7 Independent Directors For Terminator 5

As much as we enjoyed Terminator Salvation, there’s no denying it’s about as far from the original Terminator’s low-budget roots as Twilight is from Van Helsing.

So, for Terminator 5, we’d like the studio to step aside and allow the series to travel back in time to where it first came from – allowing an independent auteur to take charge of the franchise.

Here’s some suggestions for independent filmmakers we think are made for Terminator. They won't cost much.

Gaspar Noé

Why He’s Right For It: For one thing, he wants to do it. Noé told us in Cannes that he’d love to make Terminator 5 his next movie.

Which is a bit weird, considering the flick he was promoting at the time was Enter The Void, which is essentially a DMT trip in film form and one of the weirdest experiences we’ve ever endured.

Still, Irreversible was a time travel movie in a way, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it? Wasn’t it? Guys?

How His Terminator Film Might Look: John Connor, fed up of fighting cyborgs all day and shouting all night, decides to kick back with the crack pipe his wife gave him for his birthday.

That’s the opening 30 seconds. The rest of the movie is a constant pulsing strobe light, which only very occasionally cuts to images of a T-800 having sex with a T-850 and a giant robot rat that keeps shouting “I’ll be back. I’ll be back. I’ll be back.” over and over again.

How Much He Could Make It For: We’re not sure, how much does a crack pipe, a strobe light, a smoke machine and some tin foil cost these days? Let’s just say £30.

Is He The New James Cameron? Strong, single-minded and the bravest filmmaker in his home country. He’s got potential.

Next: Lars Von Trier [page-break]

Lars Von Trier

Why He’s Right For It: He’s already cut off his toe and thrown it into the world of future-shock science-fiction – his flick Epidemic was half about a future plague that wipes out mankind.

Replace ‘plague’ with ‘cyborgs’ and you’ve got a Terminator film.

But you should probably ignore the other half of the film, which was about Von Trier’s struggle to write the Epidemic script. That bit is more like Adaptation.

Though, to be fair, the final act, where the two plot strands combine, is evidence that Von Trier can handle the sort of twisty time-logic that’s required of a Terminator scribe.

How His Terminator Film Might Look: Von Trier is the co-creator of the Dogme 95 method of filmmaking; which requires directors to follow a strict set of rules, including no superficial action, no props, no camera filters and no sets.

So, we imagine his Terminator 5 would be filmed on hand-held home movie cameras in a clocked-off factory, featuring actors who announce whether they’re humans or cyborgs as they enter the wobbly frame.

They’d be no fights, no explosions, just in-depth conversations about the properties of humanity.

How Much He Could Make It For: £2.50.

Is He The New James Cameron? Well, he’s a fan of strong female characters, that’s for sure. He just likes putting his heroines through experiences that make facing off against a Terminator feel like a hug from an old friend, that's all.

Next: Werner Herzog


Werner Herzog

Why He’s Right For It: Let’s face it, we all want Terminator 5 to be a proper war movie – one that shows us the full battle between man and machine glimpsed at in Terminators 1 and 2.

And if you’re going to make a film in a warzone, there’s only one man for the job – Warner Herzog.

The director without fear once carried on with an interview with Mark Kermode after getting shot by an LA sniper. Oh, and he also jumped in a cactus patch for a bet and ate a shoe out of pride.

Also, he’s used to working with intense actors. He threatened to kill Klaus Kinski if he left the Fitzcarraldo set without permission and convinced Christian Bale to eat live maggots on the set of Rescue Dawn because: "There are too many computer effects in films these days."

Which means there’d be no more angry outbursts from Bale; all Herzog would have to do is tap his fishing tackle box and Christian would calm down.

How His Terminator Film Might Look: Herzog worked as a welder in a steel factory to fund his first films, so he could probably knock up some pretty realistic looking robots in an afternoon.

Then, all he has to do is put Christian Bale and five of his homemade robots into his back garden with some kitchen knives and a shotgun, then film the results.

How Much He Could Make It For: Absolutely nothing, if he invites Bale to his house without telling him he’s making a Terminator movie.

Is He The New James Cameron? They’ve both got an affinity for nature – Cameron’s next film is the environmental action movie Avatar, and Herzog’s last flick was an environmental documentary Encounters At The End Of The World. So, yes.

Next: Catherine Hardwicke


Catherine Hardwicke

Why She’s Right For It: If girls’ screams were as valuable as money, then Twilight would be the most successful franchise launch in cinema history.

They’re not, of course, but it still did pretty well. And one of the key threads running throughout the Terminator series is strong women – so why not sign up a strong woman to direct the bloody things?

How Her Terminator Film Might Look: We open on John Connor. He’s younger. He’s hotter. He’s brooding over something, but what? Oh yes, now we see – in the distance there’s a girl, a beautiful girl.

But he can’t be with her. But why? Because she’s a Terminator and society wouldn’t understand their love. But who cares about society?

They run through some woods to each other. They embrace. Society judges them. But who cares? Not the audience. Not us. Not them. No-one. No-one except society cares. Stop judging their love society, you don’t understand it, and you never will.

