Where next for the Terminator franchise?

Feature James Peaty 11 Feb 2013 - 06:59

What does the future hold for the Terminator franchise, and how can it regain its early 90s success? James takes a closer look...

It’s been a tough few years if you’re a fan of The Terminator franchise. With the creative belly flop that was Terminator Salvation (2009) coming just a few months after the cancellation of TV spin-off, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, you’d have been forgiven for thinking the game was finally up for the once venerable series.

However, thanks to the bankruptcy of former rights holder, The Halcyon Company, and the deep pockets of producer Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, the franchise now finds itself at a potentially interesting crossroads. Where once it was owned by a company overjoyed at hiring the dubious talents of director McG, now the franchise’s future is controlled by an outfit that has backed, in the space of a year, P.T. Anderson’s The Master, Andrew Dominik’s Killing Them Softly and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty.

So, with the familiar red camera eyes of Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 potentially lighting up again very soon, what could a new Terminator feature look like, and how can it avoid the missteps of previous attempts to revive the series?

Despite the fact that both 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines and Terminator Salvation performed respectably at the box office, it’s been over 20 years since the franchise's pinnacle of creative and commercial success, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Both a critical and box office smash, T2 grossed around $800 million worldwide (adjusted for inflation), a level of ticket sales neither subsequent sequel has come close to matching. 

Many reasons have been banded about for this, but I’d argue that the chief reason for the subsequent weakness of the franchise has been the lack of involvement of series creator, James Cameron.

Famously selling the rights to future sequels for $1 in exchange for the right to direct the original film, Cameron only ended up making T2 thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger personally urging producer Mario Kassar (Total Recall) to bid for the log-jammed rights from original production outfit Hemdale.

Accounting for the success of the second film some years later, Cameron would say: “The thing we did with (T2) is that we reinvented the first film completely; spun it on its ass and made the Terminator the good guy, and came up with a whole new concept for a villain, it felt fresh.”

While all of this is certainly true, it certainly didn’t harm the film that it found Schwarzenegger – returning to his most identifiable role – at the absolute pinnacle of stardom, nor that the film featured a stunning visual effects breakthrough in the shape of the T-1000’s pioneering use of CGI.

Cameron himself also had something to prove after the financial disappointment of his hugely expensive underwater sci-fi pic, The Abyss. While now seen as something of a flawed classic, the failure at the box-office of the troubled production had left the sci-fi golden boy bruised, battered and with his industry stock lowered.

If the first Terminator saw Cameron proving himself as a director, the second was a chance for the Canadian filmmaker to show the world he could bounce back from adversity and return bigger, better and more successfully than before. 

Certainly, after the success of T2, Cameron has continued to make even bigger and more successful films, but I’m not convinced he’s ever been quite as on point again as he was here. By contrast, the third and fourth installments in the franchise were not the work of distinctive writer/directors, but rather that of industry journeymen who were helming franchise-mandated product built to service an audience familiar with the first two movies.

As Cameron himself said about Terminator Salvation: “I think (they were)…too referential to the mythos of the first and second film. (They) over-quoted them in a way… I didn’t feel the fourth picture was fresh enough. It also lacked a certain stamp of authenticity because Arnold wasn’t in it. I mean, he was in it briefly, digitally, but that’s not the same thing.”

Much as the original Planet Of The Apes franchise had ended up cannibalising its own lopsided, time-twisting continuity with ever diminishing returns, it's ironic to see the Terminator series forgetting the second film's prophetic line that ‘…there’s no fate, but what we make.’

Now, as a general platitude this is clearly fine, but when it comes to key decisions concerning multi-million dollar movie franchises… well, the fate you make has to be pre-destined into a pattern of continuity established nearly 30 years before. While the recent purchase of the franchise rights is an exciting turn of events, after recent experience, there is still some concern about what to expect from the series moving forward. 

It’s been common knowledge for some time that Schwarzenegger himself is attached to return in a potential new movie, and that for the past year and a half, predating the Annapurna purchase, he and director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious) were working on a script for a potential Terminator 5.

Speaking about the proposed sequel while promoting The Last Stand, the former governor of California mentioned that the take he and the now departed Lin were developing wasn’t working and that newer, ‘better quality’ writers were now attached to the project.

Those writers are Patrick Lussier, a veteran B-movie writer, director and editor of films such as My Bloody Valentine and Drive Angry, and Laeta Kalogridis, screenwriter of Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, James Cameron’s as-yet- unproduced Battle Angel Alita and an exec producer (and uncredited script doctor) on Avatar.

