Franchises and shared universes, as much as a profitable and lucrative property as they seem, are really more of a double edged sword in my opinion. Even uber-successful franchises such as the MCU had to significantly invest in already widely known comic book properties before even their mediocre films towards the middle were given a critical pass and had a brand identity of their own. In that, new franchises with virtually no history cannot afford mediocre films in the middle after starting off with movies that are to-date considered trendsetters in their respective genres. Yes, I am trying to marginalise the discussion to bring the attention to the ever fluctuating ‘Terminator’ franchise, that has really taken the ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ route, and that is something that really, really frustrated me.
Keeping personal opinions aside on this one though, since my faith is still intact due to Cameron’s serious involvement in the project, the other edge of the double edged sword I was talking about was about a contingency plan in case the franchise seemed to be flailing or fledgling. While for regular franchises like, say the Batman, a reboot is the way to go for the studios, but franchises where even the remotest possibility of time travel exists, the solution is right in front of your eyes.
That’s what ‘Days of Future Past’ did to virtually erase the events of the films it didn’t like and essentially reboot the entire franchise with newer cast members, and that’s the route the Terminator films seem to have taken to completely discard the events of ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’, ‘Terminator: Salvation’ and ‘Terminator: Genisys’, stating them to be in a separate universe of their own, with ‘Dark Fate’ in all its essence being a sequel to ‘The Terminator’ and ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’, lending itself to fruition through a fateful turn of events that led to the rights to the franchise being reverted to the original owner after 35 years.
Cameron of course capitalized on that and took the reins in his hands, starting an extensive exercise on course correcting for the franchise. In fact, Cameron and Hamilton, both of whom will be returning in their previous, fuller capacities for ‘Dark Fate’ have been pretty vocal in expressing their discontentment with the three Terminator films that followed T2: Judgement Day, terming the movies as a “bad dream” and “pretty forgettable” respectively. More on that later, as currently we progress on learning all that we know about the much awaited action flick due for the second half this year. Read on.
Terminator Dark Fate Plot: What is it about?
The exact plot of the film isn’t completely known as of now, but the trailer does give us a fair outline of what’s to come and what to expect. The official synopsis of the film states that “27 years after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a new, modified liquid metal Terminator is sent from the future by Skynet in order to terminate Dani Ramos, a hybrid cyborg human and her friends. Sarah Connor comes to their aid, as well as the original Terminator, for a fight for the future.” As part of the course correction for the franchise, Linda Hamilton herself would be returning to her iconic role of Sarah Connors, looking pretty badass while doing it. She is pretty alive and kicking as opposed to her actually dying of leukaemia being one of the first things that the third film does, significantly establishing that NONE of the events from Terminator 3, 4 or 5 matter for this one.
From the looks of it, and especially because no actor has been cast to portray John Connor in the film, with Jude Collie only serving as body double for a younger John on whose face, Edward Furlong’s 1991 face would be recreated, it might quite be possible that Sarah grew to be the leader of the resistance in their war against the machines, with John either dead (less likely) or not appearing in the film.
Schwarzenegger too would be returning along with two great mysteries that I hope take up some of the screen time to suggest what happened, especially given after the events of T-2, particularly its heartbreaking end wherein he sacrificed himself in that vat of molten steel. He also seems to have “humanly” aged from the trailer, so that is another mystery. Well, the man said he’d be back, and would continue to do so whenever so much as says “Terminator”, but hey, we aren’t complaining. While I am plain hyped with the return of these two series veterans reprising now iconic roles, the new additions that provide the outline of the new movie also get me pretty excited, even while realising that it’s more or less the same blueprint.
The plot would primarily involve Rev-9, the advanced liquid metal terminator from Skynet travelling back in time to kill Daniella Ramos (Dani) who will presumably have some ties to the Resistance, or less likely, to John Connor himself. She is joined by Grace, a humanoid assassin sent from the future to safeguard her against the prototype Terminator, and from the trailer, Grace appears to be kicking some serious ass. So it is clear that the makers are looking for her to take the mantle in a planned trilogy of sorts. The trailer shows the trio of Grace, Dani and her brother Miguel being attacked by Rev 9, just when Sarah Connor arrives with a big gun to blow things up and is later shown recruiting an aged T-800 for the mission too. In all of this, it would then seem pretty obvious that the “Judgement Day” was somehow averted, considering that 27 years have passed in the film’s timeline after the events of the second one.
Terminator Dark Fate Cast: Who is in it?
As discussed in the previous section too, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton would both be returning to their iconic roles of T-800, the OG Terminator and Sarah Connor, who, if the sequence of events are to be considered, has grown from perceivably a damsel in distress to a fierce fighter and perhaps an important part of the Resistance, the big mystery in all of it being the lack of any official announcements about adult John Connor.
The two veterans in the series are being joined by Natalia Reyes as Dani Ramos, this film’s “John Connor” if you may, and Mackenzie Davis as Grace, a firce humanoid fighter. ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ and the upcoming ‘Ghost Rider’ star Gabriel Luna would be starring as Rev 9, a prototype Terminator with liquid metal body that can seemingly disseminate into two. With the primary cast round up, Diego Bonita as Dani’s older brother Miguel, Jude Collie as a young John Connor’s body double, and Brett Azar serving as the body double for a younger Schwarzenegger in flashback sequences have been confirmed to star alongside.
Terminator Dark Fate Crew: Who is behind it?
“This is a continuation of the story from Terminator 1 and Terminator 2. And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream. Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.” By saying that, it is clear that Cameron is ready to now take full control of the franchise’s headings, and ‘Dark Fate’ will be the first in the series of films after T2, wherein he will also be serving in the capacity of a writer other than a producer.
A sizable team of people are involved in getting this project to reality, and those include Cameron himself, Charles Eglee, Josh Friedman, David Goyer and Justin Rhodes as part of the writer’s room formed for working out the direction for a possible trilogy if this one works, with the team working on an outline by Cameron, while Goyer, Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray will serve as screenwriters.
Cameron and David Ellison form Skydance, also producing, had Tim Miller from ‘Deadpool’ fame to be directing the film in mind since the inception of the project, and Miller soon after was signed on officially. Junkie XL would be doing the music for the film, and looking at his repertoire would seem like the perfect choice for the film’s perceived machinistic-cum-futuristic sounds. ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ will also be among the first movies that will put into effect the Disney Fox Merger, with Paramount serving as the distributors in North America and Disney, elsewhere. To further add to the delight of fans, the film is touted to be R-Rated by Cameron, another concerted effort in turning the film in the direction of its first and second predecessors.
Terminator Dark Fate Release Date: When will it premiere?
Following casting conflicts and numerous delays in the pre-production schedule itself, with Cameron regaining the IC rights to the characters and the films to be able to serve as producer himself along with Skydance’s David Ellison, the release date for ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has been set for November 1, 2019.
Read More: All Terminator Movies, Ranked