During the craziness of the world premiere for Terminator Genisys in Berlin last week, I was offered an hour to sit down with the producers: Dana Goldberg and David Ellison to talk about their upcoming film and TV projects. I'm still not certain how they've managed to fit it all in, but I was in awe of the portfolio of awesomeness they've got in store for us.
Let's get to the highlights, shall we?
We asked David what drew him (and Skydance) to produce this film.
David: I'll never forget seeing Terminator 2: Judgment Day with my mom when I was eight years old, and way too young to be going to see an R-rated movie, and it changed my life. It's what made me want to make movies, and James Cameron is one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. To give you an idea of how big of a fan my family was, my mother actually got into the shape that Linda Hamilton was in in that movie, and I have pictures that can prove it. She could pretty much demolish me for way too late in my life, which is embarrassing.
I'm still waiting to see the photographic evidence of David's mom being in Linda Hamilton's shape (I mean, look at this woman), but he seems like a genuine kinda guy.
So we know the Ellison family were fans of the Cameron franchise, but recently James Cameron himself came out and stated he was a HUGE fan of Genisys, which got a lot of internet cynics asking: 'What did they pay him to endorse this movie?' Here's the video:
Dana: Seriously, if we're gonna have this conversation, what amount of money does anybody think somebody can offer James Cameron that is going to make a damn bit of difference or to get him to stand up and give an opinion that he doesn't believe in? It actually just boggles my mind, really, like what is that amount? Absolutely not, that is so not the case, the man is not making a dollar off of this movie or because of the comments he's made in support.
Quick - move along, move along! We then asked if Terminator: Genisys was part of a confirmed trilogy, and got an interesting (and unexpected) response when David told us:
Right now, the audience is 100% going to decide if there is another movie, but we’re wanting to hopefully plan for the success and plan for the future.
So wait... we decide if there is another movie? Whaaat?
Dana: The thing that’s really important to know is that it wasn’t done because we were taking it for granted that we were going to get to a second and third movie.
...it's really important to us for everyone to know that Terminator Genisys is a standalone film. You’re not gonna walk out of this theater and feel cheated and think we left you dangling and now you have to wait for the next movie. Do we want you to want a next movie? Of course we do.
I had to ask though... 'if we do get a second and third film, will we see a cameo from any of the original T1 and T2 cast?'
Dana: I can’t say what it is, but there is a particular part written into the second movie from somebody that you have seen in the prior film. Who it is we will have to wait to be lucky enough to make the next movie.
That's all I needed to know! Now we can safely move on to the Terminator TV show...
Yes people, this is actually happening! When asked if it would tie into the movie in any way, Dana suggested it was too early to say, but that it would 'absolutely have some connecting tissue'. But a Terminator TV series is not the only thing Skydance has in store for us...
[Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation](tag:373501) and Top Gun 2
I discovered a lot of new information from this interview, one of the more surprising revelations being that everybody in the industry seems to adore Tom Cruise. Now I understand why. Tom does ALL of his own stunts, is apparently involved in all aspects of health and safety to make sure that everything scene is 100% authentic and wired to the tee. His next 3 projects are both under the Skydance umbrella: [Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation](tag:373501) Top Gun 2and Jack Reacher 2 .
Dana: We love working with Tom. The truth is Tom spoils you because you work with Tom and you then have the expectation that of course every movie star/producer is going to be like that. Because he’s typically the first person on the set and the last person on the set. And he will openly look at you and say ‘I don’t expect you to work harder than me, but I expect you to keep up with me.’
So it seems the extraordinary cost of insuring Tom Cruise for his daredevilish stunts is worth it for the pure joy of working with Tom Cruise. Who would've guessed?
Fun Fact: In that epic airplane take-off scene in the MI: Rogue Nation trailer, that is 100% Tom Cruise hanging from the edge of the plane. No stunt double, no CGI - all on camera action!
Apart from his movie-producing credentials, I discovered David Ellison is actually a skilled pilot and has been flying aerobatics since the tender age of 13. Coupled with the fact that it also stars Tom Cruise, this fun fact seamlessly led us into our next topic of conversation: Top Gun 2.
'What's the latest?', we asked.
David: There is no Top Gun without Maverick, and it is going to be Maverick playing Maverick. It is I don't think what people are going to expect, and we are very, very hopeful that we get to make the movie very soon. But like all things, it all comes down to the script, and Justin is writing as we speak.
Script = good. 'What can we expect from this movie?'
David: It is very much a world we live in today where it’s drone technology and fifth generation fighters are really what the United States Navy is calling the last man-made fighter that we’re actually going to produce. So it’s really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today are all fun things that we’re gonna get to dive into in this movie.
There is so much more I'd love to include in this article, but an hour long conversation is difficult to fit into a digestible format. If you have any questions, however, I'd love to hear them in the comments below! Thanks so much to David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Skydance for the opportunity to get to know the faces behind the name. It was a humbling and unforgettable experience.