While some have sniffed at the choice of Lussier, it’s worth noting that his more recent work has been of a notably more enjoyable B-movie vintage; Kalogridis’ recent credits are impressive, while her pre-existing relationship with Cameron gives her an important connection to the past.

Of course, prior form with Cameron doesn’t necessarily equate to quality. Back in 2010, Deadline ran a story about a two-picture treatment for T5 and T6 that had been written by T2 co-writer, William Wisher. This outline purportedly tied together both Cameron’s films and the two subsequent sequels in a time-twisting story that brought back not only Schwarzenegger, but also Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton as Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor. 

Now, while it’s fair to say that some people probably think this sounds like the best thing ever, can I just bring up the elephant in the room and mention Terminator Salvation. For years, people claimed that what they really wanted to see in a Terminator movie was a story set during the future war between man and machine. Fair enough. And then Terminator Salvation arrived.

Granted, Salvation is a badly conceived and unimaginatively executed version of that story, but the film wasn’t just poor because of the director and the script - it was poor because delving into the future war is essentially a waste of time. 

What we see of the future in the first two installments is just enough to set up the world of the film and give the rest of the story a size, scope and rationale to occur, but beyond that, it’s little more than a pointless wallow in backstory and exposition.

For my money, the only way to free the franchise from the dead weight accumulated from two pointless sequels is to return the series to its roots as a smaller scale, possibly slightly lower-budgeted, R-rated action movie that is set firmly within the present tense.

What makes Cameron’s two entries such bracing and enduring movies is that, despite all the talk of the future and the potency of destiny, it’s what the characters do in the moment that counts. This is helped by Cameron’s generally strong grasp of storytelling, and the choices he makes to not only keep the narrative simple, but also to throw focus on the characters rather than concentrate on purely empty spectacle.

In the first film, that focus falls on Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, while in the second it’s Sarah, John Connor, Miles Dyson and, by the movie's end, even the Terminator himself. And it’s this character-led angle that the series desperately needs to rediscover if it’s to survive beyond a solitary reboot attempt. One only has to look at other recent franchise revivals to see that it’s the ones that have placed the characters front and centre that have worked best.

JJ Abrams’ reboot of Star Trek may not have given Trekkers the world over an in-depth discussion about the Federation’s Prime Directive, but it got people normally ambivalent about the property to relate to Kirk, Spock and the crew of the Enterprise as characters and not as pop culture fossils.

Similarly, Christopher Nolan’s Batman films built their increasing success on the solid foundations of characters established in the first movie, while this approach has also worked wonders for the most recent Bond movies.

While any new installment is undoubtedly going to hedge its bets and place Schwarzenegger’s iconic cyborg in a central role, I’d argue the most important thing the creatives in charge need to do is find an interesting new human side to the story and connect that to the broader mythology of the Terminator. 

My suggestion of how to approach this would be to ignore the events of the third and fourth films and tell a new story set after the events of T2 about a different set of characters, albeit ones with a connection to a potential Skynet-led future.

So far, all we’ve seen in the movies is how the Connors relate to the future world of the machines, but the human race is not just John and Sarah Connor. Surely it’s conceivable that Skynet would calculate that there are other variables, possibilities and anomalies that could be created to prevent their eventual defeat by Connor and his ilk.

If you approached the narrative from this angle, you could keep Sarah Connor around in the story to, essentially, fill the same role Kyle Reese occupied in the first movie. It would be Sarah who imparts information to a new lead character – either male or female – who would then drive the story forward in a new direction.

But who would/could play this part? From a purely ‘fantasy casting’ POV, I’d suggest Jessica Chastain as either a recast Sarah Connor or a new character, designed to step up and replace Connor within the story. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought Chastain’s performance (and even appearance at certain points) in Zero Dark Thirty evoked memories of Linda Hamilton.

Continuing the Annapurna connection, I’d also put forward Chastain’s ZDT director, Kathryn Bigelow as the ideal director for the revival. Her longstanding connection to Cameron is common knowledge, but in the last few years, Bigelow’s stock as a director of lean, compulsive and story-led action has risen to such an extent that she’s now considered one of the pre-eminent American film makers working today.

After winning her Oscar for The Hurt Locker and various other awards for ZDT, would Bigelow be interested in taking on a franchise picture? It’s hard to say, but Bigelow does have previous form when it comes to working on Cameron-derived material - and the original film is allegedly one of her top five favourite pictures…

Idle speculation aside, what is clear is that rather than focusing on securing obvious ‘star’ names and promoting ‘cool’ visual and narrative gimmicks, this new iteration of the series will only succeed if it has a similar level of quality and integrity both behind and in front of camera that it had in its early 90s pomp.

