James Cameron @Avatar
A new Terminator film is in the works, but director James Cameron has revealed that he’s not going to release it until he first sees how moviegoers are responding to the phenomenon of artificial intelligence (AI).
Speaking at the Dell Technologies World 2023 confab, Cameron was quoted as saying he was “holding off on finishing [Terminator] until the direction of #AI becomes clearer.”
Cameron’s first Terminator movie was released in 1984, and he created a sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, in 1991. He returned to the franchise as a producer on the sixth installment, Terminator: Dark Fate, released in 2019.
Dark Fate, which starred Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, seemed aptly named because the production was marred by Cameron’s creative disagreements with director Tim Miller. The film tanked hugely at the box office and was panned by many critics.
It seems unlikely that Schwarzenegger will be reprising his role in the new Terminator. He has been quoted as saying that he was “done” with the project. “The franchise is not done. I’m done,” he said. “I got the message loud and clear that the world wants to move on with a different theme when it comes to The Terminator. Someone has to come up with a great idea.”
While discussing his involvement with the franchise, Schwarzenegger acknowledged his debt to the films he appeared in, declaring that “The Terminator was largely responsible for my success, so I always would look at it very fondly. The first three movies were great. Number four [Salvation] I was not in because I was governor. Then five [Genisys] and six [Dark Fate] didn’t close the deal as far as I’m concerned. We knew that ahead of time because they were just not well written.”
For his part, Cameron continues to work on the lucrative Avatar franchise, with Avatar: The Way of Water having grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. The next installment, Avatar 3, is slated for theatrical release on December 20, 2024, with further episodes due in 2026 and 2028.
Unless artificial intelligence has other plans.