Terminator 5 Movie: 9 Ways to Make it Succeed

Herner Klenthur

As you should all know by now last week Arnold Schwarzenegger confirmed Terminator 5 is moving ahead to Metro Magazine. This is one of three film projects he has on the go including another Conan movie and a sequel to Twins ( seriously???? )

I for one am excited for a Terminator 5 if only to finally get a Terminator movie that can hold a candle to the original Terminator movie. Apparently James Cameron is involved in some way in guiding the story and has even met with potential director Justin Lin ( Fast & The Furious ) to help with the overall direction.

The Terminator franchise has seen its high moments and its lows bringing in almost $520 million at the box office across all the films. The latest kick at the can was 2009’s  Terminator Salvation starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington and had our favorite man killer Arnold in a cameo.

How big will Arnold’s role be in Terminator 5? Hard to say but as an opinionated blogger I figured I would sit down and list 9 ways that I think Hollywood can make Terminator 5 the best movie in the franchise so far.

Get Rid of Christian Bale and Arnold in Terminator 5

Sam Worthington turned in a solid performance in Terminator Salvation but Christian Bale was doing his Batman voice throughout and it was frankly really annoying. I want to see Bale gone and more so I want Arnold gone.

As much as I loved his easter egg cameo in Terminator Salvation its time to take this movie in a different much darker direction without him. We don’t need any big names to make Terminator 5 work and frankly they are just a distraction.

To be clear I think a cameo with Arnold would be great but I do not want him to be the focus of this new film.

Bring Back Linda Hamilton

Linda Hamilton is one of the original female bad asses and was a strong role model for women long before the days of big tits and flashy teeth were the criteria for a lead role in a movie. Linda Hamilton is beautiful, tough and rugged and when you looked at her you knew she really would and could kick your ass.

Reader Anthony Maurizio thinks she should have a part in the film and I completely agree if you want to give credibility to Terminator 5 bring back its original female bad ass.

What made her such a great character is the way she transformed from pretty, demure waitress to ass kicking Terminator killer. Linda Hamilton needs to be tied into the script for Terminator 5.

Focus on the War in Terminator 5

Following up on my get rid of Arnold comes the story I think most fans want to see. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines saw John Conner played by Nick Stahl holed up in an underground bunker as primitive all be it deadly machines nuked the world outside.

I want to see Terminator 5 placed 10 years after those events as John exits the bunker to take the fight to the machines. I know R-Rated is asking too much but I want to see a war on an epic scale. I visualize something along the lines of Frank Millers 300 but with the Human Resistance taking on machines.

Bring Back Nick Stahl OR Edward Furlong as John Conner

Terminator 3 had its weak points but one of the highlights for me was Nick Stahl. Nick did a solid job as John Conner and if the 5th film is placed as the war starts he is also the right age to reprise that role. If for whatever reason he is not chosen I would put Adrien Brody in as a close second choice.

Brody shocked me with his performance as an ass kicking mercenary in PREDATORS and could pull off a pretty good Conner. Dont just cast a guy with pecks and a stupid pearly smile. Get an actor who can do just that… act like Brody or Stahl. On that note if they cast Channing Tatum as John Conner my head will explode.

A few commentors have pointed out what a great job Edward Furlong did and I really overlooked his performance as John Conner. David Brunelle one of our readers pointed to Furlongs performance in American History X so I change my opinion. Either Edward Furlong or Nick Stahl would be great.

Get Neill Blomkamp & Christopher McQuarrie to Write it

Choosing the writer isn’t easy and originally I was thinking James Gunn for his work on Dawn of the Dead and Slither but in the end I decided that Neill Blomkamp and Christopher McQuarrie would be a great writing team for Terminator 5.

Neill of course brought us the sci-fi blood bath with a message movie District 9. Neil clearly knows how to deliver an action packed but thinking mans sci-fi movie. Michael McQuarrie on the other hand has the ability to build a story that will not only draw us in but twist, turn and blow your brain out of the back of your seat.

We are all sick of a genre full of lame twists and plots full of holes which is why Michael McQuarrie is key. He wrote two of the greatest thrillers of all time, The Usual Suspects and the Way of the Gun. Mix that writing skill into Terminator and you have a master piece.