With the hiring of Kalgoridis and Lussier (alongside rumours of Jim Cameron consulting on the project) Megan Ellison’s most recent statement that the new movie will be R-rated ‘…as God and Jim Cameron intended’, has already gone some way to setting people's minds at ease.

Perhaps, after the long years of waiting, fans of Terminator can finally start to face the future with a sense of hope…?

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The real trouble with every Terminator installment after T2 was that there was no story left to tell; they destroyed both the research at Cyberdyne and the chip said research was spawned from... they stopped the future taking place, story over, roll credits, full stop. Miss Ellison is doing a grand job thus far (I wish she'd finance the '24' movie because FOX evidently doesn't want to right now), but I think her considerable assets are best put in more worthy and substantive projects than another pointless bloody sequel... I think we get enough of those as it stands now!

It's over. The demographics tell you that. No one aged 14-25, maybe 14-30 is remotely interested. It'd be like Chuck Heston trying to do a planet of the apes sequel in 1998. There is no story left. Arnie is too old for the part and we'd be on our Fourth John Connor. A complete reboot might work, but I doubt it. It's best left.

What a dumb article and dumb suggestion.

A new Terminator movie with Arnold ,Chastain and Bigelow would definitely kickstart this franchise into the future. But it sounds a bit unlikely.

I actually like T3 alot. Sure it's not quite in the league of the first two movies, but it's still a very solid entry - and ends really well.
Salvation however was dull.

Have to agree with Dave. There's no way forward for this franchise in any of its previous incarnations, and in that I include all previous casts. As for a small scale, lower budget, R rated outing, I glean from this statement that the the writer an myself are around the same age and remember the impact the original had on me when it came out. The only way forward is to reboot. When Salvation came out I had an expected story in my head that went along the lines of one movie being a Future war movie which ends with a terminator & Kyle Reece going back in time and a second being along the lines of the original terminator and 3, well leave it at two. I'd still pay to see those two movies.

There's no way in hell they can make this a smaller grittier film, the escalation of the action and spectacle in this franchise and other franchise sequels(Die hard, Taken) can't be climbed down from. Big action spectacular is now synonymous with Terminator, best you'll get is another serviceable dumb sequel.

They would have to think of a really crafty plot device for it to work if Arnie is to play another Terminator, maybe some sort of founding scientist or something. I didnt mind T3, especially for its ending. Salvation I didnt mind because they went with what had been laid out before and some bits worked well but for me these two sequels just didnt feel as intense as the first 2.

I actually dont think theres any legs left in the Terminator franchise now. I would consign it to history and recommend people cherish the 1st, cheer at the 2nd, forget the 3rd and not be so harsh on SALVATION. I quite enjoyed it.

I still don't know what is wrong with Salvation? I thought it was a great film, and was nice to see the world during the war and it was a good starting point to what could have been a good trilogy.

I personally think the only way forward is to continue THAT story. I want to see the point where the robots send the T-100 back, and then I want to see John Conner send Karl Reece back to protect his mother. I want to see that in one film, and then in the next I want a conclusion. I want to see who wins, the Robots or the Humans.

We know that this war happens and cannot be stopped, so I want to see how it ends.

I'll be honest, they should never have made T3 or Salvation though. T2 was the perfect place for the franchise to end. On a high.

I agree with you. It's over, and Salvation was actually pretty decent.

Couldn't agree more with your comment. T3 had great action and a fantastic ending. Salvation was terrible.

Salvation was surely a massive improvement on T3 which for me isn't even a decent film even forgetting the great movies before it.

I they must (& they will) continue to milk the franchise get Bale back in and continue the story from there perhaps make it into a trilogy that ends back at the beginning.

wow, couldn't agree more, excellent article, thanks

it's a superb article

The terminator franchise is on life support after the moron McG's back-alley operation. I could talk about McG at some length. Needless to say, he's not a movie director. Terminator needs a subtle craftsman with a wild imagination to breathe life back into it. I'd be happy if any of Joss Wheedon, JJ Abrams, Guillermo del Toro or Peter Jackson picked up the baton and ran with it. Or if James Cameron came back to finish what he began. Not Ah-nuld, sadly the great man is starting to look his age. And not McG.

