e'll be back? The Hollywood business website Deadline reported this week that Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed on for Terminator 5, the fifth installment in the movie franchise that made him a superstar almost 30 years ago. While there is no script and no storyline yet, the agency CAA is shopping the concept to major Hollywood studios, and director Justin Lin, who was behind the just-released Fast Five, is attached. The former California governor, who has not starred in a movie since Terminator III, eight years ago, would reprise the title role — though it's not clear whether he would play a villain, as in the first movie, or a hero, as in the second. But with Schwarzenegger likely to reach retirement age, 65, before the movie comes out, is he right for the part? (Watch Jimmy Kimmel's trailer spoof.)
This is a terrible idea: Terminators "do not age," says Jeremy Wynia at Get The Big Picture, so Schwarzenegger's senior citizenship would not make sense in the context of the series. That "rather large detail" will require much more than the "average suspension of disbelief" for fans to swallow. The last Terminator was not built around Arnold, so it could afford to play fast and loose with the movies' mythology. This installment can't.
"Another Terminator, really?"
The movie could work if they go back to basics: Given that "fivequels tend to have a horrible, horrible history in Hollywood," there's reason to be skeptical, says Darren Franich at Entertainment Weekly. This won't be pretty if it's anything like the "fluffy self-parody" of Terminator III or the "laughably gritty" Terminator: Salvation. To make this good, like the first two films, Justin Lin should "reboot the whole damn thing into the present day, cut down on the digital effects, and above all, make Schwarzenegger the villain again."
"Terminator 5: Can this franchise (and Arnold Schwarzenegger) be good again?"
Schwarzenegger could be a liability: Schwarzenegger's post-politics return to acting would not be unprecedented, says Steven Zeitchik at the Los Angeles Times. Both Jesse Ventura and Fred Thompson followed a similar path. But there's no guarantee Arnold can handle Terminator-style stunts at his age. Even if he can, it's unclear "whether a population that didn't think much of him as a governor wants to vote for him with their dollars at the box office."
"Arnold returns to Terminator: Is it a good idea?"
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