James Cameron On Terminator Salvation, Sold Terminator Franchise Rights For $1?

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.

[Via: io9]