Traditional logic dictates that the Terminator will always "be back," but, is that set to change?
The rather major failure of the Terminator prequel/re-boot thing, Terminator: Genisys, led to rumors that Skydance has indefinitely postponed the planned sequels of the new franchise. However, that might not be entirely accurate.
Although the planned franchise has seemingly been scrapped, that doesn't mean Skydance is willing to finally let the 30-year-old Terminator franchise die. While chatting with TheWrap, Skydance chief Dana Goldberg stated:
"Do we intend to have a next step of Terminator? Yes, we do. I wouldn’t say on hold, so much as re-adjusting. At Skydance, when we talk movies, we talk universes, even more than franchises. So the idea of a Terminator TV show fits into that universe. All the steps have to be taken in unison."
Prior to the release of Terminator: Genisys, director Alan Taylor continually drew comparisons between his experience on this movie, and his experience directing Marvel movie, Thor: The Dark World. While he claimed the latter did not provide much freedom, he suggested Terminator: Genisys had allowed him to flex his creative muscles a bit.
Check out the Terminator: Genisys trailer below:
Unfortunately, the result of that flexing didn't amount to much, and now Skydance seems to have changed its approach. Instead of providing directors with the space to make their own movies, it seems they'd rather just beg for the validation of the audience by asking them what they want. Goldberg claimed they would use:
"...data and research to do a worldwide study and really talk to audiences about what they loved, and what maybe didn’t work for them, so that the next step we take with the franchise is the right one."
Although on the surface this might seem like a great idea (after all, they want to please their audience, right?), this hardly sounds like a successful formula for an original, exciting and interesting movie. In many ways, the problem with Genisys was that it was a poorly written and crafted movie which clearly wanted to exploit the audiences' nostalgia for the Terminator franchise for monetary gain. It just wasn't good -- regardless of what 'direction' it went in.
Furthermore, Goldberg suggested the franchise could also prioritize foreign markets in the future, since this is where Terminator: Genisys performed best. She continued:
"Happily, we live in the world where the domestic number had a level of importance 10 or 15 years ago — I’m not saying it’s not important, it is — but we have to play to a worldwide market. In terms of Terminator, the worldwide market paid attention, but we’re not taking the domestic number lightly."
If Skydance actually wants to create a film which can capture the essence and popularity of the original movies, they'd surely be better off finding a passionate and talented team of filmmakers with a strong and well-defined vision of the movie they want to make, instead of simply resorting to some studio exec's idea of what movie they think will make the most money. Y'know, kind of like what James Cameron did with the original movie and Terminator 2.
Asking the audience might seem noble and progressive, but really it's the kind of thing which stunts creative development and real quality. After all, all we have to remember is that famous saying: "A camel is a horse designed by committee."