This summer, the Terminator franchise will be returning to theaters with Terminator: Dark Fate. While the first two films in the series remain action classics to this day, subsequent follow-ups and reboot attempts have been pretty big disappointments. Fans are still holding out hope that this new entry will help breath some life into the beloved but struggling franchise.
Though details have been kept under wraps for some time, the recent CinemaCon presentation of Terminator: Dark Fate revealed quite a bit of information. While there is still a lot we don't know about the film, there are more than a few intriguing tidbits that have us very excited for this new entry. Here's what we know about Terminator: Dark Fate.
The first Terminator film helped to make Arnold Schwarzenegger a superstar and the franchise just cannot seem to go on without him. Despite Schwarzenegger's age, the films are still finding new ways of keeping his T-800 character as a major part of the story.
For Terminator: Dark Fate, Schwarzenegger once again returns to his most iconic role. There's no hiding that he is an older man but the film will apparently embrace the action legend's age. It's unclear if that means he will be a human character for the first time in the franchise or simply an aged cyborg like in Terminator: Genysis.
9 Sarah Connor
While Schwarzenegger's T-800 has been the face of the franchise since its beginning, Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor is just as important. Hamilton herself has hilariously pointed out the fact that the films that left her out didn't fare so well, and it's true. The T-800 provides spectacular action sequences, but Sarah is the heart of those movies and gives the audience a character to really cheer for.
Thankfully, this new movie will bring back Hamilton is a big way. She looks to be front-and-center, reliving the action-hero version of Sarah Connor from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. She even gets to utter the franchise's famous line, "I'll be back".
8 Sequel To T2
The first two Terminator films are near-perfect genre films that brilliantly built the world and laid out the rules of the high concept. Since then the follow-ups have attempted to add new elements to the mythology and lore, none of which was very effective. It should be no surprise then that this new film will ignore those other films and act as a direct sequel to Terminator 2.
It's not likely too many fans will be sad to see the other entries wiped from history. Honestly, it just seems to be the simpler path to take to do away with the complicated later installments and start fresh.
7 New Cast
As exciting as it is to have both Schwarzenegger and Hamilton sharing the screen in a Terminator film again, this new film also looks to be setting the stage for a younger generation. The film has some exciting choices to possibly lead the franchise into the future.
Probably the biggest name to join the film is Mackenzie Davis who will play Grace. Davis is not a household name but she is building a strong career with standout performances in Black Mirror and Blade Runner 2049. Joining Davis is Colombian actress Natalie Reyes. It seems Reyes will play the lead human character while Davis is a human/cyborg hybrid.
6 Tim Miller Directing
Just three years ago, Tim Miller was a successful commercial director. He quickly became one of Hollywood's most in-demand new directors with his debut film, Deadpool. Miller proved to be up to the daunting task of bringing the beloved comic book character to life in a funny and thrilling action-comedy.
Somewhat surprisingly, Miller decided not to return for Deadpool 2 and instead chose to helm this film. Miller spoke emotionally at the CinemaCon presentation, showing that he has some real passion for this franchise. It will be great to see what his new vision looks like.
5 James Cameron’s Involvement
Having Schwarzenegger and Hamilton back does give us some confidence that the series could return to its glory days. However, there is still another important common denominator from those early films -- James Cameron. Of course, Cameron wrote and directed the first two installments before moving on to even bigger projects.
While he will not return to helm this new film, it is the first follow-up that has his direct involvement. He will produce the film and has been working with Miller throughout the development. It's clear Cameron has a lot of passion for his creation and it's great to see him finally return to it after all these years.
4 New Terminator
With a new Terminator film inevitably comes a new Terminator. With each new installment, we've been introduced to an upgraded version of the killer cyborg with advanced abilities. This film is no different.
In Terminator: Dark Fate, the newest T-1000 model will be played by Gabriel Luna (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and looks to be another unstoppable force. Miller also dropped some exciting details about what new bag of tricks this Terminator has, including the fact that he can split in two. That could make for some very cool action scenes.
3 The Plot
While the first two Terminator films are some great genre fun, they deserve a lot of credit for their clever and inventive premises as well. The time-travel element, the realization of the Terminators, the subversion of expectations in the sequel -- these are examples of fantastic storytelling.
Hopefully, this new film will find a creative story to tell worthy of its predecessors. Much of the story is being kept under wraps, but what we do know is Davis' hybrid character seems to be the time-traveler who teams up with Hamilton and Reyes as they are hunted by the T-1000. It's unclear how the T-800 fits in, but we're hoping for some clever twists to the story.
2 The Action
As impressive as the storytelling is in Cameron's Terminator films, the action is where the real thrills come from. The first Terminator is actually more of a thriller, but the sequel fully embraces the action movie elements and delivers in every way.
With James Cameron being one of the very best action directors around, Miller will have some big shoes to fill, but the early footage has a lot of people excited. CinemaCon gave audiences a glimpse at the kind of brutal and intense sequences we have to look forward to. Hamilton is said to be getting into the action and Davis might just emerge as a new modern action hero.
1 The Beginning Of A New Trilogy
As previously mentioned, this is not the first time the Terminator franchise has tried to find new life. But even while several of the reboots have failed already, the filmmakers behind this one seem to have some real confidence in the new groundwork they're setting.
Cameron has stated that he has laid out plans for a new trilogy that would start with this film. That might seem like putting the cart before the horse, but it is intriguing that it is Cameron himself that seems to be mapping out the future of the franchise. Let's hope Terminator: Dark Fate helps to kick-start this new trilogy in a satisfying way.