Back in December 2013, Skydance Productions and Annapurna Pictures announced that the Terminator franchise would be headed back to the small screen, in a brand new television series. This welcomed announcement came four years after the critically praised “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” series ended its broadcasting run, to much chagrin of its fans.
Skydance announced they hired “Thor” and “X-Men: First Class” writers Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller to write and executive produce the new Terminator television series, which was intended to be a companion piece to the “Terminator Genisys” trilogy.
The series, as reported by the industry trade The Hollywood Reporter, was described with a very interesting premise :
“The TV series will follow a critical moment from the first Terminator film (1984), and where the film’s story goes one way, the upcoming series will take the same moment in a completely different direction. As the rebooted film trilogy and the new TV series progress, the two narratives will intersect with each other in surprising and dramatic ways.”
The series really sounded intriguing, especially after learning that the show would take place in 1984. It generated a lot of positive buzz, but after that announcement, information on the new Terminator television show was sparce for over a year and a half.
Finally, the Terminator television series came back up again in June 2015. It was during a group interview at a “Terminator Genisys” press day in Berlin, Germany with producers David Ellison and Dana Goldberg. David confirmed they were still working on the Terminator television show “It’s something that we’re developing as we speak” and leaned towards the new Terminator series being 13 episodes and released on cable (rather than network television). This is what David Ellison said:
“Our gut aspiration would be a cable-driven show for something like Terminator. It’s amazing to be in the network space. We have not been a part of it yet, but obviously when you’re focused on making 13 episodes, it allows you to have more development time to dive deeper.”
Fans were excited that the Terminator television show was still in development and it would likely be a 13 episode cable show. Then, less than a month later, “Terminator Genisys” was theatrically released worldwide and everything seemed to change.
What should have been the first installment to an exciting new Terminator film trilogy, and a movie that reinvigorated the entire franchise, turned out to be poorly received by the majority of critics. And while it was financially a success worldwide, it performed poorly in the United States. Subsequently the remaining two films were pulled off the release schedule and Skydance C.C.O. Dana Goldberg announced their future plans with Terminator were not cancelled but in a state of flux: “I wouldn’t say on hold, so much as re-adjusting.”.
So what does the future hold for Skydance’s planned Terminator television series? Is the television project dead? Or is the series in that same state of “readjustment” that future films are in? This is what we do know:
- Skydance Productions has a deal in place with Netflix for the next eight years.
- A week ago, Skydance opened a brand new 75,000 square foot facility in Surrey, Canada intended for filming mostly television shows called “Skydance Studios”. Among multiple stages, this facility boasts one of the world’s longest and tallest stages, reaching 460 feet long and 50 feet high, that will even have the technical capability of raining on demand inside.
- Skydance’s first show to be filmed in this new studio will be a new Netflix series called “Altered Carbon”, a futuristic series set in the 25th century when the human mind has been digitized and the soul is transferable from one body to the next.
- Skydance Productions CEO David Ellison confirmed “Alternate Carbon” will not be the only series filmed in the new studio.
So will a new Terminator television series be finally filmed in the new “Skydance Studios” facility? Or is it possible that their science fiction show “Altered Carbon” replaced the planned Terminator series after the poor performance of “Terminator Genisys”? At this point, only time will tell.
We’ll be back.