Arnold Schwarzenegger has appeared in every Terminator movie with the exception of Terminator Salvation, and even then his likeness was featured. So when the time came to start making the latest installment, Terminator: Dark Fate, James Cameron made sure that Schwarzenegger was involved. But if you’re expecting him to deliver another standard T-800 performance again, you have another thing coming.
Terminator: Dark Fate director Tim Miller teased what Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mysterious role in the movie with the following:
I don’t think people will be ready for what Arnold has become either, because it’s very different.
In keeping with the tradition established by Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Arnold Schwarzenegger is once again playing a T-800 who’s been reprogrammed to be a force for good, specifically by helping Sarah Connor protect Dani Ramos, Skynet’s newest target. And, just like in Terminator Genisys, this particular model has active for a long time, hence his aged appearance.
Beyond that, though, there hasn’t been a peep about how Arnold Schwarzenegger’s current T-800 model fits into Terminator: Dark Fate, and all Tim Miller was willing to disclose to EW was that the character is unlike the past T-800s we’ve seen in action. So for now we remain in the dark on this particular plot point, but evidently it’ll be something unique.
So far the only footage we’ve seen of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in Terminator: Dark Fate showed him in a cabin in the woods greeting Sarah Connor, Natalia Reyes’ Dani Ramos and Mackenzie Davis’ Grace, who is a human-machine hybrid who was sent from the future to protect Dani from the Rev-9 liquid metal Terminator, played by Gabriel Luna.
Rather than pick up on where Terminator Genisys left off, Terminator: Dark Fate is taking a Halloween-like approach to continuity and only serving as a sequel to the first two Terminator movies. So in this timeline, Sarah Connor is still alive and kicking, and while the whereabouts of her son, John Connor, are being kept secret, James Cameron has assured fans that John’s story will be continued in Dark Fate.
Alas, that still doesn’t shed any light on what the new T-800’s purpose is. We can reasonably assume that he and Sarah Connor are already acquainted before the events of Terminator: Dark Fate since she knows where he’s located, but there are still a lot of questions that need answering. How long has he been active? Why isn't he with Sarah when she initially rescues Dani and Grace? Is there something that makes him different from other T-800s? The list goes on.
Since Terminator: Dark Fate is holding a panel at San Diego Comic-Con, perhaps one or more of these questions will be answered there or in the trailer that might drop during the event. If not, at least we’re only months away from the movie’s arrival, so the wait isn’t too long.
Terminator: Dark Fate opens in theaters on November 1, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage. You can also look through our 2019 release schedule to find out what other movies come out later this year.