This weekend audiences will be treated to Justin Lin’s third entry in the T & Acceleration franchise Fast Five, a film that’s best quality is just how ridiculous it is. Earlier in the week it was announced that the director had been handed the keys to Terminator 5 and today the French film website Cinemateaser released an interview with the director, in which he discusses his next unnecessary 5th entry in an action franchise. Lin is apparently a big fan of the Terminator movies and makes it clear that he doesn’t simply want this to be an empty collection of robot fight sequences, which is promising even if McG expressed similar sentiments back when he took over the series for Terminator Salvation. Hit the jump to read what Lin has to say about his potential cyborg action opus.
After the Christian Bale screaming prequel, the rights to the Terminator franchise got tangled up in some legal troubles and since those rights will return James Cameron in 2018, there is an understandable desire to milk this cash cow before Cameron regains control. Enter the Santa Barbara-based hedge fund Pacificor who nabbed up the rights for $29.5 million and hired on Justin Lin to sit in the director’s chair.
“It’s actually Pacificor that approached me,” explained Lin. “They had an idea…but I guess a lot of studios didn’t go for it or something happened… So then, they came back to me and they said, ‘D’you have an idea?’ and, I said ‘I have THE idea!’”
Apparently Pacificor was so impressed by Lin’s new approach to the series that they abandoned their concept and sent the director to pitch it to Schwarzenegger (who will probably end up with the most control over the project, a la Terminator 3: The Rise Of The Machines). Schwarzenegger liked what he heard and now he, Lin, and Pacificor are in search of a studio. Given the vast sums of money previous Terminator movies brought in and Lin’s big cash making ways on his three Fast And The Furious sequels, it’s hard to imagine they won’t get someone to bite.
On the plus side, Lin did admit that, “The Terminator was one of those movies I just kept watching when I was a little kid and this means so much to me.” So perhaps he’ll take this project a little more seriously than his three admittedly silly Fast And The Furious sequels. The guy also recently directed the beloved “Modern Warfare” paintball episode Community (which even features a direct line reference to The Terminator), so he clearly not only knows his way around action tropes, but is smart enough to know how to poke fun at them. The biggest concern with Lin handling the franchise is that all of the clever time travel chronology and human drama of the series would be dropped in favor of additional car pile ups and gratuitous booty shots. Fortunately the director did (kind of) address those concerns in the Cinemateaser interview as well:
“Technology has grown so much that there’s a whole idea of gluttony. Sometimes you get carried away because you can have a camera go through the window, but do I need a camera go through the window? Those choices are up to the director,” claimed Lin. “For Terminator, it’s still very early on, but I don’t want to make a movie where it’s not just showing off. I want to support the human elements. If you don’t have humanity, then it just becomes robots.”
So, fortunately it looks like we don’t have to worry about an excess of cameras flying through windows in the possible Terminator 5, but it’s still too early to tell if Lin actually has a compelling story worth telling. No writers have been attached to the project, so at this point all it’s riding on is Lin’s big idea and Schwarzenegger’s support. In the end, while Lin will certainly get a chance to marshal the troops from some big action scenes, the guy who will most likely have the most control over the project will be Schwarzenegger. He had approval over everything on Terminator 3, which led to such unfortunate sequences as The Terminator sporting Elton John sunglasses and telling convenience store clerks to “talk to the hand.” Still, it’s probably too early to make snap judgments. We don’t know who will be writing it and we don’t know whether it will be the Fast Five or Community version of Justin Lin who shows up to direct. For now, it’s just another project looking for a studio to call home. Fortunately, once Fast Five brings in a few dump trucks full of cash over the weekend, we’ll probably get the answers to those questions very soon.