Last week, rumors surfaced that the project reuniting Arnold Schwarzenegger with the “Terminator” franchise was going to be a present-day affair featuring the cast of the original film. “Terminator 2012” as it may be called, is still without a home, the project being shopped to studios with director Justin Lin (“Fast Five“) aboard, but Lin claims that the original cast chatter is just a hunk of balderdash.
“No. I don’t know where that came from,” Lin told MTV. “I have certain elements, but it’s never been about, ‘Hey, let’s bring everybody back!’ I just don’t process that way. To me, thematically, there are certain things that I want to see in a ‘Terminator’ movie. A lot of that does draw back to creating this timeline that is an extension, closer tonally to the first and second movies. But to me, it’s not as mathematical as, ‘Hey, let’s get everybody back together and we’ll shoot the movie.'”
While this means it’s likely we won’t be seeing the return of Linda Hamilton and company, it doesn’t mean much else, as getting “closer tonally to the first and second movies” can be code for “not being unwatchable shit like the third or fourth movies.” Sidestepping the question of whether he would pry inspiration from those two films, he says, “I always feel like what’s great about the ‘Terminator’ franchise is that there’s time-travel and there are different timelines to play with. There are also a lot of gaps from what we love about all of the ‘Terminator’ movies, so there’s a lot of things we can do and play with… But obviously, answering your question, [‘Terminator’] does have that capability, finding fresh ways of going back without destroying other [movies], because you can tell your own stories.”
Lin and Schwarzenegger are still in salesman mode, so of COURSE he would illustrate just how easy it would be to sequalize, remake and reboot the “Terminator” franchise until an actual Judgement Day. Very smooth, Mr. Lin. He’s also smart enough to put studios’ feet to the fire — though a bid for the “Terminator” rights would cost somewhere in the ballpark of $30-$40 million (followed by, likely, the commitment to a $200 million+ film), Lin has never been hotter, with “Fast Five” doing record-breaking business, and other projects, including a “Highlander” remake and a “Fast Six.” As such, he’s not above hinting that if the price isn’t right, he’ll walk from “Terminator 2012.”
“We’re talking to different studios, but it has to be the right situation,” says Lin, dollar signs in his eyes. “If it’s not right, then I could totally move on and I should move on. Probably in the next three or four weeks, I’ll have a very clear picture [of what my next movie will be].” You sure can play these folks like a harp from hell, Justin Lin. Schwarzenegger is also juggling Ji-Woon Kim’s “Last Stand,” Antoine Fuqua’s “The Tomb” and Brad Furman‘s “Cry Macho” as potential next projects so expect “Terminator 2012” to live or… be postponed in the next couple of weeks.