It’s definitely difficult to write this post for Terminator: Dark Fate without completely geeking out. I still remember seeing the The Terminator (1984) on television when I was in eight years old and experiencing the wonder of Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) numerous times in the theatre as a ten year old boy in awe of its groundbreaking special effects and admittedly, gushing tears at the sight of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 telling a young John Connor (Edward Furlong), “I know now why you cry, but that is something I can never do.” Needless to say, the original James Cameron film and his blockbuster sequel were staples of my childhood.
As such, when it was announced back in May 2017 that James Cameron would be returning to the franchise as producer and story writer, the nerves of anticipation began to shake. Those nerves trembled when further news was released that the Skydance financed and Paramount distributed release would be directed by Cameron’s long-time friend, Tim Miller (Dead Pool) and would co-star Linda Hamilton – returning to her iconic role of Sarah Connor.
As evident with the release of the film’s first official teaser poster yesterday, Sarah has most definitely returned. A stark change of promotion from the Arnold Schwarzenegger dominated posters of The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day, the team behind Dark Fate knows that their re-imagined franchise timeline is made unique by the inclusion of Hamilton in her career-defining role.
Terminator: Dark Fate, like the most recent Halloween (2018) directed by David Gordon Green, ignores particular franchise entries. With this, Dark Fate is the official sequel to T2 – rightfully erasing from fans’ memories, the Cameron-less Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) and all other attempts at past glory including Terminator: Salvation (2009) and Terminator: Gynesis (2015).
Importantly, the poster is a stark reminder of how definitive Sarah Connor is as an action heroine. Like the transformation of Ellen Ripley into a mother-soldier in James Cameron’s masterpiece Aliens (1986), Sarah Conner was a character that embodied feminist power well before present cultural conversations about representation in Hollywood film. She, with gun in hand, has returned from the road she traveled on at the end of The Terminator and T2 and is ready for action. Furthermore, the poster is a reminder that before the T-800 became a gentler father-figure in T2, Sarah Connor was the standalone survivor of the original film and was in a continuous battle against the future and the rise of the machines she knew would be coming.
Since the film’s first look at this year’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas, the buzz for the trailer has been boiling. From online descriptions of Sarah Connor’s kick-ass return to the scope of the action set pieces, the promise of a revitalized franchise was made. All of this seems to be true with the release of the teaser trailer. Here’s hoping that the promise of old glory has been fulfilled.
Coupled with the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger as an aged Terminator, Dark Fate boasts a terrific cast including Mackenzie Davis (Blade Runner 2049, Tully), Natalia Reyes (Birds of Passage), Gabriel Luna (Agents of Shield) and Diego Boneta (Scream Queens). The Screenplay is by David Goyer & Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray, with story by James Cameron & Charles Eglee & Josh Friedman and Goyer & Rhodes.
Needless to say, November 1st can’t come soon enough.