James Cameron, Who Is Trying to Make Another Terminator, Isn’t Sure We Need Alien: Covenant

Look. I’m not head over heels for what’s going on with the Alien franchise right now but James Cameron should not be throwing stones in that glass house of his.

I mentioned briefly in Nerdy News on Monday that the director was starting work on rebooting the Terminator franchise. Cameron directed and wrote the first two films and since then we’ve gotten Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation, Terminator Genisys, and the excellent Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles television series. Back in 2013 there was news of another TV show in the works from Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz that would have tied into Genisys. There’s been no movement on that and it’s probably because the film didn’t go over well.

Do I blame Cameron for trying to get the rights back and try for another great Terminator project? No. But I do find it odd he’d go on record saying things about the Alien franchise that many could say about Terminator.

Vulture asked the director for his thoughts on Ridley Scott’s upcoming Alien: Covenant and he went ahead and lumped Alien 3, Alien Resurrection, and Prometheus in with it:

The franchise has kind of wandered all over the map. Ridley [Scott] did the first film, and he inspired an entire generation of filmmakers and science-fiction fans with that one movie and there have been so many films that stylistically have derived from it, including my own Aliens, which was the legitimate sequel and, I think, the proper heir to his film. I sort of did it as a fanboy. I wanted to honor his film, but also say what I needed to say. After that, I don’t take any responsibility.

I don’t think it’s worked out terribly well. I think we’ve moved on beyond it. It’s like, okay, we’ve got it, we’ve got the whole Freudian biomechanoid meme. I’ve seen it in 100 horror films since. I think both of those films stand at a certain point in time, as a reference point. But is there any validity to doing another one now? I don’t know. Maybe. Let’s see, jury’s out. Let’s see what Ridley comes up with. Let me just add to that — and don’t cut this part off, please — I will stand in line for any Ridley Scott movie, even a not-so-great one, because he is such an artist, he’s such a filmmaker. I always learn from him. And what he does with going back to his own franchise would be fascinating.

Opinions on all of these films aside, “any validity to doing another one” is the kind of sentiment we see around a lot of nostalgia projects. “Do we really need this?” is usually the more frequent phrase to which of course I reply, “Well, we don’t really need any movie.” They’re made because people want to make them, people think they can make money, and sometimes a combination of both.

Speaking of which, besides Scott’s new film, Neill Blomkamp was working on his own Alien project I was actually pretty excited about. Scott himself seemed to throw it off track because he wanted to dive back into that world with specific things he wanted to accomplish first but it looks now like it may be done for. A fan asked Blomkamp for an update on Twitter and he said the chances of it happening were “slim.”

Cameron, who had apparently read Blomkamp’s script, told io9 last year “I think it works gangbusters. He shared it with me, and I think it’s a very strong script and he could go make it tomorrow. I don’t know anything about the production, and I don’t know what Ridley [Scott]’s doing. But hopefully there’ll be room for both of them. Like parallel universes.”

We shall see what the giants decide next.

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  • Horation_Tobias_HumpleDinK

    Well technically Cameron had little involvement with Terminator after he left it so I dont think he is to blame for how that turned out. He also is right about Alien franchise. Unless we get an Alien film on the quality of Alien but Scott has already ruined it by making it out that the Alien/Xenomorph was built not the perfect evolved organism as it was presented in Alien and very abilities presented evolution abilities to the environment. Such as eggs that pull people into their nest via the fog, the face hugger breeding and a new life form being assimilated– surviving in space. Along with the acid blood so if wounded you also get burnt and the body high pressured so it will hit you its blood. So many aspects of Xenomorph made sense evolutionary wise. But all that gone out the window after Prometheus which frankly killed the universe with mediocrity

  • Howard_Bannister

    I really love James Cameron a lot, even though I do feel like anything he might have to say about sequels is really, really, really suspect after the whole ‘let’s make two sequels to Avatar’ thing.

    I like the part where he praises Ridley Scott. That’s classy, there, and not just because that’s almost exactly how I described Prometheus the other day–the best-made most interesting bad movie you’ll ever see, I think I said. (and I blame the writing a LOT… hello, Damon Lindelhof!)

  • HeyNow78

    It’d be great to see a fully-realized Blomkamp vision of the franchise, especially with Michael Biehn as Hicks again. Probably still too good to be true. Too bad as Cameron’s remarks on the script are so encouraging though.

  • Mark Wyman

    but….but…but….The Monies!!! You can’t just leave the monies in peoples pockets when it could be in yours! Blasphemy!!!

  • Wellll…. we don’t need it if it’s going to be another disappointing installment like Prometheus. But I want it. And Alien 5. And more Predator films. And at least one decent AvP film to wash away the stink of the two that were made…

    I love Alien 3, btw. It’s my favorite of the franchise. Aliens is more fun and Alien has pitch-perfect pacing and atmosphere and is probably the best on a technical level… but Alien 3 was powerful and moving and had depth and pathos, a great end to the story (at the time).

    Blomkamp, the two films of his I’ve seen, were fantastic. I really hope he still gets to do Alien 5 somehow.

    As for the Terminator franchise… the first film had the whole story already. The second film elevated it to a whole new level. The rest, eh. I didn’t like T3 but I didn’t hate it, and Genisys was mindless popcorn fun but not a good movie (and Salvation showed me just how awful an actor Christian Bale actually is).

    MovieBob recently had a video about how he would handle approaching a new Transformers movie “IF IT HAS TO BE MADE” sorta being the underlying point of his:

    https://youtu.be/EEJMDet82Hk