The Terminator and Blade: Coming to a TV near You

Arnold may have taken a hit Tuesday in the polls, but THE TERMINATOR is still fighting. Variety reports that the franchise is becoming a Fox TV series called THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES, which will focus on the character played by Linda Hamilton in the first two features and will take place between the second and third film. The series, which will be written and produced by WAR OF THE WORLDS scribe Josh Friedman, will also tie-in to the planned fourth TERMINATOR movie.

is not expected to be involved in TV series. And because the series will be focused on the Connor family, it’s
not anticipated that Gov. Arnold
would be a regular part of the skein either
regardless of his political fortunes a year from now.

[Producer James Middleton said] the series will explore what happened to Sarah Connor after
the end of "T2," when the character went on the run. "She has the weight of the
world on her shoulder and she also has to raise a 14-year-old son who may be the
salvation of the world," he said.

Friedman said his "challenge is trying to figure out how to reinterpret
(Connor) for television."

Because the "Terminator" franchise involves time travel and alternate
futures, Friedman believe he’ll be able to take a few plot liberties in the
series — emphasis on "few."

"The last thing I want to do is take a title and exploit it," Friedman said.
"The show needs to stand on its own while still being respectful of the

Unlike the features, "The Sarah Connor Chronicles" will not be non-stop
shoot-’em-up or chase scenes, in large part because of the reduced budgets of

"There’s going to be a healthy dose of both (action and family drama),"
Friedman said, noting that the "Terminator" mythology "has a lot of big ideas in
it that don’t cost you a dime to explore."

"T3: Rise of the Machines," produced by C2 and Intermedia, grossed $427
million worldwide; the franchise overall has grossed more than $1 billion.

Vajna said C2 has been weighing an entry into TV via the "Terminator"
franchise for nearly two years and said the company hopes to develop other
projects for the medium.

After deciding to take the plunge, ICM-repped C2 pitched the idea to several
studios, with Warner Bros. ultimately making the most sense, Vajna said. Warners
handled domestic distribution of "T3."

Friedman, repped by UTAUTA,
wrote the script for Brian De
De Palma
‘s upcoming "The Black Dahlia."

Meanwhile, another movie franchise, BLADE, is coming to television as well. The SpikeTV pilot will star Kirk "Sticky" Jone as the vampire hunter played by Wesley Snipes on the big screen. Jill Wagner, Neil Jackson, Nelson Lee and Jessica Gower round out the cast. Peter
will direct,   David Goyer (screenwriter of the BLADE trilogy)  is exec producing and co-wrote the script with Geoff Johns.

Here’s a little BLADE trivia for you… over a decade ago, Bill Rabkin & I wrote a BLADE feature script for New World Pictures, which owned the Marvel library at the time. New World was courting Richard Roundtree to star. Bill and I, Roundtree, and a bunch of studio execs had lunch at a fancy restaurant to talk about it…and all got horrific food poisoning afterwards. We were vomiting for days.  It was a bad omen. The movie…well, our version of it anyway, never got made.

Flash forward to 2004. Roundtree is cast in an episode of MISSING and I end up spending the day with him in an ADR studio. He doesn’t remember me, of course. So I mention the BLADE meeting and he starts laughing. "All I remember about that lunch is that it nearly killed me," he said.

5 thoughts on “The Terminator and Blade: Coming to a TV near You”

  1. “The last thing I want to do is take a title and exploit it,” Friedman said. “The show needs to stand on its own while still being respectful of the franchise.”
    Then don’t do it at all.

  2. I recall that Comics Scene Magazine (sister magazine to Starlog) kept listing your Blade project during the ’80’s as in the works. Since Blade, as a comic book character, was certainly influenced by Shaft, Roundtree as Blade might have been extremely cool.

  3. Yeah, it might have been. But they had some terrible director attached to the project — his name escape me now — and nothing ever came of it. i’ve always been fond of that script, though, I should go back and read it some time and see if it holds up.


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