One of the SCC writers, on a podcast, said the one element that T3 & TS were missing was love. The love between Sarah and Kyle, between mother and son, even the love and passion that Sarah had for the future of humanity. That made the difference in how good the show and the first 2 movies were. He pointed out the love between the characters in the stories, but I have to also point out that the people that made the last 2 movies didn't seem to love the franchise, either.

I totally agree! I find T3 extremely watchable - never get tired of the evil bitch and the action is top notch. They didn't reinvent the wheel but took enough liberty to make it fresh. To be honest, while T2 is arguably a better movie, I have watched T3 more times - it's a great popcorn movie with an amazing, altough logical ending. Give me T3 over T1 and T4 anyday!

I don't agree tht going back to the original present day tense is the right move except possibly as part of the film. After all, that's what the 3/4 films are about. And the Sarah Connor Chronicles for that matter, good though it was.

While following other characters might not be a bad idea in the end I foresee that as following a similar structure. Significant characters for the future in danger from killer robot. Hero character (human or reprogrammed robot) sent back to protect.

Of course they could do something else in the present day like have terminators paradoxically attempting to set up specific projects to fulfil the future, and our heroes have to be the ones to prevent it (a little switcheroo, making themselves the terminators if you like.).... I could see that. And it's something that was done in episodes of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but a film version wouldn't be a bad thing.

And as for Terminator Salvation just filling in backstory well actually, a lot of the flack it got was for daring to deviate from what fans imagined the future to be. They even played with the idea of a different kind of cyborg. Flawed it might have been, (and I agree they overdid it with the quotation references etc) but they DID do something different, and in my opinion, it is underrated.

A story that encompassed time travel, seeing things from the POV of someone in both the present and the future, rather than sticking to one or the other... I think that could be the way to go. Perhaps coupled with the stuff in the third paragraph above.

Please though. Not just a rerun of episodes 1 or 2. That being said I'd probably watch it.

Dumb? How is it dumb when all the writer does is give us an update on the franchise and the possibilities? If anything or anyone is dumb, it's YOU...

I like t4 the best, even though many seem to criticize it. I like the post apocalyptic environments the most.

Great article! I am glad there are new people involved in this project. T-3 and T-4 were alright at best but if you're a huge Terminator fan both movies were trash... I don't care if Bale was involved and don't care for 2 hrs of non-stop CGI... terrible scripts and terrible story-telling (praise Gawd that the nut McG is nowhere near the possibility for a T-5). With that said, how can some of you say there is no more story left for the Terminator? Are you kidding me? With good writers and director, you have a lot of different avenues to take on this; one thing is for sure, PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANYBODY OR ANYTHING BACK IN TIME!!! Focus on the present war against the machines. How about Arnold? Of course he can be in the film, just be creative! He doesn't have to play a Terminator. How about he plays the role of the actual human who was used to bring forth the T-800 (101) then imprisoned by the machines all these years to finally be rescued by the resistance in Terminator 5.... that could work so that his age is not an issue. I personally am excited about this film. It needs to be Rated R, more character development and have substance. The special effects and CGI should be secondary. Let's hope for the best!

Salvation is a better film than T3. T3 feeels like a spoof at times, and the only good thing about it is the ending.

What they should have done after T2 is make 'Terminator: Zero Hour' which could've been both a sequel to T2 and a prequel to T1 by being about how the rebels fought to send Reese back at the start of T1. This would have provided a looping trilogy!

They should completely forget the Connors. The start of the new movie should confirm that the robots were successful in going back and killing Sarah before she gave birth.
The you can do whatever the hell you want!!
Cool future robots that would not have been made if JC's rebelion succeeded (or never happened) you could have a new cool kid character that we are all routing for, take some of the good from T2 and make something completely new, almost a reboot, without being a remake.
That's what I would do.

The problem with the T3/4 is that no-one cares about the characters only the fate of the world and the JC prophecy coming true. Forget the Connors, start a new timeline with someone we can actually care about like JC in T2.
T3 - some loser junkie
T4 - Christian (talking with a weird voice) Bale, added to the fact everyone knew he was an a-hole on set.
T2 - Cool cheeky chappie, hard upbringing, audience investment

Salvation was actually OK and was a lot better than T3.

I would like to see a sequel in which we have more of a time-travel storyline and learn something about the construction of the cyborg perhaps with a human character played by Arnie whose image was used as a model by the machines. Or just forget the whole thing, I wouldn't care less.

