James Cameron Revels Biggest Terminator Franchise Regret

James Cameron reveals his biggest Terminator movie franchise regret and why he wouldn’t make the films in the same way nowadays

Though beloved to this day, James Cameron holds one major regret about the Terminator movie franchise. Cameron created the iconic sci-fi action franchise, which explored humanity’s efforts to put a stop to an artificial intelligence known as Skynet that has wiped out the world in the future with the use of the eponymous autonomous cyborgs to kill the remainders of humans that survived the nuclear Judgment Day, namely Resistance leader John Connor. Arnold Schwarzenegger served as the face of the Terminator franchise across its six films, starring as various versions of the T-800 Terminator model, with the first two films being considered classics of the genre, while the latter four saw generally mixed-to-negative responses.

While talking with Esquire to discuss his long-awaited Avatar: The Way of Water, James Cameron reflected on his time creating the Terminator movie franchise. The three-time Oscar winner revealed his biggest regret from the sci-fi action series stemmed from its fetishization of guns, looking towards real-world events as alienating him from such. See what Cameron shared below:

I look back on some films that I’ve made, and I don’t know if I would want to make that film now. I don’t know if I would want to fetishize the gun, like I did on a couple of Terminator movies 30+ years ago, in our current world. What’s happening with guns in our society turns my stomach.

How Cameron’s Feelings Could Affect Terminator’s Future

While Cameron’s feelings on being concerned over fetishizing guns in the films is a very valid one, especially considering the amount of mass shootings America faces every year, it’s interesting to consider how a shift away from these weapons would affect the Terminator franchise. Both the original film and Terminator 2: Judgment Day featured memorable scenes in which Schwarzenegger’s titular character marvels over certain weaponry and spends time cleaning them and utilizing them in his various objectives, be they killing Sarah Connor or protecting her son John. Additionally, with much of the franchise’s action centered around firefights between the Terminators and their human opponents, it seems removing guns from the formula would be a difficult task for the Terminator movies.

On the other hand, Terminator: Dark Fate, for which Cameron helped develop the story, did see a shift away from the atypical gunplay as Mackenzie Davis’ enhanced human Grace and Schwarzenegger’s older T-800 as the two engaged in a lot of intensely choreographed hand-to-hand combat with Gabriel Luna’s Rev-9. However, with even the 2019 rebootquel seeing Linda Hamilton flexing plenty of firepower in fighting the new antagonist, it doesn’t seem like Cameron’s Terminator franchise regret will play too much of a part in its future. The other major evidence of such is his ongoing Avatar movies, which, though featuring plenty of more old-fashioned weaponry to tap into the native influences for the alien race of the Na’vi, still see humanity wielding plenty of guns to take on the indigenous population and conquer the alien planet of Pandora.

Though it has yet to influence the sci-fi action series, it would be interesting to see how Cameron’s anti-guns stance could affect the Terminator franchise’s future. With his recent discussions indicating he would choose to deeper focus on the AI of Skynet itself, rather than a general bad-robots-versus-humans formula that much of the films have explored thus far, the thought to shift away from plenty of gunplay in future Terminator movies could prove the subversive take it needs to come back from its slew of rocky sequels. In the meantime, audiences can catch the latest chapter in Cameron’s Avatar franchise with The Way of Water now in theaters.

Next: Cameron’s Initial Schwarzenegger Fight Proves He’s The Perfect TerminatorSource: Esquire

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Grant Hermanns