We've known for some time that Paramount Pictures has been dying to turn the Terminator franchise into a cash cow. The first two films came out in an era of Hollywood filmmaking that wasn't so franchise-centric, and they did well. Directed by James Cameron, the films helped elevate the sci-fi genre, raised the bar for special effects, and helped turn Arnold Schwarzenegger into a bonafied silver screen icon. A later sequel, without Cameron attached, came out and did little to re-spark interest in the franchise. Then in 2009, a new studio took a shot at reviving the franchise- announcing a "new trilogy" that wouldn't include Cameron or Schwarzenegger- and took its opening shot with McG's Terminator: Salvation.
That one, also, didn't exactly set the world on fire or kickstart a fresh appetite for more Terminator films. So that trilogy was aborted.
Now Paramount has the rights, and they think they've got everything lined up just right to bring the series back to pop culture prominence. Schwarzenegger is back. They've cast Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty), and Jai Courtney (A Good Day To Die Hard) as Sarah Connor, John Connor, and Kyle Reese, respectively. Alan Taylor, who is quite popular lately due to his work on the Game of Thrones TV series, as well as Marvel's Thor: The Dark World, is at the helm of this planned trilogy's opening salvo, Terminator: Genisys.
Now we have word that Paramount has mapped out release dates for all three films because...well, all the cool kids are doing that lately.
- Terminator: Genisys will arrive in 10 months, on July 1, 2015
- Part 2 will arrive in theaters on May 19, 2017
- Part 3 will blast its way into theaters on June 19, 2018
That's assuming that all goes according to plan, and people are left frothing at the mouth for more cyborg action after seeing Taylor's Genisys. In terms of competition, surrounding these dates, it's pretty hard to open a movie nowadays without it being more than a week-removed from a Marvel or DC film. But hey, if the movies are good, that shouldn't be an issue.
Personally, I've always stated that the primary reason that attempts at restarting the franchise have failed until now is because Cameron's movies were perfect. Terminator 2: Judgement Day completed the circle. It capped off the story, and created a meaningful ending for the mythology created in those first two movies. It was a resonant, powerful finale. Everything after that has just felt forced, and like a cash-grab.
It's kind of hard to make a sequel to a movie where we're shown that the entire futuristic, post-apocalyptic landscape that you're basing it in...was averted by the actions of John, Sarah, and the T-800 at the end of Judgement Day. The story is finished, guys. Move on!
With that said, we'll see. Maybe this script will find a way to justify itself better than the others did.