I was today-years-old when I learned not everyone loves the thumbs up scene in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. James Cameron co-wrote and directed 1991's T2, so it makes sense that he loves the scene where Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 sacrifices himself and gives one last thumbs up to the tearful John Connor (Eddie Furlong) and sad-but-stoic Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton).
Turns out, Linda Hamilton was not into the thumbs up. Neither was Tim Miller, her new director in Terminator: Dark Fate. Miller shared their true thoughts about the T2 scene with CinemaBlend's ReelBlend podcast:
I can only say that that was not my favorite part of the movie. And the fact that it is yours is a symptom of your age [when] you saw it. Because when I saw T2, I was 27 right? But one of the first things I asked Linda is, ‘How do you feel about the thumbs up moment?' And she's like, ‘No.' And I went, ‘Okay, we're going to be fine.’ … Well, Jim [Cameron] loves that scene. Many people love that scene. For me, it's just, it's a little, it's iconic, I know, but maybe a little too sentimental for me.
I disagree, but I get it. And maybe he's right about age being a factor. I was fresh into double digits when I first saw T2 and that heartfelt moment hit me hard.
There goes John Connor's only true father figure. His friend. Our friend. Our hero. He won't be back. And yet, he is kinda back.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning for the direct sequel to T2, Dark Fate. He plays another T-800, one who now goes by Carl (!!!). This will be explained in the movie, including the connection to John Connor and how we left things in T2.
Terminator: Dark Fate reviews are in, and they have been mixed-to-good. Critics seem to think it's the third best Terminator film after the first two, which may be a low bar, but it also sounds like it brings the franchise back to James Cameron's basics. He never went to set during filming but was heavily involved behind-the-scenes and in editing.
Terminator: Dark Fate aims to answer the franchise's biggest question. A few other questions remain, though: Will there be another movie after this one? James Cameron has talked about setting up a trilogy, even if Linda Hamilton joked that she'd rather fake her own death than join in. One deciding factor for future movies will surely be how much money Terminator: Dark Fate makes at the box office. Opening projections are in, but the proof will be in the receipts next weekend.
Terminator 6, aka Dark Fate, opens in theaters Friday, November 1, which is also when the ReelBlend episode will drop. You can stream Terminator 2: Judgment Day on Amazon, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, etc. Feel free to sniffle at the thumbs-up scene, it's OK to be human.