During the Terminator: Dark Fate panel at San Diego Comic-Con's Hall H, director Tim Miller revealed that the movie will deal directly with the consequences of Sarah Connor's decision to destroy Cyberdyne Systems at the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. As we've previously learned, Terminator: Dark Fate will ignore the events of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: Genisys, and instead serve as a direct sequel to Terminator 2.
The timeline of the Terminator movies has been confusing from the start. The twist of 1984's The Terminator was that Kyle Reese was actually John Connor's father and impregnated Sarah Connor after being sent back in time by the adult John Connor - raising the question of where the original John Connor came from. Things only got more complicated from there, as Terminator 3 revealed that the destruction of the Cyberdyne Systems laboratory had only delayed the rise of Skynet, not prevented it entirely. And the less said about Terminator: Genisys' time travel plot, the better.
Produced by Terminator and Terminator 2 director James Cameron, Terminator: Dark Fate is wiping the slate partially clean and going back to the end of the last truly great movie in the Terminator franchise. The movie will recreate the end of Terminator 2 using body doubles and CGI (with young actor Jude Collie playing Edward Furlong's John Connor, and Brett Azar as the stand-in for Schwarzenegger's younger Terminator). This presumably means that we'll see the immediate fallout of Cyberdyne's destruction before the movie jumps ahead to a future where Sarah Connor is leading the Resistance. Speaking to EW earlier this week, Miller explained why the destruction of Cyberdyne is such a pivotal event:
"Jim [Cameron] had this lucky break that he only broke that rule at the end of Terminator 2 when Sarah destroys Cyberdyne, it’s the first thing that happened that hadn’t happened before, and so it was going to change the future — but no one knew how. And I don’t think the movies that came after it really explored that in a clean way like I believe we are, with true consequences, and it makes perfect sense for Sarah to be the one to face those consequences since they were her choices to begin with.”
Miller compared Terminator: Dark Fate's timeline to that of Avengers: Endgame, explaining that the existence of multiple timelines would mean there were no stakes, so everything that the characters do in the present will affect the future. The biggest news out of the panel is that Terminator 2 actor Edward Furlong will be reprising his role as John Connor, though he didn't expand on exactly how John Connor fits into the story.
Terminator: Dark Fate sees Linda Hamilton returning as Sarah Connor and, of course, Schwarzenegger back as the Terminator - who, as fans may recall, was melted in a vat of molten steel at the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Meanwhile, there will be a new Terminator to contend with, as Gabriel Luna is playing the Rev-9, a highly advanced machine who has been sent back in time to kill Natalia Reyes' character. Hopefully the trailer will shed more light on how exactly Terminator: Dark Fate dovetails with the ending of Terminator 2.
- Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019