James Cameron Sounds the Alarm on Artificial Intelligence and Unveils a Terminator

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Twitter Cameron and Deadpool director Tim Miller sit down with THR to talk for the first time about how they will reboot a storied but troubled franchise for the new era of Amazon drones and AI anxiety: “People ask me, ‘Will the machines ever win against humanity?’ I say, ‘Look at people on their phones. The machines have already won.’”By all objective measures, The Terminator represents the most feared cautionary tale of modern Hollywood: a broken franchise. Thirty-three years after Arnold Schwarzenegger became an international star playing a killer robot sent from the future to kill the mother of the leader of a postapocalyptic rebellion, there have been four sequels (and one TV series), and the three films without the involvement of creator James Cameron have turned off fans and led the property to bounce from studio to studio and reboot to reboot. Terminator: Genisys, a 2015 installment made by financier David Ellison’s Skydance Media (Ellison bought rights from his sister, Megan Ellison, who acquired them in a 2011 auction for $20 million), seemingly, uh, terminated the prospect of future films.But this is Hollywood 2017, and no major franchise is truly dead. Ellison, along with distributor Paramount (Fox has international rights), has persuaded Cameron, who on Sept. 25 began filming four Avatar sequels, to shepherd a new Terminator for the era of Amazon drones, Facebook news bots and artificial intelligence-fueled anxiety. Calling it “a return to form that I believe fans of the franchise have been wanting since Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” Ellison, 34, has for the past year worked secretly with Cameron and Deadpool‘s Tim Miller, who will direct the untitled sequel for a July 26, 2019, release. They assembled a writers room with scribes David Goyer, Charles Eglee, Josh Friedman and Justin Rhodes as well as Ellison, a lifelong Terminator fan (Cameron himself shows up once a week), and have crafted what they want to be a trilogy with Schwarzenegger, 70, and original star Linda Hamilton, 61, passing the torch to a young female lead. Advertisement Advertisement The team hopes it’s launching the equivalent of the new Star Wars trilogy — but with the most successful filmmaker of all time pulling the strings. To unveil their plans and explain why the Terminator franchise is still relevant amid 21st century fears, Cameron, 63, and Miller, 47, joined The Hollywood Reporter’s editorial director Matthew Belloni for a discussion Sept. 19 on the Paramount lot in Hollywood. An edited transcript follows, and a separate Q&A with Cameron on Avatar, Trump and his recent Wonder Woman critiques is here.Jim, why do you want to do this? You can do anything. These are movies you made a long time ago.TIM MILLER I’ve got some pictures on him that he doesn’t want published. (Laughs.)JAMES CAMERON There’s a pride of authorship in anything that you do, and when David and I started talking about this, it made sense for me to see if there was a way to bring it into this century and to relevance. I look at what’s happening now with the emergence of artificial general intelligence equal to or greater than humans’, and you’ve got Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking and others saying that this could be really bad for the survival of the human race. What was science fiction in the ’80s is now imminent. It’s coming over the horizon at us. And there’s been a resurgence of fear and concern about nuclear weapons and so on. So all of these apocalyptic elements are out there. The first two Terminator films that I did dealt with the angst around that and how we reconcile it for ourselves in a fantasy context. So I got excited about the idea of finding a story that made sense for now.So what does a James Cameron-produced Terminator movie look like in 2017?CAMERON This is a continuation of the story from Terminator 1 and Terminator 2. And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream.READ MORElast_img