Terminator: Dark Fate producer James Cameron reveals that future films in the franchise would focus on artificial intelligence. The sixth movie in the Terminator series, Dark Fate executes a radical do-over by ignoring the events of Terminator 3, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys and acting as a direct sequel to 1992’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the last film in the series that enjoyed Cameron's personal involvement.
The "Judgment Day" concept indeed looms large in Dark Fate, as Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor returns to again try to prevent the machines from taking over the world. This time, Connor meets up with a pair of fellow female warriors, Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) and Grace (Mackenzie Davis), the latter of whom is a human/cyborg hybrid sent back from the future. Of course, there’s also a new Terminator, the menacing Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna), which has the ability to split into two separate autonomous killing machines. And naturally Arnold Schwarzenegger is also back as Carl, an aging T-800 that has managed to assimilate into human society.
Early reviews for Dark Fate have been largely positive and hopes are that it will finally revive the franchise. If the film indeed succeeds well enough to kick off a whole new trilogy, producer Cameron already knows what he wants to focus on in terms of themes for future movies, and it seems the series' man vs. machine conflict is not going to let up any time soon. Speaking to Collider, Cameron talked about the ideas he’s mapped out for future Terminator films:
“I feel like one of my major motivations on this film or coming back to the, hopefully franchise, was to explore the human relationship with artificial intelligence. I don’t feel we did that in Dark Fate. I feel that we set the stage or we set the table for that exploration, and that exploration would take place in a second film and a third film. And we know exactly where we’re going to take that idea. What we wanted to get in the first movie was this idea that it’s just going to keep happening. The names will change, but the basic conflict is going to continue to take place until it gets resolved one way or the other.”
As Cameron also revealed, he and writers Chic Eglee and Josh Friedman already got together and mapped out a three-movie arc for this potential new trilogy, so it seems that this time around the filmmaker is committed to sticking with Terminator. Cameron’s lack of involvement in the previous three Terminator sequels is widely blamed for those movies failing to uphold the standards of the first two movies, which Cameron directed himself. Though Cameron clearly has big plans for future Terminator films, he did reiterate that Dark Fate can stand alone as its own story.
Cameron obviously has been in the movie business long enough to know that nothing is certain, so he’s hedging his bets on whether Terminator: Dark Fate will actually spawn a new trilogy. But if the movie does hit box office pay dirt, it sounds like Cameron already has some solid ideas about how to continue the story into future films. That’s good news after the meandering path the franchise took through Terminator 3, Salvation and Genisys, when no one seemed to have any particular plan and it felt like 20th Century Fox was simply trying to exploit the Terminator brand name in a rather cynical, haphazard fashion.
- Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019