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For the first time since 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, James Cameron will have a hands-on role in a new Terminator movie with November’s Terminator: Dark Fate, where he serves as producer and creative consultant. But James Cameron is a busy guy, and he is also still working on his long-awaited Avatar sequels. The Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, explained how James Cameron worked on Terminator 6 and Avatar at once, saying:
It was a very interesting film to do with Tim, the dynamic, between him and with Jim Cameron producing. So Jim Cameron is right now directing Avatar films so he’s taken on this enormous challenge and he’s very busy with that BUT he’s a control freak and as you know, Terminator is kind of his baby so he does get involved in the filming so there were interesting discussions about which direction to go with a certain scene or how the dialogue should finish or what the certain look should be of an individual and all that stuff so there was a big collaboration between Jim and Tim Miller. I feel it was in good hands with both of them.
You often hear the names of big Hollywood directors attached to certain movies as producers, but that title doesn’t always mean that person had an active creative role with the film itself. That isn’t the case here. As Arnold Schwarzenegger told TheArnoldFans, James Cameron is a control freak, and the Terminator characters and story are ones he co-created and is attached to. So despite having a lot on his plate filming Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, he still made time for Terminator: Dark Fate.
He didn’t just give a couple of notes either; by the sound of it, James Cameron had an active enough role that Arnold Schwarzenegger actually took note of his influence and collaboration with director Tim Miller. The director and producer had a creative back and forth on this sixth Terminator film, with the franchise’s creator giving his input on its latest entry.
James Cameron discussed big picture stuff like the direction of a scene, down to specific bits of dialogue and the actual design and look of the characters. He and director Tim Miller had a collaborative relationship where they both worked together to form what this film will be and deliver the best possible product.
Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he felt the film was in good hands with Tim Miller and James Cameron, and that pairing is certainly encouraging. Tim Miller’s Deadpool was a smash hit, and the last time this franchise was exceptional (minus the brilliant and cancelled-too-soon Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series, of course) was when James Cameron was last involved with Terminator 2: Judgment Day. He knows this world and these characters, and is two for two in delivering great movies in this universe, so his return is exciting.
How exactly James Cameron made time for his work on Terminator: Dark Fate, while also working on the Avatar sequels in terms of logistics is unclear. But somehow he was directing the Avatar sequels while being a producer on Dark Fate. Perhaps we can just chalk it up to efficiency, excellent time management and that James Cameron is James Cameron. Or some Terminator-esque time travel shenanigans.
The plot for Terminator: Dark Fate is still being kept under wraps, but it is expected to retcon some of the continuity and act as a continuation of the first two films. As such, it will see the return of Linda Hamilton's iconic Sarah Connor and, of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator. The film also stars Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta and Gabriel Luna.