Terminator 5 has already chosen its writers so my dream team of writers is not overly relevant but I still wanted to share it. It is worth noting that one of the writers on Terminator 5 is definitely no slouch. Laeta Kalogridis wrote two movies I hated, Alexander and Night Watch but she also wrote two movies that if you mixed them together could make an awesome terminator.

Laeta Kalogridis wrote AVATAR and Shutter Island. Avatar was a large space opera and Shutter Island was one of the best thrillers of all time. If she can manage to combine those into an epic war between man and the machines we will have a winner.

Let Zack Snyder Direct It

Although the producers seem to be fixated on Justin Lin right now he is not my first choice or even second choice to direct it. For me its all about Zack Snyder. Zack Snyder is a bad ass and his films are exactly what the doctor ordered.

His remake of Dawn of the Dead is one of the best horror remakes ever made. Do we even need to talk about how awesome the adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300 was? Zack Snyder is one of my favorite directors and his visual style would fit perfectly into Terminator 5

Cast Sarah Polley As John Conners Love

Claire Danes did a pretty solid job playing Kate Brewster John Conner’s love and future wife but I have different ideas for the lead. Cast Canadian actress Sarah Polley to play Kate Brewster in Terminator 5.

Now I am a Canuck so I might be a bit biased but Sarah Polley is incredibly overlooked and is an immensely talented actress. She turned in a command performance in SLICE and Dawn of the Dead and has done films that run the gambit.

Also Sarah Polley is a very stunning woman but in a more classical girl next door way which is a big part of her appeal. Sarah Polley would bring serious acting chops to the role of Kate Brewster.

Get Michael Bay to Produce It

I am pretty sure everyone just spit whatever they were drinking onto their monitor and are now shouting expletives at me. Michael Bay is not the most popular but frankly if you are going to make a big budget sci-fi horror movie about killer machines who better to produce it then Michael Bay?

I think his style combined with all the above team members would make a Terminator movie with huge scope doable and … well… explosive! Nobody blows stuff up better than Bay.

Get Kaleb Lechowski & Greg Nicotero to Do Special FX.

Who the hell is Kaleb Lechowski you ask? You are not alone I am sure. He is a 22-year-old film student who created a CGI rendered short film called R’HA on his own time with NO money and nobody else helping.

I have raved about many indie filmmakers but this kid has blown my mind with what he has done. Michael Bay spent hundreds of millions making Transformers and Kaleb Lechowski used a single computer and readily available 3D software with no money and has matched him. Imagine the visual insanity he would turn in with some money behind him. [ WATCH THE SHORT FILM RHA ]

As far as Greg Nicotero goes that one is a no brainer. You can’t just have a bunch of splashy CGI to make a good movie.You need outstanding practical FX as well and Greg Nicotero has proven with The Walking Dead that few can do better.

Are you a Terminator fan? Tell me how you would make Terminator 5 the best film in the franchise.


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      1. Anthony Maurizio January 20, 2013 at 2:59 am

        This is ridiculous. Lame. Here are eight true ways.

        1. Start after T2. Ignore crappy 3 & 4.

        2. Bring back Arnold.

        3. A serious script with proper timeline and emotional attachment.

        4. Brad Fiedel as the composer.

        5. James Cameron. (At least as consultant.)

        6. Linda Hamilton.

        7. Michael Biehn.

        8. Eddie Furlong. Stahl was a weiner, Bale a weirdo. Furlong’s personal life doesn’t matter.

        • HorrorMovies January 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          Do you always hurl insults before trying to make your point? You have nailed a few great points that I completely agree with especially Linda Hamilton

        • Bob marly February 27, 2013 at 1:55 am

          If its going to ignore terminator 3 and 4 it would be in the present day and I am tired of terminator films beings in the present day it would make no sense they can try to ignore 3 and 4 but its still a sequel to them any way

      2. Jeremy Kelley January 20, 2013 at 4:37 am

        i think everything you said is true except that arnold needs to be in the films. And i actually liked bale in the movie

        • HorrorMovies January 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm

          I like the idea of a small cameo for Arnold.

