Released when he was just 32, James Cameron’s The Terminator immediately established him as a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. The sci-fi thriller, made for an estimated $6.4 million, earned more than $80 million worldwide, an enviable return on investment for a movie that wasn’t made for a major studio.
Cameron, who worked initially as an art director, production designer and special visual effects artist before making his directorial debut on Piranha II: The Spawning, quickly lined up a big-budget sequel, Aliens, which took the horror premise of the original and transformed it into a rockin’ action movie that made more than $131 million worldwide, a huge figure at the time.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day flipped the original’s premise by making Arnold Schwarzenegger a heroic machine protecting a young John Connor and his mother turned warrior, Sarah Connor. The budget soared to a reported $102 million and so did the returns, topping out at more than $500 million worldwide.
After that, Cameron moved on to other blockbusters, including Titanic and Avatar. Now that he’s in his 60s and fully occupied with making four sequels to Avatar, he appears ready to empower other filmmakers to make a few of his long-held passion projects. Case in point: Alita: Battle Angel, which is being directed by Robert Rodriguez.
We can now add a Terminator reboot to that short list. Cameron will regain certain rights to the project in 2019 and is partnering with producer David Ellison to make a new installment in the series, according to Deadline. Ellison already holds certain rights to the franchise. Cameron is also in early talks with Tim Miller (Deadpool) to direct “a reboot and conclusion” to the series.
Cameron sat out Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys, as well as the TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which all aimed to reboot the series to varying levels of success (mostly disappointing to audiences). This time, Ellison is reportedly hiring “top-flight” sci-fi writers to figure out the story.
Will Cameron’s creative involvement make the difference? It’s no guarantee, but he has a fantastic track record in developing and producing movies that appeal to audiences worldwide. In any event, we’ll have to wait a while to see what happens.