How Much She Could Make It For: Whatever Robert Pattinson charges these days.

Is She The New James Cameron? Cameron has always liked female filmmakers – after all, he married the greatest female action director in the history of filmed explosions (Kathryn Bigelow) in 1989.

Also, Hardwicke apparently has a Cameron-esque personality – she reportedly lost out on the chance to direct Twilight sequel New Moon following clashes with the studio.

But Twilight’s action sequences wouldn’t put Piranha 2 to shame, let alone Terminator 2, so we’re going to call a maybe on this one.

Next: Sam Raimi


Sam Raimi

Why He’s Right For It: This is an attempt to decapitate two birds with one spade.

Both the Terminator and Raimi could do with a return to their independent origins.

Drag Me To Hell was okay, but the frequent comparisons to Evil Dead are wildly undeserved.

It's like comparing a poodle to a mutt wearing a bandana. They're both pooches, but only one of them is cool.

Drag Me To Hell could never be as imaginative as Evil Dead - it cost way too much for that.

Sam needs his budget sawn-off like a shotgun meeting a chainsaw arm and the Terminator needs imagination like a T-800 needs shades.

So let’s force Raimi to make Salvation 2 using only the change he’s got in his pockets, from a script written by his school mates, with the only aim 'to have a laugh'.

Because Raimi’s Army Of Darkness is one of the most realistic time travel movies to contain the line: “Yo, she-bitch. Let’s go.” which is easily as good a potential catchphrase as 'I'll be back'.

How His Terminator Might Look: John Connor (Bruce Campbell) is surrounded by cyborgs.

Connor injects himself with the blood of a T-1000 (gurning and grimacing as it enters his bloodstream) and finds that he can suddenly turn any part of his body into chainsaws (we'll use plasticine-based special effects for this).

So, he turns both of his arms and part of his forehead into chainsaws and runs at the machines. Fade to black, roll opening credits.

How Much He Could Make It For: Ideally, we'd like him to make it for under $20.

Is He The New James Cameron?: No, but with a bit of hard work he could be the old Sam Raimi.

Next: Shinya Tsukamoto


Shinya Tsukamoto

Why He’s Right For It: He’s not exactly a household name, but Tsukamoto is responsible for the stunning cybernetic drama Tetsuo, the greatest film ever to feature a sequence in which the lead turns into a hoover and has sex with himself.

Tetsuo is all about a metal fetishist who clamps so many bits of scrap to his body he turns into a cyborg, which would be an interesting direction for the Terminator series to take.

And Tetsuo 2: Body Hammer - arguably a better sequel than The Godfather Part II - contains an opening credit sequence that’s essentially the climax of Terminator 2, complete with lava factory scenes and clanging music cues, so Tsukamoto’s got the shooting style down pat.

How His Terminator Might Look: John Connor is standing in a junkyard, his long trenchcoat swirling uncontrollably in the wind.

A quick edit cuts to a Terminator turning his head toward Connor. A quick edit back to Connor. A quick edit back to The Terminator. A quick edit back to Connor.

Connor starts to pick up junk from the floor and sellotaping it to himself.

A quick edit cuts to a Terminator turning his head toward Connor. A quick edit back to Connor. A quick edit back to The Terminator. A quick edit back to Connor.

The Terminator runs towards Connor, who now has Henry the hoover strapped to his back.

But when the Terminator gets close enough to Connor to see what Henry's doing to John, it stops in its tracks and decides to give the pair of them some privacy.

How Much He Could Make It For: £20 to the scrap merchant, £10 for a second hand Henry, £100 for the use of stock footage from the first five Terminators.

£130 is pretty pricy for a Terminator film, but it'd be worth every penny.

Is He The Next James Cameron? He's easily as imaginative as Cameron, even if that imagination occassionally slips into apparent madness.

Next: John-Pierre Jeunet


John-Pierre Jeunet

Why He's Right For It: Okay, so his Alien film, Alien Resurrection ironically killed the franchise, but the Terminator films can't go on forever, can they? Everything has to end sometime.

Also, Terminator Salvation features a human / Terminator hybrid, which is exactly the same plot as Alien Resurrection. The titles even sound similar.

How His Terminator Might Look: John Connor (Dominique Pinon) has become a cannibal chef in a desperate attempt to feed his fellow survivors. Everytime he kills a Terminator, he shaves all the human flesh off its body and turns it into a stew.

He then turns the skeletons into chairs.

Sam Worthington (Ron Perlman) attacks Connor, because he's a vegetarian now.

Absolutely nothing makes any sense.

How Much He Could Make It For: $70 million.

Is He The Next James Cameron? Well, they've both worked with Sigourney Weaver on Alien films. So, why not? Yes!

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Sam Ashurst is a London-based film maker, journalist, and podcast host. He's the director of Frankenstein's Creature, A Little More Flesh + A Little More Flesh 2, and co-hosts the Arrow Podcast. His words have appeared on HuffPost, MSN, The Independent, Yahoo, Cosmopolitan, and many more, as well as of course for us here at GamesRadar+.