It's no secret that The Terminator franchise lost its way many films ago. A lot of mainstream fans definitely lost interest in Terminator when the simple horror-thriller elements of the James Cameron's first two films gave way to the more sci-fi-heavy time travel mechanics of the later films and Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series.
With Cameron returning to the franchise to produce the upcoming Terminator 6 (with Deadpool's Tim Miller directing), many fans are hopeful that the franchise will get a much-needed fresh start, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is assuring fans that will be the case.
In an interview with Business Insider, Schwarzenegger admitted that the increasingly convoluted mythos of the Terminator saga has been smothering the franchise. This was clearly demonstrated by the failure Terminator: Genisys, the 2015 film that attempted to reboot the franchise (“It’s hard to come up with new ideas when you stay within that framework,").
So what is going to be so different about Terminator 6 that fans should give it a chance? As Schwarzenegger tells it:
“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. 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.”
The mechanics of that decision will essentially push Terminator 3 - 5 into an alternate timeline that will no longer be considered canon. Linda Hamilton will be returning to pick up the story in real time after the events of T2, allowing a new continuity to be written.
In other words: fans won't have to try to unravel all the time travel continuity knots in the storyline for too much longer.
As always, an actor praising the movie he's also obligated to promote is testimony that needs to be taken with a large grain of salt. After all, Schwarzenegger was the same man who also described his return in Terminator: Genisys by stating the following:
"I think I really enjoyed this story when I read it. I think the people that were involved made me feel like I think this is going to be a good movie and they’re going to go all out with the project. It’s not just kind of like, “Let’s exploit this franchise and live off some of the great ones that were done in the past.” They really took it seriously. They really figured out a way of continuing on the story and kind of ignoring the last one [Terminator Salvation], basically."
...And how did that all work out? Exactly.
Until we know more about the story hook that makes Terminator 6 so exciting and viable, fans are going to remain skeptical. As well they should.
Terminator 6 is slated to hit theaters on July 26, 2019. Production is expected to start in March.