Could James Cameron Direct Terminator 5?

Herner Klenthur

Times is running out for Terminator 5 and James Cameron is waiting in the wings. Over the last week the internet has buzzed with the confirmation from Arnold Schwarzenegger that Terminator 5 is finally back on track after legal delays and a script that he described as completely wrong.

The question now is who will step up to direct Terminator 5 and will it be James Cameron? Justin Lin from Fast and The Furious fame was originally slated to direct and even met with Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron to discuss Terminator 5 but he is no longer involved in the project which opens the door for James Cameron to return to the directors seat that first put him on the map.

Some of you are probably asking now why on earth would James Cameron do Terminator 5 when he has very little control? The answer is he may in fact have full control sooner than we all might expect as the Terminator rights are set to expire soon.

Rumor has it that if a new Terminator movie is not made by 2018 then the rights to the movie franchise will revert back to James Cameron which will put him in the position of having full creative control.

2018 may seem like a long ways off but the current rights holders may have a hard time getting Terminator 5 made before that considering the clear interest in having Arnold return. Arnold Schwarzenegger has two films slated to go before Terminator, namely TEN and Unknown Soldier which could cause timing issues.


When it comes to turning the Terminator Franchise around who could do better than James Cameron? Will you hit me if I say AVATAR level special effects with a Terminator storyline makes me literally ooze with excitement? The return of James Cameron would also open the door for the return of William Wishner who has limited his involvement in the recent movies out of respect for James Cameron.

William Wisher who helped write the original Terminator movie with James Cameron and co-wrote Terminator 2 is very keen to write Terminator 5. He actually wrote up a 24 page script treatment according to Deadline which accommodated the storyline of Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation. The most important aspect of William Wisher’s script is it accounted for all the earlier films fixing continuity issues the other Terminator films have introduced. 

His script not only saw the time travel elements return but also brought back Linda Hamilton which is a key piece that was sorely missing in Terminator Salvation. William Wisher’s script also placed Terminator 5 and 6  in the midst of the war which is what I have called for since Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines.

What do you think should James Cameron return for Terminator 5? Do you think he will if the rights do revert back to him? Do you even want another Terminator movie?


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      1. TheDude1980 June 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm

        I’m actually against the idea of James Cameron coming back. The guy has a massive ego nowadays and really only cares about visuals instead of a good story. So there is almost no chance that we get another Terminator from him in the mold of Terminator 1 or 2.

      2. Eric June 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm

        No, James Cameron will not do another Terminator. I don’t really care about another movie in Annapurna’s hands. They clearly don’t care about the best of Terminator. Warner Bros. reached out to them so that they can continue The Sarah Connor Chronicles on the side of them making their movies. Annapurna refused. TSCC was the best thing ‘Terminator’ and if bought the rights and didn’t bother to watch the series (and fall in love with it), you’re an idiot.

        I loved what Warner Bros. was doing with the franchise. While I could take or leave the feature films, all I want is Josh Friedman and the writers to return and make their unmade seasons of TSCC with the returning cast. Warner Bros. actually wants to make that happen, but Annapurna simply does not care about that at all.

        • Herner Klenthur June 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm

          Great comment but why did you end the second paragraph ‘you’re an idiot’ are you calling me an idiot? if so why lol

        • Eric June 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

          I was saying that if Megan Ellison bought the rights (which she did) and she didn’t bother to watch the series which is part of the Terminator universe, then she is an idiot. If she could watch TSCC and not love it, then she sucks as a human being.

      3. Ryan June 4, 2013 at 3:13 am

        Cameron should come back. The guys a creative genius, and if he brings back his old school special effects/some of his new tech, with William Wishers script collaboration, then my god we will have a good film. God knows we need one.

        Making them in the midst of the proper war, and focusing the story on Kyle Recce making his trip back, making the choice to go, and John Conners conflict in knowing he must send his father back in time to die would make such a good film in my opinion.

      4. Andres June 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm

        2018? jeez…

      5. Eric June 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

        From what I know, the Terminator rights revert to Cameron in 2018 whether they make more films or not.

        They say they want to make 2 films and that would be it. So its reasonable to assume that Terminator 5 will release in 2015 and Terminator 6 in 2017 if they stick to what they said.

