Due to some recent indiscretions, Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to pull the plug on his resurrected acting career. Which everybody's assuming means no Terminator 5. But wait — there are plenty of great ways to make a Terminator without Arnie.
Here's our list of great Terminator storylines that you could make without the Governator.
Just because Schwarzenegger can't be in the new Terminator film does not mean Hollywood should throw in the towel on revamping the series. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to let this story shine! Here's how it could work.
Just Make A Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Movie
We loved it. You loved it. There's still plenty of juice to be had here. Let's revisit TSCC one more time. The movie could pick up right where the series ended (with John Connor jet setting into the future). Hell there's already a rough outline for the future plot line according to the show's executive producer James Middleton.
[I]n the actual footage of the show, we see that Derek doesn't recognize [John.] So, by jumping into this future, he has erased his existence in a certain way, and we see that. We see that nobody recognizes him... If we had gotten a third season, I should say, we definitely would have explored what it all meant, but I think there's a great moment where we see Allison [Summer Glau], and John's look to her is very meaningful. I think that also would have been a great thing in terms of dramatic potential.
The only thing we ask is that if there is a TSCC movie, please God let series creator Josh Friedman be involved.
Follow The Pope's Brazen Head Pitch
Speaking of excellent ideas to come out of T:SCC, show writers
Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz have a few ideas that never made it to screen that we think would make an excellent (if not exceptionally messed up) little film. Especially the Brazen Head pitch Stentz revealed to us in this interview:
We had a whole list of stories on the board in the TSCC room of stories to do in seasons three and four, from the serious to the facetious to the inexplicable (I still am scratching my head over "Sarah helps a wedding cake.") The one I was always waving the flag for was labeled "Pope Brazen Head." I was obsessed with the legend of Pope Sylvester the Second and his magical talking metal head (seriously, look it up) and liked to imagine that it was a Terminator head that had been thrown back in time and spent 1000 years secretly influencing the course of western civilization. Josh was actually intrigued by the notion, but alas, the cancellation monster claimed us first.
And it's true! Historical rumors have long whispered about Gerbet's robotic head that would answer any questions he asked it (with a "yes" or a "no"). Why couldn't that be a Terminator whose head accidentally got chopped off mid-time travel bubble, and now spends its days guiding the human race towards disaster! Naturally that would be the big reveal in the end, the main story would most likely follow people from the future, going back in time to stop Terminator murders and meddling! Think of all the odd historical rumors that could easily be twisted into a Terminator tale.
John And Kyle
Think how cool it would be to watch this relationship grow. There's so much meat for a good war-bonding story between Kyle Reese and John Connor, especially knowing what Connor knows. We'd love to watch that play out. How great would it be if they didn't like each other at first, then formed a bond over the broken metal skulls of many robots. Naturally the story would end with John sending Kyle back in time to save his mother's life. There's a lot of good drama here, what's it like to be friends/ mentor/ enemies with your future father? Then to send him to the past where you know he will die? Do you try and protect him, or warn him Back To The Future letter-style? The possibilities are endless.
Judgment Day, The Day After
The only truly captivating part of Terminator 3 was the ending. But what happened next? What happened after the big Skynet attack? How did the survivors of mankind cope with this complete and total devastation? How much time was spent trapped underground? Were there any parts of the world that were left intact? How could people trust John Connor, the man who just happens to know everything about the new robot foe? Where would they live, sleep, eat? How many people died trying to return to the surface of the Earth too soon? How did we rebuild, how did we survive? We love a good post apocalypse flick, and this is exactly that. What happens next?
Terminator 5: V-Day
We've heard that John Connor is the savior of humanity, now let's watch it actually happen. Let's watch the hordes of hardened soldiers stomp out the blinking red eye of the Skynet foe once and for all. Let's celebrate and dance on the corpses of 1,000 machines (after a long and bloody battle that takes up most of the film). And then, at the very last second, the machines win after all.
Film The Terminator 4 Movie We Actually Wanted But Everyone Was Too Chicken Shit To Execute
Remember when the ending to McG's Terminator opus was leaked and everyone freaked out? The basic gist was simple. Instead of the hybrid humanoid Marcus sacrificing his "giant heart" (oh dear) so that John Connor could live, Connor dies. The members of the revolution are devastated, and certain that the dream of a Skynet-free world would die with the Connor prophecy (and all his nifty radio broadcasts). Instead of letting all hope die, they turn on Marcus, tie him down and PEEL OFF HIS SKIN. They then rip off the dead epidermis of Connor and stitch it onto Marcus' now skinned body. Marcus becomes John Connor. Thus making the savior of man, part robot. Marcus has to live the rest of his life as Connor.
Instead of going with this incredibly weird, demented premise, we got a shadow of this idea. So why not have a do-over? You could also blot out all of CG Arnold, because he was onscreen for about five seconds, until they ran out of money and had to melt all of his CG skin off. He was not an integral part of this story, and therefor does not need to be in this retelling.
And while we're at it, if we're going to completely remake T4, let's kill the Starchild in the first five seconds, spend more time with Young Kyle Reese, rip out all of the touch screens in the Skynet labs — because they are fucking robots without skin — spend more time on the crazy human experiments the robots were running, and more time with the rebellion. Let's world-build a little, we've waited a long time to see what happens after Judgment Day not fart around with a little kid and their magical sack of awesome story props. Go for the gold. Toy with the mythology. Take a risk! We'll follow you. Maybe.
If all else fails, do a movie from Skynet's POV. It might be bad, but we would watch it.