Well, this is unexpected. Not that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be appearing in Terminator 5 -- he's been attached to the project pretty much since he left the governor's mansion a few years ago -- but that the movie is far enough along that it's going to start shooting in January 2014. That's according to the actor, at least, who recently told a fansite that he'd be returning not just in a cameo (as he did in Terminator Salvation), but in a starring role as the Terminator.
And while we certainly don't doubt Schwarzenegger, we're just a little hesitant to carve this news into stone because we're talking about a project that's been shuffled around quite a bit. Last year it lost its director (Fast & Furious' Justin Lin), then earlier this year it got a pair of new screenwriters (Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier), and only just this week did it find a distributor to call home (Paramount).
The film still doesn't have a director, at least not one that we know of, either, which is kind of an important role when it comes to making a movie. It's hardly impossible to find one in the next six months, but we'd also like to think that whoever does direct this thing would be helping shape it during these preproduction months, and not just be a director for hire down the line.
Of course, now that Justin Lin is stepping out of the director's chair on his booming Furious franchise, he very well could rejoin Terminator 5. He's certainly proven he's got the action chops for it, at least, but, even more pressing than who will actually make this thing, is the question of what it'll be about. If Schwarzenegger is back as the Terminator again, we have to wonder are we going to have an old, wrinkly T-800? Will they de-age him with CGI? Is it going to be present day, or are we heading back into the nuclear wastelands of Salvation? Will it even have anything to do with the franchise as we know it, or will it be a complete reboot?
That's a whole lot of unanswered questions, but if you don't want your head-scratching to end there, just try to picture the 65-year-old muscleman also starring in King Conan and Twins 2, two sequels he also has in development.