The Terminator franchise is responsible for some of the most innovative time travel movies ever. It’s fitting then, that for the next installment, James Cameron and Tim Miller are turning back the clock.
We already knew that Cameron and Miller planned on using Terminator 2: Judgment Day as a jumping off point for their upcoming sequel, which would mean that the ill-fated films that followed would be wiped clean from the record.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Arnold Schwarzenegger elaborated on their plans, and shed a little more light on how the filmmaking duo hope to right the Terminator ship.
“I think [James] Cameron and Tim [Miller] came up with a concept where they can continue on with the T-800 but make a whole new movie,” Schwarzenegger said. “What they are doing now with this one is basically to just take a few very basic characters, like Linda Hamilton’s character and my character, and dismiss everything else. Just move away from all these rules of the timeline and other characters.”
Fans rejoiced when news broke that Cameron was returning to the franchise he left behind after T2. The quality dipped significantly with Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines, and continued its downward trajectory with the subsequent efforts Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: Genisys. Part of the problem was the aforementioned timeline, which became more convoluted with each passing film.
The rules of time travel are never simple, so it makes perfect sense that Cameron and Miller don’t want to be beholden to the messy framework that was established by their predecessors. By picking up where T2 left off, Cameron can continue his story the way he always envisioned it. And based on the fact that Linda Hamilton will be reprising her role as Sarah Connor, it appears that he plans on doing just that.
Cameron is also looking for an 18-year-old actress who’ll be “the new centerpiece of the story,” which means don’t expect to see John Connor this time around. Connor—the de facto savior of the human race—has been the centerpiece of every Terminator film since T2, so his absence—which Schawrzenegger all but confirmed—might be jarring at first.
But Cameron and Miller—who’s coming off directing the ultra-successful Deadpool—have earned their stripes. Our guess is that while the new film will unfold quite some time after the events of T2. John Connor will be dead, and the 18 year-old girl in question will be his daughter. When a new threat emerges, she’ll have to seek out the help of her grandmother, Sarah Connor, who’s been living in hiding after the death of her son.
We’ll find out how spot on we are when the new Terminator movie storms into theaters on July 26, 2019.