      3. thesinisteredge January 20, 2013 at 5:34 am

        James Cameron needs to be back.

        Stahl was good I agree. But you have to be joking with Adrian Brody.

        Bring back Biehn

        Absolutely no to Michael Bay.

        And awesome cameo would be Mr. T1000 at the end being built.

        • HorrorMovies January 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm

          I agree that would be an awesome cameo. I thought long and hard about would James Cameron be good to bring back

        • Sweet 'n' Tender January 20, 2013 at 2:39 pm

          James Cameron left the franchise when it was on top. There is no way he would do another just because Arnie want to get back into acting and get his pecs wet again…. btw, there is a picture out of Arnie in a speedo on a beach in France… Google it. Please Google it. My Grandfather has a better body.

      4. David Brunelle January 20, 2013 at 8:02 am

        they need to make it a horror movie like the first one, not sci-fi there is a difference. also Arnold cant be the focus. one randomly looking infiltration unit among thousands, cant be the main character it undermines the whole story. and vary little CGI, nothing loses an audience like cartoons all of a sudden in a live action movie.No CGI is good enough not to notice. and wheres the dark gritty future with all the human skulls? R rated is a must, and no transformer machines either this is terminator not transformers, and no slow moving Jason, that throws people and then slowly chases them, no they run 40mph at you then punch a hole in you and move on, their suppose to be highly efficient at killing. and make it scary and gory, people should say WTF when watching. what about female one, if your a tired scared shitless soldier, would you take a dig scary dude you don’t know back to your secret base or a hot scared chick with big boobs, think about it, skynet does in fact that’s all it does, think of was to kill us. lots of room for improvement, we don’t want to see robot on robot action either they did it once cool, but what makes it good is badly out numbered humans out gunned with really no chance in hell to win, that’s scary that’s what made first one good, how do you fight back? John Coner showed us how.

      5. David Brunelle January 20, 2013 at 8:12 am

        Eddie Furlong is John Conner, people say he dosnt look like john coner enough, well I say they don’t look like them selves enough. People arnt heros because there hansom or tall or have deep voice, there heros because they lead and know what to do, John is a normal dude not a movie actor he’s average, He’s also the right age and we all know him as the character, he’s a good actor, watch American history X. Hollywood keeps make dumb ass movies because they forgot what really makes a movie good in the first place.

        • HorrorMovies January 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          solid point made thanks for commenting.

        • Sweet 'n' Tender January 20, 2013 at 2:35 pm

          Dude… when is the last time you saw Edward Furlong? When is the last time you saw Edward Furlong act convincingly in a movie? It was American History X when he was still playing kids. As an adult he is an AWFUL actor. That’s not just because he has a really high voice for a man either, it’s because he couldn’t make the transition to adult roles because he acts and sounds like a kid in a bad high school play. He always sounds like he just learned his lines, he’s uncomfortable on screen because he is fat (you can tell) …. he still looks like a junky because he IS a junky (his last movie the bags under his eyes were down to the tip of his nose) ….. he uses cigarettes in every fucken scene he’s in (a pacifier?) and he is so self conscious that you catch him looking at the camera all the time…. oh, he also looks dirty… do yourself a really big favor and rent his last 8 or so movies and prepared to laugh, cringe, cry, and most of all be underwhelmed.

      6. Bradley Parsons January 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm

        Nick Stahl was awful as John Connor. Michael Biehn was excellent and should be brought back.

        “I have raved about many indie filmmakers but this kid has blown my mind with what he has done. James Cameron spent hundreds of millions making Transformers”

        You meant millions making Terminator.

        • HorrorMovies January 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

          yep I stand corrected I meant a different movie lol.

      7. Daniel Maloney January 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm

        Nick Stahl sucked as John Connor and he’s been having problems with the law anyway, so he wouldn’t be able to reprise the role. As for Adrien Brody, he’s a really good actor but sorry I just don’t see him as John Connor. I agree with you about how Christian Bale was annoying. But when he was fighting the Machines, he was John Connor, a bad ass.
        Are you insane???? Michael Bay produce it? And as for Zack Znyder, he’s done some good work but Dawn of the Dead remake is so not one of the best Horror movies….
        And Terminator isn’t an indie or some foreign movie, it sounds like you want it to be. As for the focus of the movie to be on the war, I agree.

