The future of the Terminator franchise is uncertain after last year’s Terminator Genisys was unable to generate much enthusiasm. Even a strong international box office wasn’t enough for Genisys to overcome its tepid domestic numbers, and the planned sequels were taken off the schedule. The rights to Terminator are currently set to revert to James Cameron in 2019, but he’s so wrapped up in the Avatar sequels that it’s unclear when or if he plans to revisit that world. The one thing we know for certain is that the Terminator film series badly needs some new ideas, and this new animated Terminator fan trailer is offering a few timely suggestions.
Via ComicBook.com, filmmakers Bruce Stirling and John Knox are attempting to pitch their idea for a reboot film called Terminator: Extermination. Earlier this month, the duo posted an animated trailer for Extermination that set the stage for a potential new beginning. This story takes place after humanity won the war against Skynet and defeated the machines. Apparently, it didn’t take long for humanity to once again turn on itself, and that gave a few remaining Terminators the opportunity to rise again.
Although the voiceovers are occasionally shaky and the trailer is light on character and story details, Terminator: Extermination does offer a few intriguing ideas about where the franchise can go. Cannibal Terminators could be a really fun and terrifying thing to see on screen, assuming there’s a good reason behind that. But the key aspect here is one that we agree with: the Terminator franchise needs to move beyond John and Sarah Conner. Terminator Genisys literally went to the well one too many times with those characters, and the audience just didn’t respond to them with the same enthusiasm that they used to have.
Another issue to deal with is Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s status as the face of the franchise. Terminator: Extermination sidestepped the issue by leaving most of its machines in their skeletal state. While Schwarzenegger’s T-800 is still iconic, it could also use a rest after Genisys. The Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles TV show proved that fans can get behind another heroic terminator like Summer Glau‘s Cameron. Or perhaps the next Terminator film could simply avoid using heroic machines and go back to making them the feared villains that they were in the very first movie by James Cameron.
The first Terminator had the benefit of being released during the Cold War, when nuclear destruction was an ever-present theme in fiction. Cameron’s film played up that idea by making the machines responsible for humanity’s near extinction. Any new Terminator movie could be well served by tapping into society’s modern fears of an ever-changing world and climate, as well as the notion of technology turning against its creators. Perhaps the most timely aspect of Terminator: Extermination is the way that humanity is still its own greatest enemy, and even the need to unite against the machinces is overridden by petty differences.
What did you think about Terminator: Extermination? And what do you want to see in a potential Terminator sequel? Upload your thoughts into the comment section below!
Image: Bruce Stirling and John Knox