Before “Avatar,” before “Titanic,” the movie franchise that would have been an easy connection to the name of filmmaker James Cameron would be “Terminator.” The concept of a human-looking robot assassin from a dark future dominated by machines was a starkly iconic idea. From its relatively low-key sci-fi horror 1984 debut, it ballooned into a very expensive SFX and CGI-laden action epic with the 1991 sequel “Judgment Day,” although subsequent “Terminator” films would be lesser appreciated, from either an attempted direct sequel to spinoffs. Paramount looks to try the franchise again this year with “Terminator: Dark Fate,” the first trailer of which arrived this week according to CBS News.
Perhaps the main draw of this new “Terminator” film is the fact that it goes beyond just featuring key iconic characters of the franchise, such as Sarah and John Connor and the titular T-800 Model 101 Terminator. Rather, they would have another past cast-member join in the project alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is none other than Linda Hamilton, the original actress for Sarah Connor whose performance was much hailed in the 1991 sequel, where she transitioned from the hapless survivor of “The Terminator” to the hard-bitten action mom of “Judgment Day.”
The trailer for “Dark Fate” jumps into the action without much framing or world-building. Once again, the machine leader Skynet has sent an advanced Terminator model from the future to kill a young girl (Natalia Reyes) in the past. Said girl finds a guardian in a young woman (Mackenzie Davis) who, despite insisting that she is human, has a Terminator-like endoskeleton under her skin, with all the superhuman ability that implies. The new Terminator Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna) however has a new combination of old tricks from past models, and the only one who might be able to help its targets are an aged Sarah Connor (Hamilton) and an apparently-surviving T-800 (Schwarzenegger) with aged living-tissue disguise.
James Cameron returns to the “Terminator” franchise with “Dark Fate,” though only as producer and co-writer. Directing duties are given over to Tim Miller, who can be credited as one of the reasons for the surprise success of 2016’s “Deadpool” from 20th Century Fox. Cameron gave a definitive word on the status of such “Terminator” entries as “Rise of the Machines” (2003), “Salvation” (2009), “Genesys” (2015) and the TV series “Sarah Connor Chronicles” (2008-09) where the title role was played by Lena “Cersei” Headey. These installments apparently happened in alternate histories while their storyline for “Dark Fate” will be a direct sequel to “Judgment Day.”
Diego Bonita, Jude Collie and Enrique Arce also star in the movie, co-produced by Paramount and now-Disney subsidiary 20th Century Fox. The former will distribute the film in North America while Disney handles distribution on the international scene. “Terminator: Dark Fate” premieres this November 1.
Image courtesy of Comic Book.com