The Terminator franchise is officially coming back. According to Variety, Deadpool’s Tim Miller will direct the film, with Terminator 2 director James Cameron returning as a producer. The untitled sequel will hit theaters on July 26th, 2019.
Cameron’s return to the franchise is certainly a move aimed at revitalizing it after a series of ill-advised sequels such as 2009’s Terminator: Salvation and 2015’s nostalgia-driven Terminator Genisys. Both films were attempts to reboot the series, which ultimately fizzled with critics and audiences.
Rumors of the “reboot and conclusion” to the franchise surfaced earlier this year, with word that Cameron would be returning, with Miller attached to direct. It remains to be seen what the timing will mean for another one of Miller’s announced projects about artificial intelligence, an adaptation of William Gibson’s Neuromancer.
Cameron was convinced to return to the franchise by Skydance Media CEO David Ellison, who pointed to a new era of “Amazon drones, Facebook news bots, and artificial intelligence-fueled anxiety,” according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter. Cameron goes on to note that the films are more important than ever, because “the machines have already won,” judging from the amount of time people spend on their phones. Both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton will return for the film, which will be used as an opportunity to hand the story off to a new generation of stars.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because the same model was used by Lucasfilm and Disney to reboot the entire Star Wars franchise with 2015’s The Force Awakens. Cameron says that the new Terminator story will be a continuation of the first two films — which he directed — and that they’re “pretending that the other films were a bad dream.”
That would make the film a sort of cinematic reset button, similar to what Neill Blomkamp’s proposed Alien 5 project had intended to do, that would allow Paramount to jump in on the extended cinematic universe trend that has been driving so much major studio business as of late. Indeed, the film’s 2019 release date brings yet another enormous blockbuster sequel to an already crowded summer schedule. While Star Wars: Episode IX has since been moved to December, Toy Story 4, Spiderman: Homecoming 2, The Lion King, Captain Marvel, and the fourth, untitled Avengers movie are all scheduled to arrive in theaters that summer.