Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
Well, he did it. MYSTERIO may be disgruntled about his career as an effects artist, but he's found a pretty decent alternative for himself as AICN's resident script master. He's got an amazing archive library located in an old film vault here in town, and he's the man with the plan when it comes to getting the ungettables. Last week, I casually dared him to get TERMINATOR 3, and now here he is with the first official report anywhere on the script. Let the speculation cease, as The Boy in the Bubble weighs in on the future of the franchise...
“Mysterio” here. It’s been somewhat of a brief hiatus for me around here but believe me, I’ve been lurking around. Oh no, not just around here, but EVERYWHERE! But let’s cut to the chase, shall we? One place in particular that took some time getting into was Cyberdyne Systems. Sound familiar? Well if you’re reading this piece, of course it does.
And getting in wasn’t easy. With the aid of a new gizmo called a ‘holographic refractor’ that my occasional partner in crime, ‘The Tinkerer’ came up with, was the key to getting in. With this device I was able to duplicate multiple images of myself to thwart past numerous T-1 prototypes and get to what was most important at this stage, the script.
So, that was a while ago, and like I said, not an easy task. I managed to get a bit banged up in the process and have since needed recovery time, but ultimately, was it worth it? And how would I handle doing this review? Well with regards to the recently released “T2” on DVD in various special editions, I’ve decided to do something similar: offer up two different versions of this review. The ‘extended’ review will follow immediately; the ‘spoiler free’ review will follow after at the bottom of the page. So consider this review somewhat ‘interactive’ and make your choice through your mouse now.
SPECIAL EDITION BEGINS HERE!!
Ok, so you’ve chosen to read the ‘special edition’ of this review. Go on and continue reading to find out (you know you want to), but beware…
SLIGHT SPOILERS and CONFIRMATION OF PLOT/CHARACTER DETAILS LIE AHEAD!!
BUT, I won’t tell you everything; some things should still remain a surprise.
You may proceed with caution.
Ok, let me start off first by saying the script is written by this cat named Tedi Sarafian, without any story involvement from Cameron. He’s not coming onboard, period. So let’s get over it and find out if there can still actually be another “Terminator” film without his involvement. The answer just may surprise you.
Now I have to be honest and ask: just who is this person, where did he come from and who the hell does he think he is to have the gall to try and attempt to write something even remotely on par to what Cameron has created and envisioned? Well his resume doesn’t speak volumes of produced projects, listing only a few recently in various production stages. But after putting my distrustful feelings on this practically ‘unknown’ writer aside, I decided to delve into it.
After all, like “Spider-man”, you all seem to have questions of late, some of which I can hopefully answer and help debunk some rumors right here.
So let’s check it out.
“There is no fate, but what we make,” were the words that a young John Conner uttered in describing that “the future’s not set; there is no fate except the one which we make for ourselves,” giving way to the idea that one can change the future by their actions as touched upon back in 1991’s “T2”. But to what extent?
Theories abound as to what possible clues were left behind in “T2” which might have extend over into this sequel; such as Terminator’s arm being left behind after being caught in the hydraulic winch can be dismissed. Not addressed. Nor is any direct indication that Dyson’s assistant kept copies of his records. Again not addressed. But what is the focus of this script is clearly in keeping with Cameron’s original storyline of how the machines might gain enough artificial intelligence to wage war with mankind, hence the title: T-3: RISE OF THE MACHINES.
Since it’s been years past since we last saw the likes of John & Sarah Connor or any indication of a Terminator. We’re led to believe the future is now safe for mankind, after all Cyberdyne Systems was blown to smithereens and the two Terminators left all but destroyed. But all these years gone by in peace have made John a little wary that a war with Skynet could even surmount at this point, but nevertheless still keeps an eye on Cyberdyne’s mainframe computers. Someone who’s less wary is Sarah, who has now made her home, with several mercenaries, in a heavily armed and secured militia compound in the California desert, waiting for the day that Skynet might reform and mount an attack against the human race.
Still somewhat distanced from his mother, John tries to put the past events behind and lead a normal life, which includes his successful computer programming company specializing in checking and hacking into computer securities for businesses. It’s only after a meeting with Sarah, does he do a deep security hack into Cyberdyne Systems to discover one project in particular that is heavily secured under lock and key. A project called Skynet.
Now during the course of John’s discovery, two Terminators have been dispatched, one to protect and the other to destroy John Conner. It’s opening rings true of Cameron’s intro of the two terminators from “T2”, except that the arrival of Schwarzenegger’s T-800 runs a bit long and seems a bit overly violent, more so than it really needs to be I think.