        • HorrorMovies January 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm

          You are right I meant Terminator. I am not looking for an indie or foreign Terminator I am looking for a good one. Sounds like we agree on some disagree on others regardless thanks for the commens.

      8. Mr. Frights January 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm

        I love the Terminator movies. 3 and 4 might not have been the best, but I still ate them up and love them just the same. I think I have to agree with a couple other comments here: Nick Stahl was bad. Just bad.

        I love Michael Biehn, but he wasn’t John Connor and I don’t think he could be brought back at his age now. Especially since Kyle Reese dies in the past at a younger age. I didn’t care for Edward Furlong as John Connor but it’s what we had. I didn’t take to Christian Bale as Connor either, but again, it’s what we got. I do believe the T movies need Arnold in some way, I mean that’s what build Terminator as a successful franchise and I wouldn’t dare get rid of that.

        I think James Cameron should be on board in some way. I think the idea of Michael Bay is intriguing but I think he’s wrong for it. I don’t much care for Bay, and I don’t much care for Abrams, but I dig what Abrams did with Star Trek and I would venture to put him in there.

        No matter what, I’m very excited for another entry in the franchise and I hope they keep them coming for a long time. I hate this big gap in time between the films. It took a while to get used to the show, but I got on board and then they ended it. B.S.!! I want to know where John went! So maybe they could do a movie based off of what the series put out there. Again, doesn’t really matter because I’ll love it just the same no matter what the story is.

        • HorrorMovies January 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm

          My choices I was kicking around to produce were Michael Bay, JJ Abrams and James Cameron. I was thinking Abrams because of his work on Star Trek only and James Cameron because of his original involvement. I decided against Cameron because of AVATAR which was a visually mind blowing epic that sucked donkey balls in the story. I tend to agree though that James should be involved somehow.

      9. Nick Easton January 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm

        I disagree with every thing on the list except for bringing back Sarah Connor and I know how they could bring her back too!

        • HorrorMovies January 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm

          Thanks for commenting Nick. What would you do with her character?

        • Nick Easton January 22, 2013 at 2:45 am

          I have 2 ideas of bringing her back the first idea is before she died of cancer she donated her body towords research like marcus did or she faked her death behind john connors back because she was wanted by the government after terminator 2 and she would fear that her attention would help skynet track john connor before the war.

      10. Steven Mc Brearty January 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm

        It very easy to dismiss Arnie and suggest the film would be fine without him. But when people think of Terminator, he is the first thing that pops into their minds. Peoples description of Salvation usually starts with “the one without Arnie”. Arnie’s age is the only issue at this point but after The Last Stand flopped, I think Arnie will resort to bringing back his biggest film.

        I think Arnie needs to be front and center again and Michale Biehn would be a terrific way to gain back some intrigue. Biehn is in terrific shape and his character is loved by all.

        Bay would not be a suitable person for a Terminator film as the guy doesn’t understand character. Blomkamp on the other hand would suit Terminator perfectly.

        • HorrorMovies January 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm

          Solid comments Steven thanks for sharing them.

      11. Scott January 27, 2013 at 11:13 pm

        The beauty of the first terminator was he was scary, he was vicious. Remember the punk that got punched in the chest in the first one? No toying with the victim, no throwing him around. The first terminator was scary because as soon as he got you, you were finished. Then in the later movies, the terminator would throw the victim around. What? This is an efficient killing machine and it ‘toys’ with its victims? (looking at you Salvation) T5 needs to get back to that. If the terminator catches you, your gone. That’s why T1 was scary, and in my opinion the best of them all.

        • Herner Klenthur January 27, 2013 at 11:16 pm

          Scott you nailed it bud. It needs to be a sci-fi horror movie again.

