Schwarzenegger was not an issue with Terminator: Dark Fate. One of the biggest complaints viewers had with the film is the treatment of Edward Furlong’s John Connor, a character whose survival was the entire point of the highly-revered first film and T2. Nonchalantly killing off the character at the start of the film seems to have turned off many viewers right away, as while Dark Fate served as a direct sequel to T2, this turn of events made those first two movies meaningless in the eyes of many.