There are some days when you end up seated for an interview for several minutes before things get started and you end up doing a little small talk ahead of time, which can be weird when it's a big star or someone who just doesn't like the process. But other times, you're hustled through without even a moment to catch your breath, and when it's Arnold Schwarzenegger in the room, they do not waste a single second.
We were there to discuss his new movie “Sabotage,” co-written and directed by David Ayer, and it was an easy if brief conversation. Near the end of things, though, I had a question I wanted ask Arnold about 2015's “Terminator Genesis,” or whatever it's going to be called, as well as the long-rumored “King Conan” that he's still talking about starring in for 2017.
While both of them are sequels to earlier films of his, I feel differently about the potential of each one. I can see why you'd want to narratively go back to “King Conan.” The idea of a barbarian living to the age of 60 is mind-boggling anyway, simply because of the world in which he lives. To make it to that age, he would have to be legendarily violent, and revisiting him at the end of that life sounds like an opportunity to tell a totally different kind of story than was told in the John Milius film.
But with “The Terminator,” I'm still not sure I believe there's any gas left in the tank. It feels to me like a cheat after everything Sarah Connor when through in the first two films. Sure, you can keep sending robots back to kill her and you can show the Future War, but… bah, I've said this before.
Basically, I wanted to ask Schwarzenegger why I should be excited by him returning to the things he used to do instead of trying new things like “Sabotage,” and I think I phrased it in a way that wasn't confrontational. I mean it when I say I'd love to be excited by a new “Terminator” film, and I'll say this for Schwarzenegger… when he gave me his answer, I believe the enthusiasm you see, and I think there's something kind of lovely about him still viewing it as an honor to be asked back to another chapter in a franchise. He knows he's not a kid anymore, and I wonder if he took his comeback after politics as a given, or if he had his own doubts about whether or not the audience would still be there for him.
I'll have my review of “Sabotage” and more interviews with the cast between now and opening day.
“Sabotage” is in theaters March 28, 2014.