He'll Be Back: James Cameron Wants To Make A New 'Terminator' Trilogy

Like an unkillable robot, the Terminator franchise may rise from the ashes again.

Because James Cameron, who created the sci-fi series and directed the original two movies, believes in no fate but the one you make. Now, he's talking with the studio that nearly soured the legacy of the classic sci-fi franchise with the critically panned Terminator Genysis to shepherd the next chapter of the series.

Cameron wants to "reinvent" the sci-fi series that began with 1984's The Terminator with a new trilogy, he told News.com.au. And he's already in discussions with Skydance Media's David Ellison to reaquire the film rights to the Terminator franchise:

"I am in discussions with David Ellison, who is the current rights holder globally for the Terminator franchise and the rights in the US market revert to me under US copyright law in a year and a half, so he and I are talking about what we can do. Right now we are leaning toward doing a three-film arc and reinventing it."

Ellison's Skydance Media oversaw 2015's Terminator Genysis, which was meant to reboot and launch a new series of films in the Terminator franchise, complete with the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular Terminator, but was stopped short after the movie was blasted by critics and bombed at the box office.

This was the second attempt to bring back the Terminator series after Terminator Salvation starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington was released in 2009 and also failed to launch a franchise of its own.

Cameron has been openly critical of the sequels made after he left the franchise following Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which included Rise Of the Machines (2003), Salvation, and Genisys, telling News.com.au, "I think it's fairly widely known that I don't have a lot of respect for the films that were made later," though he supported Schwarzenegger because of their friendship.

Now he and Schwarzenegger are reteaming to make a new Terminator trilogy once Cameron regains the rights to the films. Cameron said that with fast-emerging technologies like AI and drones, there is a lot that can be done to reinvent a franchise that started in the 1980s:

"The question is — has the franchise run its course or can it be freshened up? Can it still have relevance now where so much of our world is catching up to what was science fiction in the first two films. We live in a world of predator drones and surveillance and big data and emergent AI (artificial intelligence)."

Cameron is currently working on the Avatar sequels, the first of which will hit theaters December 18, 2020. With Cameron shooting Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5 back-to-back, he'll almost certainly never get around to directing a new Terminator movie. If anything, expect him to be a producer on any new reboot.