With the unbelievably exciting announcement that Linda Hamilton will be appearing in the new installment of the Terminator franchise, along with Jamie Lee Curtis’ recent tweet confirming her unexpected return to Haddonfield, we’re very much on cloud nine about two of cinema’s all-time badasses returning to the big screen roles that brought them to prominence.
This recent turn of events is an interesting one, as both the Halloween and Terminator franchises have become practically irrelevant of late, despite a recent reboot for the Schwarzenegger-starring sci-fi featuring Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor. As for Haddonfield’s most infamous son, Michael Myers has been missing in action since Rob Zombie‘s ’00s remakes which, while fun diversions, added nothing to the Halloween lore.
There is something wholly satisfying about seeing the Hollywood studio system turning to these older women to helm their floundering franchises, especially since the reaction to both announcements has been so positive. Whereas many fans are tired of constant reboots and sequels, there is something universally exciting about seeing the women who held these films together triumphantly returning to the screen.
For fans of the seminal movies that spawned these franchises, Hamilton and Curtis are intrinsically connected to our memories and enjoyment of them. They spark a nostalgia and excitement for a time when these films were fresh and unique, not tied into extensive convoluted timelines and focused on huge set pieces filled with generic CG rather than story and character. Though Curtis herself has starred in a number of Halloween sequels that are no way near as good as John Carpenter’s classic, her inclusion always makes them far more watchable. Not just because she’s a great actor but because to fans she’s still Laurie Strode, Haddonfield’s first final girl. After over 25 years, seeing Hamilton return to the role of Sarah Connor following a number of other actress who tried to fill her shoes brings us that same excitement.
So why have the studios suddenly seen sense and realized that Curtis and Hamilton are the kind of stars fans want to see in their movies? Well, that’s probably to do with the financial and critical performances of their last entries. Though Rob Zombie‘s Halloween movies were made on a relatively small $15 million budget each and took in over $100 million combined, medium profit and middling reviews weren’t enough to make a third movie stick. As for the much-maligned and misspelled Terminator: Genisys, though the movie made over $400 million worldwide, only $86 million of that came from the vital domestic market. And when it comes to the critical response, the movie currently has 26% on Rotten Tomatoes.
After the critical and commercial success of Wonder Woman, this year in cinema’s biggest talking point thus far, it’s no surprise that studios are looking toward women to help their failing franchises. But the choice to bring these older women back is in its own way a radical one. (Even though, in the case of Jamie Lee Curtis, it makes so much sense, you just wonder why it hasn’t happened already!) Lately, Curtis has been reveling in her horror history in Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s Scream Queens. Although her character Laurie Strode canonically died in 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection, when the reboot was announced many fans were already dreaming of Curtis’ return.
Hamilton’s return to big screen action is long overdue and has been rumored for years in company with the would-be Expendabelles (*eye roll*) movie–a female centric offshoot of the old-men-blowing-stuff-up Expendables franchise that came to prominence a few years ago. But Terminator could be the comeback that Hamilton so desperately deserves, and vice versa; without her Sarah Connor, would we really ever have had Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman?
Then again, the movie is still being brought to you by Hamilton’s ex-husband, James “Wonder Woman sucked” Cameron, who’s already talking about introducing a new younger female lead to whom Hamilton may pass the torch. Maybe after the positive fan reaction, he’ll come to his senses.
Whatever happens with these movies, we’re stoked to see the return of these strong women to our screens. Have these announcements reignited your passion for some old faves? Or do you wish Hollywood would leave well enough alone? Let us know in the comments!
Images: Fox, Orion, MGM, Tri-Star Compass International, Dimension
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