Terminator: Dark Fate Director Says The Franchise Has Been ‘Tainted’

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator: Dark Fate

It’s no secret that the last three Terminator movies haven’t measured up to the first two, which is why it makes sense that the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate is serving as a sequel only to The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. In fact, Dark Fate director Tim Miller is willing to describe the Terminator franchise as a whole as being “tainted” due to these other entries. In his words:

I think the brand has been tainted a little bit. I don’t want to disparage the work of any of those movies, and some of them were interesting, but I feel like they just played in the world of The Terminator - it was essentially a different thing. T2 was just one of those events that was a fucking revelation. It's one of those films that everyone remembers what they were doing when they first saw it. I still don’t think I realize what I’m doing trying to follow that up.

After helming the first two Terminator movies, James Cameron went on to other creative endeavors, thus allowing for other filmmakers to leave their stamp on the mythos he created. 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines earned more positive reviews than negative ones, but overall the consensus was that it didn’t have the same level of quality as its predecessors. Then there were 2009’s Terminator Salvation and 2015’s Terminator Genisys, both of which earned mostly negative reception and failed to generate the sequels they were setting up.

During his interview with Total Film, Tim Miller also tactfully described the previous three Terminator movies as “misfires,” while also acknowledging that if her were a fan who learned that a sixth Terminator movie was being made, he’d question why. Now the events of the past three Terminator movies have been to different timelines, and Miller and his team have endeavored to make Terminator: Dark Fate feel like its captured the spirit of those first two tales.

It helps that unlike with Rise of the Machines, Salvation and Genisys, James Cameron was directly involved in the making of Terminator: Dark Fate. Because he couldn’t actually visit the Dark Fate set due to being busy with the Avatar sequels, Cameron focused on “getting the script punched up.” This involved he and his writing team watching the last three Terminator movies to “avoid the mistakes of making things overly complex” and take a “back to basics” approach with Dark Fate.

And then, of course, let’s not forget that in addition to Arnold Schwarzenegger once again playing a T-800, Terminator: Dark Fate also sees the return of Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong as Sarah and John Connor, respectively, nearly 30 years after they last appeared as their characters on the big screen.

With so many familiar faces back both in front of the camera and behind the scenes, along with all the new talent brought in, ideally this will result in Dark Fate being a better quality product and perhaps actually generate a new trilogy.

Set 27 years after the events of Terminator 2, Terminator: Dark Fate sees the Rev-9, a new liquid metal Terminator, being sent from the future to eliminate Natalia Reyes’ Dani Ramos and Mackenzie Davis’ Grace, the cybernetically enhanced human solider who was sent to protect Dani. They’ll be aided along the way by Sarah Connor and an aged T-800 that goes by Carl.

Terminator: Dark Fate hits theaters on November 1, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage on it in the weeks ahead. Don’t forget to also scan through our 2019 release schedule to learn what other movies are coming out before the year is over.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.