While another Teminator film should seem like the most inevitable possibility ever, there are a number of issues that seem to be holding it up. Little issues such as bankruptcy, lawsuits, a political scandal of some sort revolving around Mr. Schwarzenegger, and Bale’s shouting incident that occurred during the filming of Terminator Salvation.
Terminator Salvation has not been discussed much here, in part because it’s unfortunately simply not enough of a Bale film. Bale as John Connor mostly plays second fiddle to Sam Worthington as the murderer who got turned into a Terminator by Marla Singer and then lived underground for twenty years and then crawled out after a bomb went off or something, without knowing that he was a Terminator. Seriously, wasn’t that the plot?
The unfortunate reality of the latest Terminator is that it wasn’t enough of a Bale-Out. Not dark enough, not gritty enough, and not Bale enough. It’s hard to exactly reboot the Terminator franchise when the films seem to each be a reboot of the last one, as every time the events of each Terminator movie somehow change both the past and the present of the Terminator universe, from the date of Judgement Day constantly shifting to John Connor always being portrayed by a different actor to John Connor sending a guy back in time to protect his mother and then conceive John Connor, who is chosen to do this mission because John Connor knows that the guy will become his father. Or something.
The nice thing about all of this is that the next Terminator can be anything they want. It can either have time traveling robots, like the first three movies, or it can just have explosions and chase scenes and robot giants who enslave people like in the last one.
There is no denying one thing: Arnold has to be in the next Terminator. The confusing part will be why there is a T-800 who has obviously aged. This can be explained that they used real human tissue, and that it aged on the robot or something. The other thing that has to happen is that Bale needs to remain John Connor. No one has portrayed John Connor more than once, and he has been portrayed by six different actors so far (including a baby.)
It’s important that Bale stand by Arnold in what is obviously a very difficult time in Arnold’s career – he is finally able to start acting again, but unfortunately people seem to be thinking that the fact that he is a bad husband has something to do with his acting abilities. The good news is that Arnold should have tons more free time to work on this movie – he’s out of a job and a marriage.
While it was a great moment when the Arnold CGI T-800 came out of a box to fight Bale at the end of Salvation, there could really be an incredible fifth film where Bale is coming to grips with the fact that the T-800 who saved him in his youth and taught him some serious lessons about humanity is now hunting him, and he could find himself strangely moved by compassion in a desire to capture and redeem the the T-800, rather than destroy it. Remember, an Arnold T-800 has never fought John Connor, but only saved him.
It also might be worth pursuing the possibility of the next Terminator being the one from T2, someone back again – and because time travel and alternate timelines are always involved, there could always be something in which Kyle Reese is sent back in time to capture the good T-800 from going into the lava at the end of T2. I know that’s ridiculous, but hey, why not? This is Terminator. Anything can happen.
One final thought: The Bale Terminator also felt strange because it had some real Back to the Future themes to it, in the sense that John Connor is channeling Marty McFly by desperately trying to make sure his parents get together or else he will disappear.