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The Weekly Wrap-Up: Do Terminators Dream of Electric Sheep?

Hello, everyone! It’s One Of Us’ weekly article series, “The Weekly Wrap-Up.” Covering everything from film announcements to comic books, “The Weekly Wrap-Up” ensures that the biggest stories of the week are analyzed and discussed by our team of writers. This week we talk about the final Fast and Furious trilogy, the troubles surrounding the Terminator franchise and Ridley Scott’s recent comments on Blade Runner 2.


The Final Fast and Furious Trilogy

Those concerned that there would only be one more film in the very popular and lucrative Fast and Furious franchise need not worry. Furious star and producer Vin Diesel took to Facebook to not only thank fans for their support of the of the series, but to confirm that Universal is planning one final Fast and Furious trilogy starting with the release of Furious 8.

“The fans of the Fast & Furious SAGA are the best fans in the world… Since I became the Producer in 2008, you have been with me every step of the way… literally giving me feedback that proved invaluable. Thank you. Universal has been so good to me and so trusting of the vision… they have been like family… I promised the studio I would deliver one last Trilogy to end the saga.”

The announcement was also made along with the acknowledgement that Furious 8 has yet to start production. Rumors have circulated for some time that neither Universal nor Diesel could agree on a director to helm the eighth installment in the franchise. According to SlashFilm, Universal originally wanted Furious 7 director James Wan to direct, but Wan had to pass on the opportunity due to his contractual obligations to direct the sequel to the Conjuring. Diesel has gone on to explain that the search for a director is currently ongoing.

“My producing partner Neal would love for me to just sign off on a director, but this is too special a franchise, so these matters have to be very carefully handled. To be clear, NO ONE has been offered to helm Fast 8 yet… let alone seen a script.

While the behind the scenes woes for the eighth film in the series are somewhat troubling, it’s exciting to know that we’ll be getting several more films filled with ridiculous stunts and countless mumbled lines about the importance of family. Though nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet, I’m hopeful we also get to see the return of Kurt Russell’s secretive government operative, Mr. Nobody, along with the Terminator played by Jason Statham.

Terminator Franchise Put on Hold Indefinitely

Looks like time traveling killer robots can’t catch a break in this modern cinematic landscape. In an article about the nature of being a movie financier, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the franchise is on hold following this summer’s Terminator Genisys according to an undisclosed source. The article delves into the film’s middling box office take, with a massively underwhelming $89 million domestic gross and a much stronger $350 million overseas gross ultimately coming far shorter of the expected box office expectations for a franchise as iconic as Terminator. Paramount (who currently owns the rights to the franchise) recently stated that the film promised to have multiple sequels released in 2017 and 2019, but will likely not rush those out too soon given those disappointing numbers.

Honestly, this doesn’t surprise me. The major disappointment of Terminator Salvation in 2009 wasn’t expected by Warner Bros when they had the license. For all that film’s bores and troubles, it at least tried something different by mainly basing the film in the realm of the future war we had only seen glimpses of previously. Meanwhile, Genisys was designed to reignite the series with a nostalgia fueled sheen that merely wanted to appeal to audiences through glimpses of what they liked rather than actually continue what worked about the series. Both entries ultimately prove that the Terminator franchise genuinely has lost the interest of the public, or at least that they desire the engaging characters and emotional pay offs of The Terminator and T2: Judgement Day, not the type of gimmicky baiting of either of the two recent films.

It also seems to help provide evidence that the interest in 1980s properties has naturally run its course, along with the disappointment of Pixels and the massive success of 90s nostalgia fueled box office bonanza Jurassic World. It’s the natural course of trends, given the rough 20 year rule for nostalgic reinterpretation, with the majority of the modern 18-35 demographic looking to the type of late 20th century nostalgia that has turned Buzzfeed into an empire. It’s the exact reason why we’re hearing more news about a Nicktoons team up movie and less about the live action Heman adaptation moving forward. Maybe Terminator can find new life in a crossover with Small Wonder? Sadly, that might be more realistic than not.

Ridley Scott Reveals Blade Runner 2 Details

Though Ridley Scott (Alien) is currently enjoying the critical acclaim that The Martian has been receiving, that hasn’t stopped the director from taking time to talk about several other projects he currently has in development. Along with Alien: Paradise Lost, Soctt has confirmed that Blade Runner 2, the sequel to neo-noir science fiction film, is still on the way with Denis Villeneuve (Sicario) set to direct, along with Scott and Hampton Fancher, the original writers of Blade Runner, on script-writing duties. In an interview with Yahoo Movies, Scott explained that the film would take place several decades after the events of the first and follow Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard and an unspecified character set to be played by Ryan Gosling.

“It was 2017, so coming back it’ll be 2047 roughly. As young as you can play Ryan Gosling. He’s 34, but he looks 27 when he’s doing his push-ups. So maybe 2050.”

Probably the most amusing comment made by Scott was how he managed to get a disinterested Ford involved with the production.

“I got Harrison back. Because Harrison said, ‘Meh,’ and I said, ‘No, read this.’ And I think he said, ‘This is the best script I’ve ever had.’ We’ve been working on it for a couple of years.”

Despite Scott’s obvious excitement for the tentatively-titled Blade Runner 2, I can’t help but feel ambivalent towards the entire project. Blade Runner is considered by many to be one of the greatest science-fiction films ever made, most often receiving praise for its storytelling, characters, philosophical hypothesizing and visual aesthetic. Trying to recreate that decades later is a momentous task, even with talented people like Villeneuve behind the camera. At this point, it’s probably best to temper expectations and wait to see if cameras even manage to start rolling in the first place.


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