In the future, mankind fights a war for survival against the intelligent machines which seek to dominate us. The main enemy of the computer which controls the machines is John Connor, leader of the human resistance.
Skynet has sent two terminators back through time to destroy John Connor, in an attempt to erase him from existence. They failed.
But now they've traced his lineage back even further. Discovering a new source of ancient records, Skynet now knows that one of John Connor's ancestors was a woman who sailed on the Titanic. History shows that this woman survived the night of April 14, 1912.
But history can be changed.
In the first motion picture to be granted a budget of over a billion dollars, director James Cameron seeks to unite his two biggest blockbuster film phenomena into one explosive, heartwrenching tale.
"The beauty of it all," said Cameron, "is that we can tell an entirely new tale without damaging the integrity of what has come before. As a film, Titanic still stands on its own. But now the audience can learn about another story that was going on at the same time, behind the scenes of Jack and Rose's romance, so to speak."
The third installment of the Terminator films will be set concurrently within the events which took place in the movie Titanic, taking place in between and behind that movie's storyline. Not only will it feature many of the same characters, but this gives Mr. Cameron the advantage of using the magnificent sets which have already been built, thus getting more mileage out of them.
It also gives him an opportunity to legitimately bring teen heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio, as ill-fated passenger Jack Dawson, back into the limelight, thus insuring that teeny boppers will flock to the theaters to see the tragedy played out yet another 30 times.
"It's the perfect plan, really," continued Cameron. "Leo and Kate were the main draws of Titanic, but Leo's character died. This way, I can bring him back for a short while, trot him back out for an encore, and make another $30 million while I'm at it.
"The time-travel element gives me a new angle, and a way to plausibly bring these tragic characters back so audiences can cry over them a second time. In fact, it'll be even more poignant because the time travel aspect could have been used to save them.
"But he's still fish-food," Mr. Cameron was quick to say.
And how does box-office draw Arnold Schwarzenneger feel about sharing the screen with another top star?
"I think it will be a wonderful film," the former Mr. Universe said. "I look forward to working with Leo and Kate very much. I've already spoken to Leo at great length about how skinny he is. I gave him a workout plan, but he won't be able to implement it until we've finished shooting, because he needs to look the same as he did in Titanic. He's such a girly-man."
Mr. Schwarzenegger will once again reprise his role as the Terminator, an unstoppable ruthless cyborg killer from the future.
He says he is looking forward to a humorous scene in the middle of the film, which features the Terminator attending a first-class dinner in a tuxedo and trying to fit in by copying the people around him, while across the room, Jack does the same (as already seen in Titanic.)
T3 will also have a freedom fighter sent back in time by the resistance to stop the Terminator. But unlike the first two films, this futuristic hero doesn't live long.
"He lives long enough to tell Jack Dawson what's going on and what his mission is, then he kicks the bucket. This plot development allows Jack to become the hero of the story, going up against the Terminator himself."
Does this mean that Rose is the Terminator's intended victim?
"No comment," Mr. Cameron said.