James Cameron May Ditch ‘Avatar’ to Reboot a Failed Franchise

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James Cameron speaking on the right side and Avatar Character on the left side with Avatar Logo

Credit: Inside the Magic

James Cameron may be ditching Avatar for… another Terminator reboot?

These days, James Cameron is best known for directing the ground-breaking Avatar movies, whose most recent sequel, the long-awaited Avatar: The Way of Water (2022), grossed over a jaw-dropping $2.320 billion at the worldwide box office.

But it’s impossible to forget that he’s also responsible for helming two of the greatest sequels of all time, Aliens (1986) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). In fact, both films are so brilliant, they raised the bar impossibly high for subsequent films.

Kiri (Sigourney Weaver) in 'Avatar: The Way of Water' (2022). Credit: Disney
Credit: 20th Century Studios

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Terminator, which revolves around artificially-intelligent machines being sent back from an apocalyptic future to wipe out the future savior of the human race to guarantee their victory over mankind, wound up with an additional four sequels after Judgment Day.

The third installment, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), was already pushing its luck, but while it’s a pale imitation of the 1991 sci-fi masterpiece, it’s obvious the filmmakers were doing their best to deliver a film that is, at the very least, entertaining.

The fourth film, Terminator: Salvation (2009), opted for a jarring shift in setting, taking place in a future that even by the franchise’s standards, is unrecognizable. As such, viewers weren’t impressed, even if the film does do its best to continue the story established in the first three films.

Terminator 2 Judgment Day
Credit: StudioCanal (Vivendi)

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The film grossed over $371.4 million at the box office against a budget of $200 million, but that still didn’t stop yet another film from getting the green light. Terminator Genisys (2015) became the fifth entry in the series, and the first to quite literally “reboot” the timeline, à la Star Trek (2009) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014).

Despite the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger reprised his role as the T-800 for the fourth time (his likeness was re-created using CGI in Salvation), there was nothing he could do to save Genisys from itself. And the sixth film, Terminator: Dark Fate (2019), which did a “Halloween (2018)” by ignoring every sequel since Judgment Day, was just as awful.

Terminator Genisys
Credit: StudioCanal (Vivendi)

Related: All the ‘Terminator’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best – Inside the Magic

The film grossed only $261.1 million against its budget of $185 — $196 million, and was obliterated by fans and critics. Now, the Terminator franchise is seemingly dead in the water. Even Arnie himself recently said in an interview that he’s “done” with the franchise. However, it seems that James Cameron might actually “be back”.

During an appearance at the recent “Dell Tech World” conference, the Titanic (1997) director said that he started writing a brand-new Terminator movie three months ago, but reportedly “wants to see” how the new A.I. revolution pans out before he goes any further.

The following was shared by Twitter user Rod Mercado @rcmercado:

“So James Cameron just told the #DellTechWorld crowd that he started writing a new Terminator movie 3 months ago but wants to see how #AI shakes out before he goes any further”

Terminator 2 Judgment Day
Credit: StudioCanal (Vivendi)

Related: All the ‘Terminator’ References You Missed in ‘The Mandalorian’

Last December, during an appearance on Wondery and Amazon’s Smartless podcast, Cameron said, “If I were to do another Terminator film and maybe try to launch that franchise again, which is in discussion but nothing has been decided, I would make it much more about the AI side of it than bad robots gone crazy.”

By A.I., our best guess is that Cameron is referring to ChatGPT, which, unless you’ve been living in a fallout shelter for the past few months, is a staggeringly impressive “natural language processing tool” that marks the dawn of a brand-new era in technology, and will likely transform the modern world as we know it (hopefully not in a Skynet sort of way).

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator 1984
Credit: Orion Pictures Corp/Courtesy Everett Collection

Exactly how such a Terminator reboot would look remains to be seen, but we’d be surprised if audiences would even be receptive to another installment in this long-dead franchise. And if Cameron does end up putting his time and effort into such a project, what about Avatar 3 (2024)? Will he hands the reins over to another director?

Well, if Terminator 7 it does happen, let’s just hope ChatGPT doesn’t get any ideas from Cameron’s new Terminator script (cue the dramatic theme tune from the film)…

Would you like to see Terminator rebooted again, or would you rather James Cameron focuses all his efforts on Avatar 3? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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