Terminator: Dark Fate’s James Cameron Says Sarah Connor’s F-Bombs Were A Big Part Of The R-Rating

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate
(Image credit: (Paramount))

Sarah Connor cannot be censored. The ‘80s heroine is memorably a badass, tough-as-nails Terminator lead who has no issue throwing out some F-bombs. And why not? When her character’s story began the franchise, it was inherently R-rated material flustered with violence, and she was being hunted by robots from the future. It’s a reasonable reaction! So when Linda Hamilton came back to the role almost 30 years later, of course there are more “fucks” for her to deliver this time around too!

Terminator: Dark Fate has Sarah Connor back in action, now as a full-fledged Terminator hunter in the R-rated film directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller. When CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg attended a roundtable interview with producer James Cameron in Los Angeles, the filmmaker talked about Dark Fate's return to form. In his words:

Tim is very much a fan of the first couple films. There were those things from those first two films that he liked. He liked the energy of it, he liked the dark kind of gritty value of it, he liked the R rating. Like every time we sat down to write a Sarah scene, it was always ... you couldn't get about 10 seconds without imagining her dropping an F bomb. Kind of the handwriting was on the wall from the early days that it was going to be a R-rated film. I think we're all satisfied with that.

Sounds like this is just embedded in the Sarah Connor character! The PG-13 rating’s allotted singular f-bomb just wouldn’t feel true to her character, and Tim Miller found this obvious from the beginning when trying to continue the tone of the original Terminator films directed by James Cameron. Especially considering Linda Hamilton’s iconic character has become even more hardened since the first two movies, now deeming herself a “Terminator hunter.”

Dark Fate will ignore the events of the PG-13 Terminator movies Salvation and Genisys, as well as Rise of the Machines. It will follow the events of Judgement Day almost 30 years later as Sarah Connor meets Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) and her own Terminator protector, Grace (MacKenzie Davis), as Gabriel Luna’s Rev-9 attempts to hunt them down. Connor has a reunion with a different model of Arnold Schwarzenegger's character, who has assumed the name Carl, developed more human traits and fronts his own drapery business.

In the past, Terminator filmmakers may have steered away from making it R-rated to assure more success at the box office. But Tim Miller’s release of Deadpool is proof that R-ratings sell. Just look at Joker; it’s a money-making machine! James Cameron continued:

Will it affect the performance of the movie? Sure. We'll leave money on the table as a result of that, especially in North America. But you know what? I think we all felt like it was just the right thing to do. I don't think that quite answers your question, but I didn't have a burning desire to see a specific thing. It was much more of a collaborative process at the writing stage.

Alternatively, maybe Terminator: Dark Fate will benefit from being rated R. When hardcore fans were first introduced the property, its gritty quality was part of the charm that made it a legendary franchise. When the Terminator movies tried to please everyone, that’s where they failed.

Terminator: Dark Fate recently had its first audience screenings and the reaction has been largely positive. Eric Eisenberg called it the “best sequel in the franchise since T2” and compared it to the feel The Force Awakens had on bringing back the Star Wars franchise. Check it out for yourself on November 1.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.