Franchise lag: Actors take solace in roles that made them stars

08/07/14 by Rennie Detore

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in the spotlight, only after he returned to the role that made him a household name.
Schwarzenegger announced recently the new name of the latest "Terminator" movie in the franchise, the fifth installment and fourth with Schwarzenegger attached to it.
"Terminator Genisys" is the tag line of the latest movie in the series, but the real news goes above and beyond the name itself. Schwarzenegger once again finds himself as the centerpiece of what promises to be a major Hollywood blockbuster, something he hasn't been able to say since his return to acting after serving as governor of the state of California.

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"Terminator Genisys" hits the theaters in July 2015, but Schwarzenegger already is diving head first into publicity and promotion for the movie event next year, which shouldn't be surprising since the man who once dominated the movie scene in the 1980s and most of the 1990s has flopped to epic proportions with his latest movie offerings.
Schwarzenegger scored meager, porous reviews for "The Last Stand" and "Sabotage," and neither earned much in the way of fanfare or dollars at the movie theaters or even in DVD sales. Not even the overseas revenue, which is typically counted on for movies that bomb in the states, could save either of these two flicks for Arnold.
He had a small role in the second "Expendables" movie, and even his teaming with Sylvester Stallone in "Escape Plan" couldn't drum up any interest at the box office.
And with that, Arnold does what most actors of his generation who are struggling to stay relevant do: go back to basics, namely movies that are sure fire winners no matter how much a particular actor has fallen out of relevancy.
For those who shame or make jokes about Schwarzenegger headlining another "Terminator" movie at almost 70 years old, you shouldn't. Granted, his stature and mystique is all but gone, but he won't be the first actor to find solace in a show or movie that makes them feel important again.
Call it a quick pay day or an infusion to the ego, but for Schwarzenegger, Stallone or anyone else who portrayed an iconic character as part of a memorable movie, it's a chance to have one last dance (or maybe two or three depending on how many installments come afterward).
When Johnny Depp decides to don the Jack Sparrow garb for another "Pirates" movie, you shouldn't shake your head in disapproval but simply enjoy the ride that is Depp, Schwarzenegger or Stallone taking the shape of an onscreen superstar that made them famous.
You know that Schwarzenegger and his counterparts are doing just that, too.

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