Posted on Friday, July 29th, 2011 by Germain Lussier
If things go according to plan, Fast Five director Justin Lin will eventually continue the Terminator franchise along with star Arnold Schwarzenegger. After that announcement was made, plenty of rumors circulated about how exactly the whole thing would go down. Would the original cast be back? Would the film follow the story of the McG film, Terminator Salvation? Or would it reboot the series entirely? Lin was predictably coy on all these questions. Wired Magazine, however, went to two men who know a thing or two about genre franchises to pitch their own take on Terminator. Those men are Paul W.S. Anderson, director of the Resident Evil movies and Damon Lindelof, co-creator of Lost and co-writer of Star Trek and Prometheus. Read each man’s pitch for the franchise after the jump.
Thanks to Wired for coming up with such a great idea as well as Anderson and Lindelof for contributing. Here are their pitches.
Paul W.S. Anderson:
I would pick up after Judgment Day and combine the epic battle for the future with a story set in present day, like the first two films, which were clever and fun. I’d keep it in California: Sunshine, palm trees, and shopping malls are the perfect backdrop for mayhem. It doesn’t have to be grim. I don’t need to see bombastic superheroes fighting for the fate of the world. I want it through the eyes of real people. If I can get Arnold back, that would be my preference. He is the brand; nobody else can fill his shoes. But you should have new relatable characters. The best thing about the Terminator is that it was designed to infiltrate society. I’d build the narrative around twists and turns. You’ll have to guess who’s a robot and who’s a human being. It’d be in the same style as Westworld. But the centerpiece of the film would be the battle they teased me with for four movies. Imagine a field of tens of thousands of Terminators—not giant Transformer-type robots but human-sized Terminator endoskeletons—getting ready for an all-out epic fight against humanity on the scale of The Lord of the Rings. It would look cool, and it would also be awesome. I’ve been waiting since the first movie to see it. Is someone going to make this soon?
And here’s Damon Lindelof:
The whole “dark depressing futuristic apocalypse” thing is played out. Enough with the machines driving over human skulls. We need us some COMEDY. Look at those numbers for Bridesmaids and Hangover 2. Can you imagine the box office if those movies had HOMICIDAL ROBOTS in them?!? And since we’re evoking Arnold’s work already (evoking is free, by the way—suck it, lawyers), why not combine Terminator with Schwarzenegger’s greatest comedic work? Yeah. That’s right. Kindergarten frigging Cop. Buckle up. Here comes the gold. Humans in dystopian future learn that a Terminator traveled back in time and impregnated a woman, resulting in a half-cybernetic child that will grow up to be humankind’s DESTROYER! But due to technological ineptitude, we can’t lock down the mother’s identity (and thus the kid’s), narrowing their whereabouts to a school in a pleasant coastal town. And so our story begins as a gruff, futuristic badass with great comedic chops (we’re screwed if the Rock says no) representing the hopes of all humanity travels back to 2012 to identify the half-Terminator 5-year-old by substituting as a kindergarten teacher. And then, after a series of comedic misunderstandings? Kill the little bastard. Pretty sure we can get a PG-13 as long as no one smokes and when the kid gets shot in the face we do it in a classy way.
Obviously, Anderson took the assignment seriously and Lindelof did not but, I have to admit, Anderson’s idea is really solid. Give him a story by and producing credit, get someone writing and Lin filming as soon as possible!