WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Terminator: Dark Fate
It turns out Edward Furlong is just as shocked and dismayed about what happened to John Connor in the latest Terminator film as everyone else as the often-troubled former child star weighs in on the death of his character in Terminator: Dark Fate. Set after the events of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Dark Fate featured Furlong’s long-awaited return as the future savior of mankind, John Connor. He reprised the role via the use of CGI to imprint his face on a younger body in order to recreate the character as he was in 1991.
Terminator fans were expecting the boy hero to have a larger role in the sequel, but John’s fate took a much darker turn in the new timeline created by him and his mother in the previous film. While relaxing at a beach in Guatemala, John is gunned down by a remnant Terminator, dying mere minutes into the movie and radically changing the course of history. With John dead, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) makes it her mission to hunt Terminators, until she comes across the new destined savior, Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes).
In an interview with Alex Leyba, Furlong was apparently caught off-guard about what would become of his character and was a little let down by the development. “They smoked my ass!” he exclaimed. “That was the role. I did it for a day – I shot for one day. And, yeah, we did some CGI. They paid me. So, I mean, ya know. It kinda bums me out. Cause I’d love to do a whole one and make a shit-ton of money. I would love to do more, but we’ll see what happens.”
The plot twist, which was series creator James Cameron’s idea, took many fans by surprise. Several viewers were outraged by the death of the central character of the franchise in such a sudden manner, and this, alongside the plot borrowing heavily from past films, lead to Dark Fate being one of the most divisive and poorly performing installments of a series that has seen its fair share of fan backlash over the years.
One area of Furlong’s statement gives pause, the mention of wanting to return for a larger role in a future film. John may be dead for now, but the one thing the Terminator series is known for, aside from killer robots from Austria, is constant retcons to the lore via time-travel. It’s entirely possible that in a sequel to Dark Fate, new Resistance leader Dani might wish to save John by undoing his tragic end, most likely to gain the former soldier’s aide in battling the machine armies of the rogue A.I., Legion. If that were to happen, we could finally see an adult Furlong in the future, helping to lead mankind to victory like many moviegoers were hoping for with Terminator: Dark Fate.