IF Magazine: The Sarah Connor Chronicles!
Post by: Sal
IF Magazine Interview:
“The future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves,” became the mantra of the TERMINATOR film franchise, and now on Fox’s hit series TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES that statement continues to be true with out main characters valiantly trying to avert a future where humankind is virtually wiped out by thinking machines.
James Middleton is one of the producers on the series, and he is also one of the producers of the upcoming TERMINATOR SALVATION: THE FUTURE BEGINS feature film to be directed by McG. Now with the success of the series, iF MAGAZINE is more than a little curious as to the origins of THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES and we also chatted with Middleton to try to tease a few details out about future seasons if the series continues.
iF MAGAZINE: So beyond season one have you developed plots for future episodes?
JAMES MIDDLETON: We’ve got a general idea of where we want to go with season two. We have an overreaching plot idea, but obviously we haven’t broken any episodes down yet.
iF: Did you create a bible when you approached this series, as to what had to be address from previous films and what had to be left open for more movies?
MIDDLETON: We already had all of the genius stuff that James Cameron created in the first two movies -- so that informs everything we do. We frequently think either quietly to ourselves or out loud to each other about the characters he created. When we started casting the show last fall we started working on the bible and figured out ways that we would expand the mythology because we have a lot of time to do that on a television show that you can’t do in the movies. What we found being fans of the franchise and speaking to other people that were fans of the franchise is that people are really eager for new aspects and inventions based on what was created before in the films, so we spent a lot of time working on that. We spent a lot of time coming up with new characters and new scenarios and showing how really the evil that is presented as Skynet is much more pervasive than shown in the movies.
iF: Will there be episodes in future seasons that will show Cameron’s perspective and some of the time she spent in the future?
MIDDLETON: I can’t be that specific, but I can tell you that the future war and Judgment Day haunts everyone and we will be dealing with that in a number of different ways.
iF: Since Arnold Schwarzenegger is not really available to do a cameo, what would you think of bringing Robert Patrick on?
MIDDLETON: I personally love Robert Patrick as an actor and we’ve actually studied his performance in T2 because it was so beautiful and elegant and so well thought out. We have talked about him, but we don’t know what that role would be for him, we can’t bring him back as the character he played before, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play someone else. We do want to have echoes to the previous movies; we feel that is an asset for us. There’s a lot of good thoughts towards him so after this season, we’ll have to see how the next set of things play out.
iF: Besides Enrique, who was originally from T2, will there be other characters from Sarah Connor’s past who will help her in the present?
MIDDLETON: That’s absolutely right. Sarah is going to have to use other people that she feels she can trust to learn about the new time and world she is living in. The same will be true for other characters even from the first episode, including people that have thought she was dead and gone and when they encounter her or John it’s going to create a whole new set of problems.
iF: How many story arcs does your bible that you created plan ahead for?
MIDDLETON: I couldn’t answer that off the top of my head. But, I can tell you that as we process the number of characters we introduce is significant and the number of stories that come out of those introductions is also significant. What I can tell you we will not do is to tell a story where Sarah is chased by an antagonist Terminator in every episode, she is on the offensive. Through her detective work into how this pernicious artificial intelligence is born she’s been coming into contact with a lot of different people and each one of those people has a story behind them.
iF: What was incorporated into the new endoskeletons?
MIDDLETON: The design is updated. Jim Lima, who is our visual effects supervisor, made an entirely new endoskeleton and made some modifications that, for people who really wanted to look at how an endoskeleton functions would see it doing more things in terms of mobility that the previous endoskeletons couldn’t do. We have a new design, but as with many of the things from the first two movies, and I worked on the third movie and there were a lot of things I loved there as well, we think the endoskeleton Terminator design is incredibly durable and dangerous. Even though there are more evolved or exotic Terminator models such as the T-1000 or the TX, the endoskeleton designed by Stan Winston or Jim Lima is built for durability and full on war.
iF: Any chance of seeing the other female Terminator Kristanna Loken ?
MIDDLETON: We have not talked to her. I really like Kristanna, and she’s an amazing statuesque charismatic presence. What we decided to go with a totally new vision of the Terminator franchise. So in some places we felt it was inappropriate to bring in actors from the movies into our world where we having new actors interpret new visions of characters. It doesn’t mean we would ever limit ourselves to not having Kristanna because she is fantastic, but she’s a different kind of war machine than Josh [Friedman] wrote for Summer [Glau]. She’s an infiltrator and this is ultimately what we think James Cameron’s original intent was with Terminator, so infiltrators don’t need to be huge and statuesque or amazingly athletic. Summer happens to be amazingly athletic, but she’s also petite which we hadn’t seen before. She’s a new model and she is the ultimate infiltrator.