Really don't see the point in any more Terminator movies, other than a studio wanting to make money. Just let it die!!!

yes I want to see that too. don't forget the fall of Skynet,the defense grid smashed,taken the mainframes,captured the time displacement equipment and blow up the place.And where John Connor gives kyle reese the picture of sarah connor,the briefing of the time machine,and when skynet sends back the t-800,the scenes where it was kyle reese and his girl combat partner fighting(the one where she got blown to pieces by an HK,and the scene where Kyle Reese and his team are finishing reconing and go to their under ground bunker.As in the future dream/terminator infiltrator scene.and Kyle reese fighting in Perry's unit then transferred to Connor's unit,kyle volunteering to go across time.the years 2021-2029. would u like to find out how Kyle escaped in the burning car in the future(the scene where he falls asleep in his car in the past while he watches the earthmover)and how he escaped his bunker when it was being attacked(in the infiltrator scene/flashback.)

First of all T3 was not bad. It was no T2 but hey no Sarah Connor brings any Terminator story down. T4 was fine. I didnt adore it but I like Bale and Worthington is ok at best and I liked seeing a future apocalyptic setting - plus it had Michael ironside and anything with ironside rocks. period. If youve seen Chronicles then you know there is a lot of story to tell. But no matter what, whatever they decide to do what I want more than Arnold, Hamilton, or even Skynet, is Robert Patrick! He is the baddest badass ever. i dont care if he is 60, fat or uninterested. he needs to be in this. I dont care if he plays the designer of the T-1000 or whatever, Patrick is the man.

I don't want any "cool kid character" in any movie.

Attaching names like Bigelow and Chastain is silly.

Before you saw (or previewed) T1 or T2, did you have any idea what they would be like? No. But before you saw T3 and T4, you were already bored by what you suspected was coming. That's the difference in quality.

Abrams did not revitalize Star Trek. He mashed it with his timid, tired character tropes. Much of the blame, of course, goes to Bob Orci, a timid tired trope-monger. Consider the difference in depictions of Captain Pike after he has been injured. In TOS episode, he is a mutilated wreck but a hero; in Abrams crap, he's neat little dude speechifying from his neat little auto-chair. That's the difference in quality. Until producers grasp the concept of quality, they will continue to churn out their wretched drivel.

I thought T3 was pretty well done, poor casting aside. I didnt think they would end it the way they did.
Salvation, however was very disappointing. They missed the chance to do something special with the chance to legitimately kill off John Connor. They missed the chance to completey gut the franchise mythology and build something new and exciting.

Why not turn it on its head , humans go back to kill someone who developed the terminators say an old Arnie who based them on himself. Then a terminator comes back to save him .

I wish people would stop saying what is and isn't a flop or good. I for one like the Terminator Salvation instalment of the movies. How about Twilight. It was a major flop. Why cause I said so so it must have sucked for everyone. Not only did they make a mockery of both vampires and werewolves and there was no action, there was even a stupid storyline. Let people make their own minds up.

Speak for yourself. I was not bored with T3 or Salvation. I enjoyed all of them and actually watch them all the time. Terminator is my all time favorite movie. Star Trek was predictable and boring. Hell I got bored 2 mins into Star Trek. By the 10 min mark I was sleeping. Now that is how you know a movie is boring.

Robert Patrcik is a bore. Badass my ass. I watched some of Chronicles and that show was not that good. I love anything Terminator and that show I didn't care for. For your comment about Sarah. You can't have John without Sarah and it was nice they played it out to how he came about or it wouldn't make sence. Talk about actors being ok at best. That would be a column that Ironside would fit into.

They make them for fans like me that actually loved them. The only movies that they are making more of for money and nothing else. Star Wars. 4-6 were good and 1-3 were a joke. That they should just quit with already. One more bad movie in that set and I will not even watch 4-6 anymore. What did they even make Twilight for if not for money. The books were big the movies sucked. I don't read besides reading is boring but I did see the movies only so I can bash them for the crap they were.

Yet you kept watching them.

You can't forget about the Conners because the story revolved around them. It was the Conners that took out the machines. Did you not watch the first one or any after. If so you would n't say to get rid of them since they play a pivital part in the fall of the machines For your comment of a reboot. Hell no. When they do that they kill them. Like they did with everything else they either rebooted or remade.

