Netflix just dropped the Sci-Fi action adventure movie titled ‘The Adam Project’ starring Ryan Reynolds, and the potential franchise opener could have a huge impact on the future of the Terminator franchise for reasons you won’t be expecting…
Did you read the title and shake your head with sheer exasperation? Did you think: ‘Uhhh, there aren’t gonna be any more Terminator movies… at least not for a long time.’?
There was a time, around the failure of Terminator Genisys, that I had convinced myself of the same thing. I believed that the fifth movie had most likely doomed the already faltering franchise to take yet another hiatus for an indefinite amount of time. Then along sauntered Terminator: Dark Fate, with its sweet promises of renewed glory – a gift given with one hand and (remember, it’s all subjective) taken away with the other… ‘Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger AND James Cameron are back!’… This was swiftly followed by the studios’ ‘John Connor is OVER’ party, and yet more franchise fracturing.
The sixth Terminator movie, though a success with many of the big movie outlets, failed to resonate with potential audiences and bombed at the box office, throwing the future of the franchise into question once more.
Though despite the failures of the last two movies, one thing seems inevitable: Terminator 7 will eventually materialize, regardless of diminishing returns, whether it takes months, years or decades – the announcement of a new Terminator movie will most certainly happen.
So, what has this got to do with Ryan Reynolds’ The Adam Project? Well…
As any Terminator Fan who has followed this franchise will know; the studios behind the last two Terminator movies were Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media, those same two studios scooped up the Ryan Reynolds project back in 2012 (when it still had Tom Cruise attached to star as the titular character) and had intended to co-pilot the production together. Although the movie stalled for nearly a decade, it was revived in 2020 when it moved from Paramount to Netflix, with Skydance still on board to produce.
The Adam Project has drawn many comparisons with other big Sci-Fi / fantasy properties but it also openly references them: “lightsabers” Star Wars, “Biff” Back to the Future, “Superhero landing” Deadpool, and…
“We’ve seen Terminator, right? That’s 2050 on a good day.”The Adam Project
A Skydance movie which references an IP currently owned by Skydance – funny, right?
Back in February 2021 Comingsoon.net reported that:
“In The Adam Project, Reynolds stars as a man who travels back in time to get help from his 13-year-old self (Walker Scobell). Together, they have to find their late father, who is now the same age as Reynolds, and set things right in order to save the future.”Comingsoon
I mean, that already sounded kinda familiar, didn’t it?
But wait a minute; it’s actually more than that:
“The film will be directed by Levy (Stranger Things) from a screenplay written by Jonathan Tropper and David Ellison.”Comingsoon
David Ellison, the head honcho at Skydance co-wrote the screenplay for The Adam Project, except you wouldn’t know it looking at the list of names credited for writing / rewriting the movie, of which Mr. Ellison’s name is not mentioned. So, why wasn’t he credited? It may have been his preference to remain uncredited, or he simply didn’t meet the threshold provided by the Screenwriters Guild of America – given the numerous rewrites (a decade in development hell usually means multiple drafts).
“Any writer whose work represents a contribution of more than 33% of a screenplay shall be entitled to screenplay credit, except where the screenplay is an original screenplay. In the case of an original screenplay, any subsequent writer or writing team must contribute 50% to the final screenplay.”WGA Screen Credits Manual
This isn’t the first time that the Skydance owner has stepped in to write on a movie that he’s producing…
The New York Times stated that:
“He [David Ellison] worked with writers to lay out the ambitious ‘Terminator Genisys’ story line”The New York Times
Variety stated of Terminator: Dark Fate, that:
“Cameron and Miller’s writer’s room included David Goyer, Justin Rhodes, and Josh Friedman. Ray is now coming on to polish the script that is based on a story conceived by Cameron, Miller, and Skydance founder David Ellison.”Variety
Mr. Ellison clearly doesn’t want to be known as just some piggybank for big movie studios; he appears intent on making a name for himself in also writing the movies he produces.
Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer stated that:
“He [David Ellison] has really good story ideas, he is very driven and he understands the business side, the deals, almost to the degree a lawyer might,”Jerry Bruckheimer told NYT
Skydance and David Ellison also previously produced the Terminator-esque post-apocalytic Chris Pratt movie The Tomorrow War.
David Ellison has contributed story / writing / ideas on the last two Terminator movies and has now co-written a movie for Netflix – that might not seem like much as just a statement of fact, but what if those experiences were the first steps of a fledgling writer testing the waters for becoming the lead writer on a new Terminator movie?
Would you watch a Skydance produced, David Ellison written Terminator 7?