The Terminator (1984) writer and director James Cameron returns to produce this sixth installment of the franchise, which features two familiar faces. Arnold Schwarzenegger returns for another go-round as the T-800, a cyborg once dispatched from the future by Skynet to fend off human resistance to machine rule; Linda Hamilton reprises her Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day role as Sarah Connor, who fled Arnold’s T-800 in the original and befriended him in the sequel. This time, Connor aids a group of people on the run from unstoppable liquid metal assassin Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna), who can separate his endoskeleton from his body.
Directed by: Tim Miller
Written by: David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes, and Billy Ray
Starring: Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, and Gabriel Luna
- James Cameron has not had an active role in the franchise since 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Regaining some of the rights to the original 35 years after its release—he sold those rights for just $1 so he would be guaranteed a shot at directing the 1984 original—he consented to participating in this sequel, for which he wrote the story treatment.
- Dark Fate will reportedly ignore the events of the three previous Terminator films: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator: Salvation (2009), and Terminator: Genysis (2017). How? All the films involve time travel, a convenient way of rewriting both the past and future of the franchise.
- The T-800 seen in this film will have visibly aged, with director Miller opting not to digitally de-age Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is now 72 years old. The cyborg has apparently assimilated into society and goes by the name “Carl” when Hamilton seeks out his help to fight Rev-9.
- Skynet, the sentient computer intelligence that stages a cyborg uprising in the continuity of the films, won’t be a presence in Dark Fate. Instead, Luna’s Terminator is a product of Legion, the technology that rose up in place of Skynet following its destruction at the end of T2.
- This is the first Terminator film since 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines to be rated R.
- Linda Hamilton, 63, trained for a year to return to the chiseled physique she sported in T2. “There was Pilates but there was also nutrition and physical therapy,” she said. “I didn’t eat carbohydrates for a year. We did our very best to see how we could pull Sarah Connor from my body.”
- Schwarzenegger and Hamilton aren’t the only returning cast members. Actor Edward Furlong, who made his acting debut portraying a young John Connor in T2, is set to briefly reprise the role in the new film.
- If audiences are receptive, Cameron says that Dark Fate could be the first in a new Terminator trilogy. “We rolled up our sleeves and started to break out the story and when we got a handle on something we looked at it as a three-film arc, so there is a greater story there to be told,” he said. “If we get fortunate enough to make some money with Dark Fate we know exactly where we can go with the subsequent films.”
Paramount Pictures will distribute Terminator: Dark Fate in theaters on November 1, 2019.