Why Have the Terminator Films Gone Wrong? James Cameron Explains

James Cameron on the Terminator sequels, and how to make the series relevant again.

Now that James Cameron is back in a more active creative role for the next Terminator film — although he’s interested in getting Tim Miller (Deadpool) to actually direct it — he took a moment to explain to The Daily Beast how the franchise has gone astray since he directed the classic second entry, 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

“It’s really just stumbled along, trying to find its voice again,” he argued. “There’s probably some degree to where it’s lost relevance, you know? Maybe the things that made it good back then are kind of a yawn now. It’s easy to remember fondly the things that kick off a franchise. It’s hard to keep a franchise vigorous, and relevant.

“I haven’t had my hand on the tiller since Terminator 2, and that was 1991. So what’s that? 26 years? But look, I think it’s possible to tell a great Terminator story now, and it’s relevant,” he added. 

How would he do it? “We live in a digital age, and Terminator ultimately, if you can slow it down, is about our relationship with our own technology, and how our technology can reflect back to us — and in the movie, literally, in a human form that is a nemesis and a threat,” he continued. “I always say: if Terminator was about the war between the humans and the machines, look around any restaurant or airport lounge and tell me the machines haven’t won when every human you see is enslaved to their device. So could you make a relevant Terminator film now? Absolutely.”

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The planned Terminator 6 hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, but look for it in 2019 if it does happen. Hopefully James Cameron gets the chance to properly right the series…