With the T-800 model dispatched, another model soon follows. This time out, it’s a new prototype terminator. A female terminator, who is impossibly beautiful and genetically perfect in more ways than just looks. Say hello to the T-1G.
Once the two terminators arrive, suit up and arm themselves, the way Sarafian re-introduces the T-800 back to us I really like. It’s a clever angle that I’m not going to spoil, but it worked in the script for my money.
It’s hard to really delve into too much of the story without really spoiling some key moments in the script. So I’ll just say that Sarafian has indeed focused the story on Skynet’s rise from the ashes, so to speak, and it’s beginnings becoming A.I. It’s essentially a race against time for our heroes to literally try and beat the clock and destroy Skynet before they completely go A.I. and take control of the world’s computer systems, which include seizing and controlling the nations nuclear weapons. This is the nightmare that haunts Sarah and the first step at eliminating mankind.
The T-1G is a superior machine, even more so than the T-1000 was, and references to it’s unstoppable and in destructive make are pointed out and demonstrated in the script. What I can tell you is that the T-1G is not made from liquid metal, but made up of sentient frequency matter, which gives it abilities that, if done right, will push the special effects to the edge as “T2” did for morphing effects. It’s essentially unstoppable and undestroyable.
The characters are also given some good moments for more character growth, and aren’t just tossed to the side in favor for of action and heavy SFX sequences, which there are plenty enough of. It’s a pretty lean a solid “un-Cameron” script but not “un-Cameron-like”.
It’s a nice package here as we get to see the most advanced and elite terminator model to date, and also get to witness the actual birth of Skynet and early prototype cyborg models literally coming off the factory line, armed and ready to go. We also get to know more about the Aerial Hunter Killer’s shown flying about in the previous films, which are basically described as terminators in the skies.
So rest easy here fans, as I have read this script, and was really coming into it expecting to completely hate it with a passion, because like most of you, I couldn’t really fathom another Terminator film without Cameron. It’s a shame that for whatever reason Cameron doesn’t want to be involved in completing his cyborg trilogy, but the script looks in pretty good shape, with only needing some polishing and tweaking in places here and there. It’s a huge film, that feels a lot like “T2” in the chase and fight sequences but adds the element of Skynet’s early origins to the mix. Sarafian is clearly a fan of the films, so it’s neither insulting nor disappointing to fans of the series, especially those of the last one.
END SPOILERS HERE!!
START THE “SPOILER FREE” VERSION HERE!!
You can rest assure, the script is good. Now was that spoiler free enough for ya? No? Then keep reading.
Only question is getting the right talent onboard, which I had “The Tinkerer” make a few fact-checking calls for me on a few rumors I’m sure you’ve all heard and some confirmed this week.
First, I’m told that Ridley Scott has “expressed interest” in the project, and no director has been chosen yet, but with him doing “Black Hawk Down” for Jerry Bruckheimer, and possibly “Popcorn” as his next films, it doesn’t leave a lot of room in his schedule for the proposed March 2001 shoot date. It would be rather poetic to see Scott take over where Cameron left off as Cameron did with Scott’s “Alien”. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Schwarzengger is obviously back on board reprising his role, but word from the offices at Cinergi, who is producing the project, we’re rather mum about either Hamiltion or Furlong definitely returning, which obviously if they didn’t would clearly wreck havok with the script.
So this message goes out to you studio heads out there overseeing this project: make it good, you are handicapped without Cameron, but not dead. To paraphrase John Connor’s words a bit, “there is no fate unless a bad movie you make.” Feeling the pressure yet? No, then check out the talkbacks below. You guys wanna make a ton ‘o money right? Then us fans want a ton ‘o fun for our money in seeing this film done right and giving proper respect to the series.
So then when I asked if this was the script, by Tedi Sarafian, that they we’re going into production with, the answer I received was something along the lines of, “well he wrote the script, didn’t he?” How does one answer a question with a question like that? Hmmm, could I possibly have been referring that maybe other writers may have been brought on board for re-writes and such, but coming from the “suits” that’s the smart-ass answer that was given. I’m told they we’re very reluctant to answer or confirm any rumors that have been circulating of late, but hopefully some of these script details and recent articles in the papers, can confirm some of them.
So “Terminator”-fans don’t give up hope just yet, I believe there is enough good in this script to make another film worthwhile, but now it really comes down to the talent and budget brought on board to see justice brought to the screenplay. So for all you “it’s still gonna suck ‘cause Cameron’s still not involved”, flame on. But remember, it’s Cameron’s choice to not come back, and if it really was a lousy script, I’d be right behind you, but let’s wait and see what happens, as this is the first real big hurdle to clear.
Time to “self-terminate” now. -“Mysterio”