EXCLUSIVE: James Cameron Speaks For The First Time After Watching ‘Terminator Salvation’

“Terminator” is back in the news these days, with the rights to the franchise on the auction block and “Terminator Salvation” director McG saying he’s keen to make more series films despite the middling critical and box office reception of his first effort. James Cameron, the man who created this man-vs.-machine world, has gone ahead and made a little news himself.

In what we believe are his first comments after seeing “Terminator Salvation,” Cameron sat down with MTV News’ Josh Horowitz and discussed his expectations about the film, how it fits into the overall franchise mythology and if there’s any chance he’ll return to the series now that the rights are on sale to the highest bidder.

“I have seen it, and unfortunately I saw it the wrong way, on cable at the hotel, while I was working, over three nights because I don’t have much time,” Cameron said. “It’s better than I thought it was going to be.”

Back-handed compliment much?

But Cameron went on to praise McG and his creative team for their efforts while also noting that the movie was missing some essential elements that made the earlier films such classics. “It’s actually quite reverential to the mythos of the ’Terminator’ world,” he said. “I think McG and the writers tried hard to keep reacquainting you with some of those ideas in the story that they were weaving. So actually I thought it was pretty cool. I did feel that it sort of lacked Je ne sais quoi. Although I love Sam [Worthington] in it. ”

No surprise there, considering Cameron has made Worthington the star of his 3-D alien love story, “Avatar” (out December 18). And with that film soon behind him, might the director turn his attention back to “Terminator,” now that the rights are once again available?

“No, ’Terminator’ is way in my rear-view at this point, kind of made my emotional break with it, back when I was finishing ’Titanic,’ believe it or not,” he said. “A very similar conversation cropped up at that time because the rights were in play at that point…. I was thinking about [a third ’Terminator’ film] but I had decided emotionally to be done with it, and it just feels like last millennium stuff for me, at this point. Now it’s been a TV show, and two films since, and trying to go back and reshape it like that stuff didn’t exist doesn’t make sense.”

Do you agree with Cameron’s assessment of “Terminator Salvation”? His reasoning for not wanting to return to the series after all these years?

Remember to tune in to MTV on Wednesday, December 16, at 4pm EST/1pm PST for the latest episode of “Behind the Screen.” You’ll see plenty more from our lengthy sitdown with Cameron, an all-new exclusive “Avatar” clip and exclusive first looks at “The Other Guys” and “Dinner for Schmucks.”