They just keep coming back, don’t they?
Despite underperforming at the box office and amongst critics and fans, Terminator Genisys did not at all halt production on an as-yet-untitled 6th film in the decades-long franchise. The Hollywood Reporter has now announced that original Sarah Connor Linda Hamilton will be returning to the series after more than 25 years.
Deadpool‘s Tim Miller will be directing the film while series creator James Cameron is also set to come back in a producing capacity. Cameron himself has had a hand in crafting the story for the film alongside Miller, David Goyer (Nolan’s Batman films) and Josh Friedman (The Sarah Connor Chronicles).
In particular, Cameron frames Hamilton’s return as a big push for women’s representation, especially in action films:
“There are 50-year-old, 60-year-old guys out there killing bad guys,” he said, referring to aging male actors still anchoring movies, “but there isn’t an example of that for women.”
That on its own sounds admirable. There really needs to be a larger vector of older women onscreen playing a variety of roles to battle the constant ageism Hollywood loves to perpetuate. Buuut this also comes from the guy who called Wonder Woman “a step backwards” for inclusion just because Gal Gadot is a beautiful woman. So, let’s take this with a pinch of salt.
Standing on its own, Hamilton’s much-loved performance in the Terminator franchise put the action heroine on the map, though. No doubt that news of her rejoining the franchise will ignite interest in the series that has spanned film, television and merchandising. People can’t help but compare Lena Headey (The Sarah Connor Chronicles) or Emilia Clarke (Genisys) to Hamilton’s iconic version of Sarah Connor for a reason, whether it be favorably or otherwise. Hence, her return alongside Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (who already starred in Genisys) marks what should be an epic reunion of the original film’s core crew.
Yet, it is also a pretty heavy-handed attempt to shift away from the hype that Genisys failed the jumpstart two years ago. While story details are kept under wraps, Cameron, Miller and the rest of the writers’ room have reportedly planned a direct sequel to Judgment Day. The unresolved threads and sequel potential of Genisys seem dead in the water, but THR also states, “the new movie will also be seen as a passing of the baton to a new generation of characters.” That’s…interesting, to say the least. The studio tried this and it well and truly flopped despite Schwarzenegger’s highly-publicized but thankfully well-received return. Hamilton’s role will undoubtedly play as big a part of Terminator 6‘s marketing campaign as Schwarzenegger’s did for Genisys. However, it’s difficult to stay optimistic about a franchise that hasn’t truly flourished in a long time. It might be time to put this one to bed.