Action icon Arnold Schwarzenegger has revealed he would be open to reprising his legendary role as the Terminator, even though Paramount has canceled the planned sequels for Terminator: Genisys. Since James Cameron’s blockbuster T2: Judgment Day in 1991, the Terminator film saga has slowly revealed itself to be a franchise in desperate need of a new operating system. T3: Rise of the Machines was a moderately successful follow-up to T2 in 2003 grossing $150 million domestically (T2 grossed nearly $205 million), while 2009’s Terminator: Salvation, despite the star power of Christian Bale, limped to a $125 million take.
Despite dwindling returns, new franchise owner Paramount gave the franchise one more try with Genisys in 2015, but even a pair of two Game of Thrones influences (Alan Taylor directed while Emilia Clarke starred as Sarah Connor) couldn’t lift the film past $90 million domestically.
Of course, a constant in the Terminator franchise has been Schwarzenegger, and apart from a digital cameo as the 1984 model of the formidable cyborg in Terminator Salvation, he’s been the focal point of every film. Therefore, it came as a huge surprise when a report surfaced last week that the Terminator franchise was dead because Schwarzenegger had no interest in returning to it – a report the actor scoffed at in a Fandango interview Monday:
“I don’t want to call it, like, fake news, like the president calls it, but I think people just write things – I have no idea why. Just because Paramount doesn’t want to pick up the Terminator franchise, you have 15 other studios willing to do it – that doesn’t mean the Terminator franchise is finished, right? It just means they are on their way to negotiate with another studio, but I can’t give you the details of that. They’ll announce that. But, yes, the Terminator franchise is never finished. And remember that after 2018, James Cameron is getting it back, and then it will continue on!”
Since word surfaced in January that Cameron expressed interest in returning after regaining legal rights to the franchise, you have to believe the Schwarzengger’s words are sincere. Although Cameron will not return as a director on Terminator 6 – Deadpool‘s Tim Miller has been mentioned since Cameron’s already busy on developing four Avatar sequels – Schwarzenegger says his longtime friend and collaborator’s mere involvement in Terminator franchise brings the sequel promise:
“Cameron will be producing it, and there will be another director on it. I’m always looking forward to doing another Terminator, especially if the story is written well and it’s really entertains the whole world.”
Just so it doesn’t take so long to produce Terminator 6 – it’s hard to argue that the franchise hasn’t been hurt between the years-long gaps between films – Schwarzenegger still has good reason to believe there’s an audience out there for the cyborg saga. While Terminator: Genisys struggled at the domestic box office, it made $350 million in foreign territories for a global take of $440 million.
Granted, those aren’t Earth-shattering numbers in this day and age for a tentpole franchise, but it may be just enough for Schwarzenegger to “be back” for at least one more Terminator movie. Producer David Ellison teased last month that a major announcement is coming soon, which only implies that Schwarzenegger will likely get his wish.