Despite the almost $500 million worldwide grosses for Terminator: Genisys, reports have surfaced via the New York Daily News that its sequel -- as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger's involvement in the series -- has been, well, terminated. Originally the Genisys sequel was supposed to hit theaters this year and bring back both Arnold and new Sarah Connor, Emilia Clarke, but according to the paper that's no longer happening. Paramount has decided not to bring the stars back for another go-round even though they did have them locked into long-term contracts. The article goes on to say there are no plans for any sequel at this time.
Whether that means Paramount is completely done with the Terminator franchise is still a little unclear, though the Daily News does suggest that they are. If true, it's a weird decision to make. There's still plenty of juice left in the Terminator mythology, and in an age where many of these decades-old franchises are being given new life through remakes, prequels, sequels and sidequels, it would seem wise to hang on to the Terminator series and try to develop stories that expand the world more instead of falling back on Arnold catchphrases.
Look at what they're trying to do with the Matrix movies right now. By bringing the franchise back and telling new stories that are connected to either familiar characters or plot points but expand the mythology in new directions, then you're injecting a fresh approach into something familiar enough that it re-energizes the fanbase. This is something that's highly achievable with the Terminator franchise, except in order to do so successfully it needs to drop Arnold and Sarah Connor and all of the characters we've been adventuring with for the past few decades.
Tell new stories about other people who've been targeted by Terminators. What's cool about this franchise is that it doesn't always need to be some end-of-the-world scenario at stake. Invest in its roots; double down on it being a small scale thriller or even a horror film. That's how you win back the audience, and that's how you breathe new life into this beast. Tell smaller stories that are scarier and more character-centric, and you'll be on your way to reviving the Terminator movies.
The Terminator may be gone for now, but he'll be back. They always come back.