Terminator 2

On paper, James Cameron has nothing to do with 2015’s Terminator Genisys. It’s a film based on characters he created, starring an actor he cast, but that’s about it. A few months ago, he did reveal he was “loosely attached” in an advisory role, but wouldn’t be credited. He said his biggest contribution was in regards to the role of the Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator 5 character. But what exactly did that mean?

Apparently, a lot. In a new interview Cameron revealed his contribution to Terminator Genisys was the seed that made it possible for a 67-year-old Schwarzenegger to return to his iconic role as the T-800. Read the specifics below as well as what Cameron thought of the script and his feelings on returning to the franchise.

Cameron was talking to Deadline at a recent screening of The Terminator when he revealed his specific, massive, contribution to Terminator Genisys:

I wasn’t interested in producing it or working on it actively, but I did want to put in a good word for Arnold. I pointed out that the outer covering (of the Terminator) was actually not synthetic, that it was organic and therefore could age. You could theoretically have a Terminator that was sent back in time, missed his target, and ended up just kind of living on in society. Because he is a learning computer and has a brain as a central processor he could actually become more human as he went along without getting discovered.

Well, that explains how a 2014 Schwarzenegger returns in the film, and it lines up with lots of rumors we’d heard before.

Beyond that contribution, Cameron isn’t quite worried about the film. He said the following to Empire:

It’s not my problem! It’s like being a grandparent, the kids come over and you can send them back! When I walked away from the franchise, I had to do it with the sense that I can invest in emotion. To me, it’s all upside, because if it’s good, it’s good for Arnold [Schwarzenegger], my friend Laeta [Kalogridis] and if it’s not good? It doesn’t bother me personally.

He does, however, think there’s potential:

I’m hoping it’s great. I’d like them to get it right, and based on the script that I read there’s a pretty good chance that it could. It looks like it could be fun.

Cameron is currently working on his three Avatar sequels, which will keep him busy for the rest of the decade. However, there’s a chance the rights to Terminator could revert back to him by that time and he talked about maybe returning to the franchise:

I haven’t really thought that far ahead yet. I’ve got plenty of time to think about it. It might be fun to completely re-invent the franchise. A lot has to do with what happens with it in the meantime, people may have Terminator fatigue.

Terminator Genisys opens July 1, 2015. Avatar 2 opens December 2016.

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