James Cameron has shared some previously unseen sketches from Aliens and Terminator. After spending years writing and developing the new Avatar sequels, James Cameron suddenly seems to be appearing everywhere. He’s currently filming Avatar 2 and 3, in addition to producing Tim Miller’s new Terminator sequel. The rights of the Terminator series reverted to Cameron recently, leading to him spearheading a potential new trilogy that will unite both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor with a new cast of characters.
The filmmaker is also producing and co-wrote the script for Robert Rodriguez’ Alita: Battle Angel, which is based on the cult manga of the same name. Finally, he’s hosting AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story Of Science Fiction, where he speaks with other great names in genre cinema like Ridley Scott and George Lucas. Simply put, he’s got a packed schedule.
Cameron is a talented artist, too, and was responsible for the designs of both the T-800 – which he sketched from a particularly vivid nightmare – and the Alien Queen. SYFY WIRE was able to get hold of some previously unseen sketches of those two iconic characters, which come from the new book James Cameron’s Story Of Science Fiction, a tie-in for the AMC series.
There’s also a storyboard from the T-800’s gruesome self-surgery in the original.
Both Aliens and Terminator are considered classics and have inspired countless other movies, TV shows and video games over the years. Part of what inspired Cameron to return to the Terminator series is the rise of A.I. and drone warfare, which is a topic that’s more relevant than ever. Cameron has also confirmed the movie will ignore Terminator 3-5 and treat them as alternate timeline stories, and the next installment will be the true third movie.
Even if he didn’t have a packed schedule for the foreseeable future, it appears unlikely Cameron would ever consider a return to the Alien series. He briefly considered writing a script exploring the origin of the creature for Ridley Scott, but once the studio greenlit Alien Vs Predator instead, he lost all interest in the project. Scott went on to mine those prequel concepts for Prometheus and Alien: Covenant.
Depending on the success of the next two Avatar movies, James Cameron will dive straight into parts four and five to round out the saga. While the original Avatar remains the highest grossing movie of all time, it’s not quite as beloved as either Terminator or Aliens among sci-fi fans, so it will be interesting to see how audiences respond to his return to Pandora.