At the end of the abysmal Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic cyborg told John Connor that they’d meet again, but after the action star took up politics it looked like that would never happen. This negative notion was further justified when the Governator failed to ACTUALLY appear in 2009’s Terminator Salvation (whatever that thing was, it wasn’t Ah-nold). But ever since California-based hedge fund Pacificor bought the rights to the franchise and after Schwarzenegger stepped out of office, there’s been a glimmer of hope that it would make a triumphant return with its original star.
Today, Creative Artists Agency, the talent firm that represents A-list stars and helps them get their developing projects made, is shopping a revamped Terminator film with Schwarzenegger attached to reprise his star-making role and Fast Five director Justin Lin on board to direct. Deadline says that Universal, Sony, Lionsgate and CBS Films are all interested in the property (why wouldn’t they be) and bidding should heat up throughout the day. You may remember that we told you how Universal was quietly trying to nab the series before a major war of the wallets broke out back in February; the hook of that headline was that the studio was trying to get Lin to direct even then, before his summer starter Fast Five opened strongly internationally. Now, with the film tracking well and about to release here in the States, Lin’s stock is high and the respective companies battling for the project are hot on the prospect of him helming.
Even so, this is still all about Arnold. Salvation had one of the biggest movie stars on the planet (Christian Bale, coming off The Dark Knight) in its lead role, with another (Sam Worthington) on the rise (Avatar would release six months later) and still failed to leave its mark on the box office. With Schwarzenegger back in business, a new Terminator film could be the hit its producers are counting on. I’ve always loved the series and have long hoped that Arnold would return to cinema, so I’m ecstatic to hear that this might actually go down. However, I do hope that, as the source notes, the filmmakers consider using this opportunity to bring the franchise to a “natural creative conclusion,” because even though this development could grant the Terminator a new lease on life, it’s not going to live forever (nor should it).