James Cameron And Tim Miller Talk ‘Terminator’ Reboot: ‘The Machines Have already won’
by Rachel West
Thirty-three years after Arnold Schwarzenegger burst onto the scene as a cyborg from the future, sent to eliminate Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) in “The Terminator”, the franchise is getting yet another reboot at the hands of “Deadpool” director Tim Miller and James Cameron who will serve as a producer.
“It made sense for me to see if there was a way to bring it into this century and to relevance,” Cameron tells The Hollywood Reporter. The Canadian-born director, 63, has been secretly working alongside Miller and a team of writers to help usher a new “Terminator” film into being. Finding inspiration wasn’t hard for Cameron, who had to look no further than what was happening in the world around him.
“What was science fiction in the ’80s is now imminent. It’s coming over the horizon at us. And there’s been a resurgence of fear and concern about nuclear weapons and so on. So all of these apocalyptic elements are out there,” he explains. “The first two ‘Terminator’ films that I did, dealt with the angst around that and how we reconcile it for ourselves in a fantasy context. So I got excited about the idea of finding a story that made sense for now.”
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“The [first] films are more relevant today than they were when he made them. A lot of it seems like prognostication because it’s coming to be — the world we live in right now,” Miller adds. “Technology has always scared me, and it’s always seduced me,” says Cameron.
Following three unsuccessful sequels – including the most recent reboot, 2015’s “Terminator Genisys” – Cameron wants to wipe the slate clean, acknowledging that the post “Terminator: Judgement Day” movies were failures.
“This is a continuation of the story from ‘Terminator 1’ and ‘Terminator 2’. And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream. Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse,” he tells THR. “This was really driven more by [Tim] than anybody, surprisingly, because I came in pretty agnostic about where we took it. The only thing I insisted on was that we somehow revamp it and reinvent it for the 21st century.”
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“Look around in any airport or restaurant and see how many people are on their phones. The machines have already won. It’s just [that] they’ve won in a different way. We are co-evolving with our technology. We’re merging,” Cameron says, revealing he’s brought in several experts in artificial intelligence and science to speak to the “Terminator” team.
However, more nerve-wracking than a future filled with robots was asking original franchise stars Schwarzengger and Cameron’s ex-wife, Hamilton back.
Schwarzenegger was an easy ask, with the actor just assuming he would return. But asking his former wife, whom he was married to from 1997 to 1999, was a daunting prospect. “Jim was f***ing terrified,” Miller says.
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“It took me a week just to get up the nerve,” Cameron admits. Hamilton’s return as Connor was confirmed last week. “Linda and I have a great relationship. We’ve stayed friends through the thick and thin of it all. And she is the mother of my eldest daughter.”
“As strong a character as she was, as meaningful as she was to gender and to action stars everywhere, I think it’s going to make a huge f***ing statement to have her be the really seasoned warrior that she’s become,” Miller adds.