      6. Dangerous_Dave June 6, 2013 at 2:16 pm

        Will Arnold Schwarzenegger even be alive in 2018? He’s getting so old now for a Terminator part it’s ridiculous.

      7. Jay June 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm

        I agree with the earlier comments that the story needs to be the main focus in the upcoming films. What I want to see is the battle in the future and the conclusion, not more rinse and repeat of what has already happened. Us fans were promised a pitched humans vs terminators battle for life that has lead to three assassins and three protectors being sent back in time. It has been a build up of excitement and possibility ever since T1. T4 brought us into the future so now there should be no more protector/assassin plot, only the points where someone has to be sent back to maintain continuity. Lets see a story where the gains are slow and painful, we see a bunch of cool/new terminator models, and an ending where Skynet gets defeated. An added twist would be to highlight the learning capability of the captured/reprogrammed terminators in showing their post Skynet evolution in some sort of machine/human harmony. It’s sort of a high cost happy ending for humans and a new lease on life for the remaining terminators (captured/reprogrammed).

        Like or dislike however you want, I enjoy a good discussion.

      8. Bob marly June 8, 2013 at 11:31 pm

        I think its best for the series to take place in the future

      9. bree June 9, 2013 at 5:25 am

        Ten is essentially finished and scheduled for release in January 2014. Unknown Soldier is a small project that is unlikely to tie Arnold up for very long- assuming it happens at all.

        The bigger issue is that Cameron is committed to the Avatar sequels for the foreseeable future. Wisher isn’t returning either. The Terminator 5 script is currently being written by writers that were responsible for Drive Angry and Shutter Island. (Those were both separate projects- not films that the writers collaborated on.)

        Cameron may eventually want to make another film once he regains the rights, but by then Arnold will be far too old to star in it.

      10. Elena Harte June 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm

        Thank you Jay for an intelligent response. I agree that Skynet should be defeated and there should be some machine/human resolution. I liked the idea in Salvation of the Terminator being a “plant” to locate John Connor, then he ultimately saved him. I think James Cameron should write and direct as well, I liked the second Terminator the best.

      11. Joey Goodwin June 24, 2013 at 1:17 am

        In my own personal and humble opinion, I do believe that Cameron should come back to direct the rest of the series, he is the one who created the entire universe in the first place, so nobody else knows it and how it should end better than him, and besides, ever since Terminator 3 came out, which in my view was simply okay, the series went downhill from there, with the one exception being TSCC, which I liked very much. I also sit on the fence about time travel/future war divide I’ve seen in many discussions. I think if they’re going to make two more films, they should make one last film in the series with the time traveling to the past, but put a new spin on it; my own personal idea that would be original and kinda scary would be make a new terminator that either looks like a teenager or like 20 something year old, and the villain, because to me, the idea of a terminator that looks like a teen and skinny and looks like they’re not dangerous at all, but that is a facade that helps it get the jump on any human it encounters. And then make the last film to ever be made in the series, in the future, where both it gives the series the thing that fans want to see, but also wrap up the continuity. And if Schwarzenegger does come back, make him the good guy for one film, but then for another, make him the villain again, that would be final level to see him back as the bad guy one more time. My only other request? Please, for the love of god, bring back the actual theme song to the series and use it, even just once in the films at the very least, I hated more than anything that in the last one the theme that in my mind, goes hand in hand with the series, was not used, I thought that was completely B.S. All just my own personal opinion, if you want to comment anything about it, feel free, I don’t mind discussing it.

      12. Rodney Gantt (@rodneygantt) August 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm

        Please let James Cameron write the script. He is the greatest writer of our time. His intellect outweighs Spielberg, Scorsese, Orson Welles, Tarantino, and even George Lucas. He is like a movie making Leonardo Da Vinci. I know George Lucas inspired him to leave his job driving trucks after seeing Star Wars since he realized that that was the way he viewed the world as well, but it is more than obvious that he has by far surpassed him in this way of viewing life.

      13. Marcin September 10, 2013 at 8:22 am

        Cameron should direct and write the script with Wisher. Cast: Schwarzenegger, Furlong, Hamilton, … everything else will be fake like T3 and T4. The real thing is only T1 and T2.