At the risk of coming across as foolhardy and naive in relation to the realities of how modern franchises are developed, it seems like the right time to consider a similar exercise with the upcoming retooling of the Terminator franchise.
We’re starting to get a bit more in terms of plot details, trailer footage and publicity stills from Terminator: Genisys, so we are developing a bit more of an idea of what to expect, so here are a few ideas, bearing in mind how starkly the franchise has deteriorated since the glory days of 1984 and 1991.
1. That title.
Wow. Way to annoy everyone. Genesis? Why go with a made up word? When you’ve had years to plan and decide and you come up with something that cack-handed, it smacks of a terrible dearth of creative ability and bodes badly for the whole slew of important creative decisions that will piece the final film together.
2. The rating/certificate.
A family-friendly certificate is no obstacle to quality (consider Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, The Avengers or Inception) but the Terminator franchise is supposed to be a strong, violent, grown up series of films.
Of course violence and swearing are neither clever nor necessary, but tailoring a film towards a certificate that will maximise box office rather than serve the requirements of the story is a recipe for disaster. Consider Alien vs Predator – that mash up had many flaws and failings, so it cannot all be laid at the feet of its rating, but 12A/PG-13 was never going to work for a film about acid-blooded xenomorphs and laser-armed killers.
A sanitised, bloodless sci-fi film about a killer robot not actually being especially unpleasant will not make for happy audiences.