James Cameron “Loosely Attached” to New ‘Terminator’!


Alan Taylor is currently in New Orleans shooting the new Terminator, which stars Emilia Clarke (as Sarah Conner), Jai Courtney (as Kyle Reese) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (as a T-800), with Jason Clarke, Byung-hun Lee, Matt Smith, Aaron V. Williamson, Dayo Okeniyi and J.K. Simmons.

Early rumors and leaked information reveal a cross-pollinating arc in which the characters of the new film go into classic scenes from the first two films, both helmed by James Cameron.

Slashfilm attended a Q+A with Cameron at the Hero Complex Film Festival where he drops some proverbial bombs. Not only does Cameron reveal that he’s “loosely attached” with his biggest contribution focusing on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character, but he could have brought the rights back several years ago.

I pay attention to [the new Terminator films] but I’m not terribly concerned about it one way or the other. I’ve had to let it go. There was a point in time where I debated going after the rights. Carolco Pictures, the company that produced ‘Terminator 2,’ was failing and in bankruptcy and the rights were in play. I talked briefly to 20th Century Fox about it. At a certain point, I think I was finishing ‘Titanic’ at the time and I just felt as a filmmaker maybe I’ve gone beyond it. I really wasn’t that interested. I felt like I’d told the story I wanted to tell. I suppose I could have pursued it more aggressively and gone to the mat for it but I felt like I was laboring in someone else’s house in a sense because I had sold the rights very early on.

Basically I went from being a truck driver to being a film director and part of my dues paying was that I sold the rights to Terminator for a song, essentially, in order to keep myself attached as a director. And the outcome was fine. The rest of my career really hinged upon that. But I no longer had control of it. I thought why don’t I just create my own new thing that I would have control over the IP. So I kind of let it go and in the act of letting it go, I now have to live with the consequences of that — which is I can’t get too emotionally involved in it.

Now having said that — when the new round of ‘Terminator’ films, they’re making the first one and I think there’s meant to be two (EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s supposed to be three), when Megan Ellison bought the rights, she asked me if I wanted to be involved. I said “Well look. I don’t mind standing behind the curtain and whispering like some court advisory in 15th century Italy or something.” My goal in that was not to insinuate myself artistically but to try to make sure they stayed true to the Terminator character and the idea of Arnold being in it. Because he’s a friend of mine and we’ve been through all the wars together and everything. And I wanted them to see the possibilities I saw for what they could do with this character.

And then David Ellison took the project over from Megan and he and I met a couple times. And so Arnold is very much front and center in the new Terminator films. So I might have had some tiny effect on it — but obviously they had to make the right financial and creative decisions themselves so I’m not trying to take credit for the film that they’re making but that was my goal in being loosely attached to the film but I won’t have any credit on it.

If that doesn’t reassure your faith in the new film, I don’t know what else will get you in theaters on July 1, 2015.


  • markemark

    James Cameron is the man. He’s responsible for the two movies that had the biggest impact on me growing up, and in my opinion two sequels better that their originals in T2 and Aliens. I remember seeing T2 with my dad multiple times in theaters before he passed on. The first time we saw T2, in the beginning where the T-800 steps on the skull and breaks it, the sound system was so loud it frightened me and I dumped our large popcorn all over the floor, I think my dad was pissed. Anyone remember the show Movie Magic? I used to watch it any time it was on TV and they did a episode on T2 explaining the some of the practical and CGI effects and I became more obsessed with the film because I appreciated, at a young age mind you, what it took to make the film. My dad scored VHS copies of T2 and Aliens directors cuts and I studied both. Anyway, the man has brought on so many hours of joy in my childhood and life that I’ll see anything in theaters he releases, out of respect and thanks I guess. If he helped any creative decisions made for T5 then it gives me more hope.