Bombshell ‘Terminator’ News:

Almost Good News, But Not So Fast. . .

by Renée J. Lukas

 

The announcement of Linda Hamilton reprising her role as Sarah Connor for the next Terminator film left me overjoyed because a) it’s Linda Hamilton, and b) when does Hollywood cast a 61-year-old to return to a blockbuster franchise, unless it’s a man? Cameron said it himself: “There are plenty 50-, 60-, 70-year-old guys still cranking it out in films but nothing like that with women.”

A ha.

This kind of proves the idea that Hollywood treats genders differently—with male actors, it’s about the character. With female actors, it’s about looks and level of hotness. Why else are actresses constantly replaced by younger women, even for the same role, as Hamilton was in Terminator Genisys, while geriatric men are resurrected from the grave to continue to play the action heroes they were known for decades ago?

Women in Hollywood are treated like sour cream in your refrigerator. Once the perceived expiration date has passed, in this case around age thirty-seven or forty, you’d better throw it in the trash!

Personally, I think it’s going to be very exciting to see, as Cameron suggested, the “seasoned warrior” she’s become. And guess what? People get more interesting with age! How much more fun is it to write a character who has a past? How cool is it to see the original actress who played Sarah and who she’s become now, how experience has shaped her? Too often audiences are cheated out of seeing what an older, yet familiar, actress would bring to the role she originated. There’s something very gratifying about that. But instead, Hollywood believes that actresses are all alike and easily replaceable. Just get somebody with blonde hair. But it’s not that simple. And Hollywood execs need to quit doing it. Hamilton was, and is, the quintessential badass no matter what her age. And excuse me, but I think experience is sexy. (Not that her character is supposed to be sexy, just a side thought.)

Unfortunately, before I was about to congratulate Cameron for his vision and groundbreakingness, I read a distressing report I hope is not true: that he STILL plans to center the latest Terminator around an 18-year-old woman! If this is true, his whole argument about offering something Hollywood hasn’t done before with an older female action hero just flies right out the window and he loses all credibility. In fact, I hope Hamilton doesn’t do the film if she has to play second fiddle to an 18-something. Cameron said that Hamilton “can show how it’s done.” Then don’t be a jerk, Cameron—get out of her way so she can do exactly that, without the help of an 18 year-old.

This story is one to watch, to see if things are really going to change in Hollywood. . .