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Terminator 3 Director Explains Why T2 Was Such A Groundbreaking Movie


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Jonathan Mostow, the director of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, reflected on the franchise history and how revolutionary Terminator 2: Judgement Day was. The road to a follow-up film in the Terminator franchise took many years to get off the ground due to Caroloco Pictures filing for bankruptcy and differences in opinions between various studios and Terminator creator, James Cameron. When the film finally entered pre-production, many directors were considered for the job including Ang Lee, David Fincher, and Ridley Scott but it was Jonathan Mostow who eventually got the coveted job.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines opened in theaters on July 2, 2003, almost 12 years to the date of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The film was a box-office hit, grossing $433.4 million at the worldwide box-office, however, this was less than Terminator 2: Judgement Day's worldwide box-office of $519.8 million. The film received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, but it still proved profitable enough to pave the way for a sequel six years later, Terminator Salvation, but by then, Jonathan Mostow had stepped away from the franchise.

RELATED: Terminator 3: Every Scene Cut From Rise Of The Machines

Now, Mostow has reflected on the film and the major contribution Terminator 2: Judgement Day had on the franchise. In an interview with Comicbookmovie.com, Mostow talks about how the complicated rights issues to the Terminator franchise have impacted the various movies but noted how that further makes Terminator 2 so impressive. He set out to make Terminator 3: Judgement Day as a fan of the originals and has enjoyed what the various filmmakers have brought to each later installment. Mostow said the following regarding the franchise:

"I very much enjoyed making Terminator 3...Terminator 2 was such a groundbreaking, seminal film. It was the first time audiences had truly seen digital effects and rendered in a way that left their jaws on the floor. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing. You can only really dazzle people like that once. It was very hard, whether it be Terminator or any other film for that matter, to come up with the visual effects that could equal the dazzling spectacle of Terminator 2. When I made mine, I made it as a fan of the first two films trying to make the film I would have wanted to see. It’s been interesting to see subsequently different filmmakers, different producers, and even different casts coming along and reincarnating the film and extending the franchise. I haven't really been involved with the subsequent films. I was involved in developing the screenplay for Terminator 4, but elected to do something else and directed a different film instead. I have sat back like the rest of the world and just watched the franchise continue."

Since the release of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the franchise has gone down an interesting road. Despite recasting various characters, Terminator Salvation does play as a direct sequel to T3, featuring the newly introduced character of Katherine Brewster as John Connor's wife and showing the aftermath of the Judgement Day shown in it. However, the film underperformed at the box office, and the franchise was rebooted in 2015 with Terminator: Genisys in Arnold Schwarzenegger's official return to the series after his time as Governor of California. The franchise would then be rebooted once more in 2019 with the release of Terminator: Dark Fate with James Cameron returning to the franchise as producer and Linda Hamilton reprising her role as Sarah Connor. However, that film, like the previous entries, disappointed at the box-office, and currently no other Terminator film has been announced.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day cast a big shadow in the realm of not just the other Terminator films, but other action films as well. It has been cited as an influence on both Captain Marvel and the upcoming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. While Terminator 3: Rise of the Machine may not have been able to fully capture the success of the franchise, it was the first Terminator movie for an entire generation and helped expose them to the legacy.

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