      12. charlie smith January 30, 2013 at 5:27 am

        yeah i agree too, T1 and T2 were the peak of the series in my opinion then slowly its been a downhill ride, they havnt been bad but they lost a lot of the feel the originals had. T1 abd T2 were gritty, real action and great scares, live action set pieces and none of this cheap CGI which is ruining most of todays movies. The films were well directed (thanks to camaron) they were intense and had you on the edge of your seat right untill the end, i can still watch the originals anytime and not get bored, very few movies can do that.I remember as a kid been absolutely freaked by the terminators, they scared me and i loved it. I found that the more recent entries were not as good, T3 was cool, nice action, good effects and so on but not like that of 1 or 2, then T4 for me was a letdown, despite the awesome beggining, probably the best beginning to be fair when missiles attack the radar intallations and the troops come down, after that the film died and became way too CGI heavy…. anyway i must be going on lol, for me i dont care who makes or stars, bring back the grittiness and real action, make it scary and put the terminators back into kids nightmares none of this 12a nonsence.

      13. dejan.webber February 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm

        yes mor aciyonn Terminator 5 T-1000

      14. Faith June 2, 2013 at 2:55 am

        I think it would be beyond cool if they came out with 2 new parts back to back the first (simply because it was introduced in salvation) starting out with John Connor played by Christian bale ,ONLY because I hate the character switcheroo, sending a crew to the past headlining with Kyle Reese same from salvation presumably but someone older wouldn’t be a problem so they can fulfill whatever mission he originally was destined for and of course impregnate Sarah so John can be born but to make it interesting I wish they could find a way so that she lives longer so in the second instalment placed sometime between rise and salvation Sarah played by the original can make a special appearance that way her older age won’t seem out of place and sadly they will have to kill her again otherwise salvation won’t make sense. That’s just my dream!

      15. Faith June 2, 2013 at 3:03 am

        Also I don’t care who directs cause it probably will never live up to the hype and thank you for whoever said google Arnold on the beach instant turn off and how did he change so much? I assume his body was photo shopped in salvation. Anyways I just have a robot obsession so I want to see another one soon heck I’ll direct it! Just give me my machines and as said previously less slapping around I want to see another cool female who can kill someone with a fingertip no gun needed and no Arnold PLEASE after seeing that picture (shivers) but no allies just war!

        • Herner Klenthur June 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm

          Faith in Terminator Salvation it was CGI not actually Arnold. It will be curious to see how they play him into Terminator 5. I have a cool idea on how to do it that I will share in a future editorial.

      16. Dennis Francis June 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm

        As I sit and read all the comments, trying to figure out what I would myself do to the film. There is only one option.

        Bring in JJ Abrams to direct the film. We have already seen what it can do with timeline stories. (Star Trek) and I believe he is an absolute amazing director.

        Sigh, one could only hope.

        • Herner Klenthur June 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm

          I never even thought of JJ but I agree he would be a great choice to direct Terminator 5. Problem is he will be busy for the forseeable future doing Star Wars

      17. Brandon June 2, 2013 at 7:21 pm

        Nick Stahl and Edward Furlong are both junkies.. The studio wanted Furlong for T3, but he was strung out – that plan to be dropped.. The reason T4 didn’t do well was because McG, tried to turn the franchise into wannabe Transformers franchise..

        • Herner Klenthur June 2, 2013 at 9:08 pm

          My three word response, Robery Downey Jr. Followed up by my 2 word response, Iron Man :)

      18. Kakdiesel1 June 25, 2013 at 11:41 pm

        I hope none of your suggestions make the movie. Please remove this from the internet. This is as bad as Japanese Karaoke.

        Keep original alive cast from the $300m kick ass Salvation movie, Switch back on Sam Worthington in Soul less Terminator mode and kill everything right after his heart is taken out.

        Nick Stahl? Really? You must be his best friend.

        Linda Hamilton? This movie will be HD did you forget? If C Bale is about 40, how old will she be? Play her with some one else and show how she dies. Maybe Paula Deen!!!!

        Arnie will always be the man but, he took too long of a Political Hiatus. Put him in the movie but only in a non Action way. Maybe in seclusion from being cloned. Feels responsible. Or maybe a desk Commander. Maybe the German Scientist that creates time travel. Maybe too much dialog but, just a thought.

        When they had to hide Arnie’s Beer Belly in T3 it was over for me plus the movie ruined it.