So it is all over the internet that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be in Terminator 5 (opens in U.S. theaters on June 26th, 2015) and that this will be the first movie in a stand alone trilogy (Total Film, Screen Rant, and Slice of SciFi). This is the new way of saying, “We are rebooting the series” without using the word reboot because audiences are getting tired of reboots (see my post on Remaking Reimagining Redoing Retelling Reboot … Let’s Stop the Madness and Get Back to Creating … Conversations with My Dad) and recent reboots are failing at the box office with numbers that are dwindling fast. But I have two major issues with this movie franchise that I have liked. First is geriatric Arnold. Second is reboot, really?!
Arnold was a good action movie star. He was not great as he was very much like John Wayne in that Arnold was Arnold in every movie. But I enjoyed that. When he decided to move into politics, I believed he realized that a 60-year-old action star just didn’t work. As the character Sammy in the Wedding Singer said, “Their shows got canceled. Because no one wants to see a fifty-year-old guy hitting on chicks!” Now that he is back and trying to be an action star again to me is just wrong. I realize he blew up his personal life but the direction he is heading is the wrong one. Add this to the fact that he can not go back to what he looked like 30 years ago and play the terminator and you begin to see why I really am not happy that they are rebooting this franchise.
And that brings me to the fact that this is a reboot. I realize that “Terminator Salvation” was not a hit but I would really love to see the story advanced from that point. Salvation ended with John getting a robot heart which made him an interesting hybrid and allowed him to see another side of the machines. And if memory serves, Kyle (John’s father) is still in the future. Therefore, I think if they want to make a cool trilogy of movies, they should continue the overall story and not go backwards and reboot. So, let’s say that is the case. Here is what I could see as a way to move forward.
This would be the first movie of the new trilogy (and this could be done right to seem like a stand alone but be a moving forward) and would focus on Kyle and John. Beginning with spies discovering a new initiative by the machines called “PROGENITOR” which is designed to find a way to go back into the past and destroy the ancestors of John Connors and other key members of the human resistance. In addition, the resistance is dealing with the new “human” looking T-800 model robots which have a couple of models (this gets us around the aging Arnold issue unless we can find a great look-a-like who is younger). Most of this movie will focus on the relationship between John and Kyle as John does everything he can to get Kyle into the past after discovering about the PROGENITOR project. It will end with the successful sending of Kyle into the past so that the first Terminator movie can happen. While this ending scene is occurring, after sending Kyle back they blow up the facility. The resistance rejoices but John knows better. The last scene would be a T-1000 model walking through the wreckage of the facility and meeting with a key member of the resistance who is another T-800 model and unknown spy (this could be a carry over from TERMINATOR SALVATION or a new character but the point is that there is a mole) open ending this movie into the next.
This movie will begin where the last one ended. We follow the T-800 mole back into the resistance camp. This character catches up with John and everyone. The resistance is bittersweet as they destroyed the facility but lost Kyle (not knowing that he went back in time). In addition, some of the members of the resistance do not understand the importance of this mission as the details of the time machine were kept to only the most key members. Essentially, a division and fracturing is occurring. This eventually leads to half of the resistance leaving because John gets word that there is a second time machine and he makes this a key target without divulging why. As the resistance is splitting, the camp is hit by the machines including some T-800s and a new T-1000 model. The destruction is bad. John and a few key individuals make it out alive and discover a T-800 that had taken damage. John works on reprogramming this model as this small team advances on the second time machine facility. There is a battle that ends with John sending the T-800 back in time to tie in with TERMINATOR JUDGMENT DAY movie. The T-1000 heads back in time. As John just barely manages to miss stopping him, the T-800 mole kills John (this really should be an Arnold model but do what we can). Kate, John’s wife, deactivates the T-800 and reprograms him. As they are doing this, another T-1000 shows up and heads back in time (this ties to TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES). Kate sends the reprogrammed mole back in time and blows this facility sky high. The team is a bit battered but make it out. The last scene is the a second T-800 mole looking at the camera as they head off to find the rest of the resistance leaving us for the final movie.
This will not only be the final movie in the new trilogy but also the final movie in the franchise. We open on Kate and remaining team catching up with the other resistance, or what is left of them. There is a memorial of sorts for John. In all there is not many humans seemingly left. They do get one piece of good news. The resistance has come across a computer expert who has a plan to destroy Skynet–A tried and true computer virus. The key is that they need a direct node into the Skynet system or else the virus will be rooted out. This movie is the small resistance working on getting to a direct node, which is the base from TERMINATOR 3 where Skynet started and Kate remembers her dad and Skynet’s location before she went into hiding with John (again tying into previous films). Upon arrival, there is a battle and the second mole is ferreted out. Kate is beginning to not trust anyone. The computer expert and hacker gets to the node but has to really struggle through the security and defenses to get in. There could be an interesting scene inserted here that just before the virus is executed, Kate holds a gun to the experts head not trusting that he is going to take down skynet. In the end, the humans win. There is much rejoicing. This one could have Kate become a kind of Ripley tough character from the Alien franchise. And the overall ending is bittersweet because of the great loss of life even though they won.
And this is just off the cuff here for me kind of thinking out loud. Imagine how great this could be if it was thought and tossed over for several months among fans as I suggested in my post about reboots and then with seasoned story executives on this subject. Oh, and I forget to tie in the Sarah Connor Chronicles that were really cool and could have tidbits sprinkled in. The point is that the story could be moved forward in such a way that people could enjoy and yet kind of stand alone. All the tying back to the other movies are like easter eggs while creating a dynamic new action packed post-apocalyptic movie.
As I have said, I am tired of reboots, retooling, retelling, etc and want original movies that showcase new storytelling. But apparently, Hollywood has not heard my angst.
What do you think? Should Terminator be rebooted? And if so, should Arnold be in it?
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