If you were a big Terminator fan you would know both those were trash you say. I am a huge fan of them and have collected toys I could find and have every couple of the movie that came out. VHS, DVD BLURAY and the different releases. With saying that I loved all the movies. If you were a true fan you would n't mind the odd flaw that may have been in them. The difference between the first one and the others is the rating. Terminator had an R rating and the others were like PG-13. To get the big pop like the first one they have to go back to the R rating. If you seen Salvation it is in the present and nothing was sent back. Oh and there is a part five in the works.

Really did you ask all the 14-30 year olds. I know of a number of teens that are looking forward to another one. My daughter being one of them and she is 16. I am 34 and can't wait. No a reboot won't work since everything they rebooted sucks. Arnie too old. Have you seen what they can do with make up these days. Talk about actors being too old for roles they used to play. John McClain aka Bruce Willis. Rocky and Rambo aka Sly. All movies recently made in those franchises were good but they are old. Lots of action in those by older men. Terminator did n't have the main charater do much. Walk and Kill is all the Terminator did.

There was and is lots of story to tell. Ok the chip and arm and data destroyed but does that mean everyone that worked on it died as well. Dyson is but what about the rest. There was more then just him. Did someone else take some of the paper work home. Download it on a home cpu. They did say that but could have happened. About your comment with 24. It is being done but really slowly. Starting with the fact that Keifer is busy with Touch. Scheduling conflict. They have even beaten that story into the ground. Times up on the clock why not end that there to then. Nothing left to tell with that story. Story over, roll credits, full stop.

Excellent article. I agree if they are going to make another movie (which is inevitable anyway) they need to go back to a more character driven story based in the present or even the 80s or 90s with the return of a time travel element, perhaps in an alternate timeline affected by everything that has happened since t2.

A story based entirely on the future war would be painfully, B movie boring. It's the briefly hinted at scenes and mystique of this future that kept it interesting in the first two films.

My idea for the fifth Terminator is that the year is actually 2029, the year that the whole series led up to. John Connor is leading what's left of the human resistance, and the war has turned into a holocaust. Skynet has just created a new type of Terminator, the T-2000 (or whatever name you want it to be), which is the strongest cyborg ever created. John Connor decides to reprogram a T-800 and then they lead the resistance into attack on Skynet's real system core, which is a massive robot made of liquid metal, the T-1000000 (shown in T2 3D). The story will feature Connor, Kyle Reese, the Terminator and some new characters destroying Skynet once and for all. The story ends when John Connor makes the decision not to send Kyle Reese back in time to conceive John in the first place, thus completely breaking the whole time travel cycle and going back to the "there is no fate but what we make" theory. This plot will bring back Arnold, introduce at least 2 or 3 new Terminator robots/cyborgs, will reveal Skynet's system core, and give the entire series a good final ending. It should focus on the paradox of John not ever being conceived, and whether or not it would affect his life. It would be kind of a mash-up of all four previous Terminator films, and would wrap up the series firmly and ensure no further films would be made.

Also, the time machine that is used to send things back in time would be shown in the fifth film. That would be super legit.

T3 was tight indeed. i don't know why people hate on it so much. i went and watched it in theaters 4 times. the big problems with salvation was for one arnold was not really in it.... also several characters were miscast. christian bale was great in earlier movies like American Psycho and Equilibrium but i dislike him as batman and i straight up hate him as john connor. also catherine brewster was miscast also the kid that played reese was a totall pansy. the script had cool sequences but the overall story line was just plain weak and lacking the great stuff from the first three films. it would have been better if it took place a few years later when endos were stepping on skulls all over.... everything was ash with phased plasma rifles in a 40 watt range were going off all over the place.

does this remind you of another story? the paradox of never being conceived in the natural way that everyone who has ever existed was created by . look at the initials of John Connor........ J.C..... who's initials are also J.C and was conceived by ways not possible? hint hint dudes got a sweet beard... maybe a little borrowing there by Mr. Cameron huh? Terminator SALVATION? J.C. is the savior of mankind? come on Cameron that's just straight plagiarism!!! next thing ya know when Terminator 5 comes out instead of buying a ticket you will be let in for free then in the middle of the movie there will be an intermission where they pass a "donation" plate around.the theater. moohoohahahahaa!!!

T3 was the worst one in my book, John connor was crap

You are right, Salvation was not terrible, but when you have to compare the previous ones, you'll have to say Salvation was disappointing, especially compared to T2. This fate for salvation is not because it was bad, because fans expected something more ( I agree there's not much to show after T3). Anyway I just feel the franchise needs to make a proper conclusion to this epic Cameron work. Ending the franchise after T2 wouldn't have been bad but that leaves us at a dead end in the series. We all want to know what finally happens!?

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