For years now, the world’s “Terminator” fans have been comfortable in the knowledge that we would never again be excited by the prospect of seeing another film in the franchise: The last one, “Terminator Genisys,” was even more muddled than its title. But in an announcement this week, James Cameron, the series’ creator, said that another “Terminator” would soon be rolling off the production line. And he gave us two good reasons to hope that civilization won’t be crushed by robots before its release.
One is that Mr. Cameron himself will be overseeing the production, having walked away from the series after writing and directing “The Terminator” in 1984 and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” in 1991. The second reason is that Linda Hamilton will be back as Sarah Connor, the heroine of the first two films — never mind that she was killed off before the events of “Terminator 3.”
You could call Ms. Hamilton’s appearance a cynical, last-ditch attempt to save a franchise that has worsened with every sequel. But in fact the news is yet another example of Mr. Cameron’s remarkable habit of staying ahead of the competition, whether he is pioneering C.G.I. for “Terminator 2” or advancing digital 3D with “Avatar.” Ms. Hamilton, after all, is now 60 years old — and who else is putting 60-year-old action heroines in their blockbusters?
“It’s going to make a huge statement to have that seasoned warrior that she’s become return,” Mr. Cameron told the Hollywood Reporter. “There are 50-year-old, 60-year-old guys out there killing bad guys, but there isn’t an example of that for women.”
He’s right. Liam Neeson, Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford and a certain Arnold Schwarzenegger are still flexing their biceps and their trigger fingers, but the closest I can think of to a female equivalent is Helen Mirren in “Red.” Clarice Starling has been silent for years. “Tomb Raider” is being relaunched with Alicia Vikander, 28, stepping into the desert boots of the 42-year-old Angelina Jolie.