Terminator: Dark Fate CinemaCon footage gives people their first look at the upcoming sequel. Following James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991, the franchise has experienced some pretty rough stretches. The three subsequent films that followed all saw diminishing returns, with things hitting a nadir after 2015's Terminator: Genisys bombed at the box office and failed to start the trilogy it intended to launch.
Once the dust settled on that debacle, the franchise rights reverted back to Cameron, who wrote and directed the iconic first two installments. With Cameron serving in a producing role, the reins were handed to Deadpool's Tim Miller, and it was revealed this film would be a series retcon as a direct sequel to Judgment Day. Ever since this movie was announced, fans have been curious to see how it would all pan out and now CinemaCon attendees received a taste.
During Paramount's presentation at the convention today, they screened the first Dark Fate footage. It begins with MacKenzie Davis' character Grace time-traveling and landing in Mexico, where she makes quick work of cops investigating the situation. She attacks one with a baton, throws the second a far distance, and breaks the third's neck against a car door. She then steals a car belonging to two punks and drives off. Another scene served as an introduction to Gabriel Luna's T-1000 showing up and a skeleton T-800 throw a spear. Grace is protecting a young girl and picks up the spear so she has a weapon. Sarah Connor then arrives in a car, firing a shotgun out the window and launching a rocket at Terminators. The rest of the footage was primarily a sizzle reel of action beats with the highlights being Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous Terminator shooting his own weapon and Sarah reciting the famous "I'll be back" line.
Judging by the social media reactions, the Terminator footage went over well with the crowd, as many were quick to praise its style and feel. Miller, of course, made a name for himself staging standout, R-rated action sequences with Deadpool, so it's nice to hear his sensibilities apparently transferred over to this franchise. The hope with Dark Fate is that it can take the property back to its roots, and from the sound of things, the team is on the right track. It remains to be seen how the final product turns out, but it certainly doesn't hurt Dark Fate's prospects that it's generating positive buzz this early in the game. Ideally, proper marketing materials will only continue to excite viewers.
As a studio, Paramount is in dire need of a smash hit. The rebooted Star Trek film franchise is on ice now, and the Transformers movies have lost much of their commercial viability in recent years. It's true Paramount has the ever-reliable Mission: Impossible series to bring in revenue, but they'd certainly like to have another tentpole to complement it. They're banking on Dark Fate serving that role, which is a fairly risky proposition. It's been a long time since Terminator scored a successful film, but if anyone can bring it back to its glory days, it's Cameron and Miller. Fingers crossed Dark Fate delivers and kickstarts the trilogy Cameron wants.
- Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019