TERMINATOR Anime Series Coming To Netflix With THE BATMAN Co-Writer On Board As Showrunner

Netflix and Skydance have announced a new anime television series based on the blockbuster Terminator franchise. The Batman co-writer Matt Tomlin is on board as showrunner and executive producer.

With the latest Terminator movies failing to captivate audiences, the franchise's big-screen future has been in limbo. With the franchise struggling and the future of movie theatres already uncertain due to COVID-19, Skydance Media is teaming up with Netflix to expand the sci-fi universe through an all-new anime series on the streaming service.

The upcoming Terminator series is being produced in partnership with Production I.G., the Japanese anime studio behind Ghost in the Shell, B The Beginning and other hits. And there is some incredible talent already on board. Mattson Tomlin, who co-wrote The Batman alongside Matt Reeves and Peter Craig, will serve as the series showrunner and executive producer.

"Anyone who knows my writing knows I believe in taking big swings and going for the heart. I'm honored that Netflix and Skydance have given me the opportunity to approach Terminator in a way that breaks conventions, subverts expectations and has real guts," Tomlin said of his new project.

Directed by James Cameron, Terminator first released in 1984. It starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as a cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) before she could give birth to her son, who will one day save making from extinction by a hostile AI known as Skynet. The film also starred Michael Biehn as Kyle Reese, a soldier sent back in time to protect her. Terminator was a box office success, grossing $78.3 million on a $6.4 million budget.

While Terminator was a success, the franchise really blew up with 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The blockbuster sequel saw Arnold Schwarzenegger return as another Model 101 Terminator, only this time reprogrammed by the human resistance in the future and sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor and her now 10-year-old son, John, from a more advanced liquid metal, shapeshifting T-1000. The film grossed a whopping $520.9 million at the box office and is considered one of the greatest 90s action movies.

There have since been four more movies in the franchise: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), Terminator Genisys (2015), and the most recent Terminator: Dark Fate (2019). Dark Fate was probably the best-received film of the bunch but also the biggest underachiever at the box office with a global haul of $261 million on a $185 million budget.

Despite the box office struggles, Netflix is confident that the Terminator franchise is one that can continue to grow, especially with a home at Netflix.

“Terminator is one of the most iconic sci-fi stories ever created--and has only grown more relevant to our world over time. The new animated series will explore this universe in a way that has never been done before," said John Derderian, Netflix VP of Japan & Anime. "We can’t wait for fans to experience this amazing new chapter in the epic battle between machines and humans.” 

Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, President and CEO of Production I.G added: “I asked my long-time friend and colleague Mamoru Oshii what he thought about the idea of turning Terminator into an animated series. His response was "Ishikawa, are you out of your mind?” At that instant, I was confident we should get onboard. As huge fans, our team at Production I.G is putting their heart and souls into creating this series. We hope fans will enjoy it!”

Terminator is obviously one of the most iconic sci-fi franchises of all time with an intriguing premise that, unfortunately, became stale with movie rehashes. Hopefully, this new anime series can expand upon the lore and universe of the franchise in a way that's new and interesting.

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