Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2009 by Devindra Hardawar
Expect to be overloaded on James Cameron and Avatar news this weekend folks. Dave will have an interview with the King of the World up later this morning — but for now, let’s take a look at his thoughts on McG’s Terminator Salvation. Also, there’s a little tidbit about how he sold the rights to the first film for $1.
The first we heard of his thoughts on Salvation came from MTV. In an interview on December 9, he said:
I have seen it, and unfortunately I saw it the wrong way, on cable at the hotel, while I was working, over three nights because I don’t have much time. It’s better than I thought it was going to be.
It’s actually quite reverential to the mythos of the ‘Terminator’ world. I think McG and the writers tried hard to keep reacquainting you with some of those ideas in the story that they were weaving. So actually I thought it was pretty cool. I did feel that it sort of lacked Je ne sais quoi. Although I love Sam [Worthington] in it.
I didn’t care for Salvation at all personally, but even I would say that watching it on hotel room cable across several nights is probably not the best way to absorb it. You really need a decently sized television, and a good sound system, to appreciate the few good aspects of that film.
Then, he told UGO earlier today:
I think Sam [Worthington] is remarkable in the film because, well, I think Sam is remarkable in anything he does. Interestingly, I think McG did a good job in the sense…I think he was almost too referential to the mythos of the first and second film. He over-quoted them in a way? It didn’t feel to me to be enough of a reinvention. I mean the thing we did with the second film is that we reinvented the first film completely; spun it on its ass and made the Terminator the good guy, and came up with a whole new concept for a villain, it felt fresh. I didn’t feel the fourth picture was fresh enough. It also lacked a certain stamp of authenticity because Arnold wasn’t in it. I mean, he was in it briefly, digitally, but that’s not the same thing.
In this case, I wholeheartedly agree with him. McG spent a lot of time across several Comic-Cons trying to convince fans that it would be the Terminator they know and love — meanwhile, it seems he forgot to actually create a decent world of his own.
The Toronto Sun probably got the juiciest response from Cameron when asked about Salvation, and if he would return to the franchise:
I’ve moved on creatively from The Terminator, so I’m not really interested in that imagery and even those ideas anymore — and I’m not sure the world is that interested either. It’s run its course, I feel.
His [Schwarzenegger's] persona was part of The Terminator and when you uncouple those, you get Terminator Salvation, which is actually a fine film from a pure filmmaking standpoint — it just doesn’t gel up into anything mind-blowing.
Here too, I would agree. Even though Terminator 3 wasn’t all that great, seeing Schwarzenegger back in the franchise was far more compelling than anything Salvation offered me. He continues:
I wish I hadn’t sold the rights for one dollar… If I had a little time machine and I could only send back something the length of a tweet, it’d be — ‘Don’t sell.’
Apparently, he sold the rights to the Terminator franchise for the opportunity to direct the first film. Imagine what it would have been like if he kept the rights to the franchise… I think I just made myself sad.