After helming 2016's Deadpool, Tim Miller soon became one of Hollywood's most in-demand directors. After creative differences with Ryan Reynolds led to the filmmaker walking away from that movie's sequel, he set about rebooting the Terminator franchise alongside James Cameron - welcome news after the disastrous Terminator Genisys a few years prior.
Terminator: Dark Fate ended up earning positive reviews and a surprising amount of praise from fans, but it didn't make an impact at the box office. With only $62 million in North America and a total $261 million worldwide, the movie was deemed a flop and seemingly put the iconic franchise back on the shelf.
For whatever reason, it just didn't resonate with moviegoers, and Cameron, who directed Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day, has now weighed in on what went wrong. A producer on the movie, after making the mistake of lending Genisys his blessing in a featurette, he's more than willing to put the blame on his own shoulders.
"I think the problem, and I’m going to wear this one, is that I refused to do it without Arnold," he tells Deadline (via SFFGazette.com). "Tim didn’t want Arnold, but I said, 'Look, I don’t want that. Arnold and I have been friends for 40 years, and I could hear it, and it would go like this: 'Jim, I can’t believe you’re making a Terminator movie without me.''
"It just didn’t mean that much to me to do it, but I said, 'If you guys could see your way clear to bringing Arnold back and then, you know, I’d be happy to be involved.'"
"And then Tim wanted Linda. I think what happened is, I think the movie could have survived having Linda in it, I think it could have survived having Arnold in it, but when you put Linda and Arnold in it and then, you know, she’s 60-something, he’s 70-something, all of a sudden it wasn’t your Terminator movie, it wasn’t even your dad’s Terminator movie, it was your granddad’s Terminator movie. And we didn’t see that."
"We loved it, we thought it was cool, you know, that we were making this sort of direct sequel to a movie that came out in 1991. And young moviegoing audiences weren’t born. They wouldn’t even have been born for another 10 years. So, it was just our own myopia. We kind of got a little high on our own supply, and I think that’s the lesson there."
That's an interesting way to look at it, but the Avatar: The Way of Water director isn't wrong. The movie relied heavily on the nostalgia factor and, while longtime fans were excited to see the original leads reunite, it was a creative decision that quite clearly didn't have widespread or mainstream appeal.
While a Terminator video game is in the works, we don't know what the plan is for the franchise in theaters. It seems likely that it will be put to one side for the foreseeable future, though now could be a good time to bring the property back to television as a streaming platform might be the perfect way to put a fresh spin on the war between man and machine.
It's a real shame that the movies have been on the decline since Terminator 2: Judgement Day was released way back in 1991, but a full-blown reboot with no links to the original seems like the best possible option at this stage.
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