Skydance Prods. and Annapurna Pictures, the companies behind the upcoming Terminator film trilogy, are expanding the franchise to television with a TV series to be done in conjunction with the first rebooted Terminator film slated for release in 2015. The series will be written and exec produced by feature scribes Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller (X-Men: First Class, Thor), with the writers of the upcoming Terminator movie Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier serving as executive producers.
The series will follow a critical moment from the original 1984 Terminator movie, taking it in a completely different direction that the film. Plot details about the upcoming Terminator movie are being kept under wraps, but it too is expected to be tied to the first movie. As the rebooted film trilogy and the new television series progress, the two narratives will be designed to intersect with each other. (Thus the head-on involvement in the series of the new film’s writers Kalogridis and Lussier.) For now, Paramount, which is Skydance and Annapurna’s partner on the feature trilogy, is not involved in the TV series, but that could change down the line. Paramount is returning to television, recently relaunching a TV division. Skydance too recently expanded into television, landing its first series, The Manhattan Project, on WGN America. The companies’ plan to intertwine the narratives of movies and TV series is reminiscent of Marvel’s efforts with Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and movies like Thor and The Avengers – but on a bigger scale. Imagine attempted to do something as ambitious with the adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower, which was envisioned as a movie trilogy with TV series bridging the films, but the project didn’t get off the ground. The Terminator TV series will be produced by Megan Ellison of Annapurna and David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross of Skydance.
The blockbuster Terminator franchise, which has earned more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office, has spawned a TV series before: Fox’s 2008 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Casting of the Sarah Connor role in the upcoming film is now underway, with Arnold Schwarzenegger booked for a return as the title character. Stentz and Miller also wrote the upcoming films Starship Troopers and The Fall Guy. Their series credits include Fox’s Fringe.