James Cameron Compares Working On Alita: Battle Angel With Terminator: Dark Fate

Sarah Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate

James Cameron is a prolific filmmaker, who only continues to bring new and exciting projects to theaters. While Cameron currently has his hands full with the highly anticipated Avatar sequels, he's worked as a producer on two major blockbusters. Namely, Robert Rodriguez' Alita: Battle Angel, and Tim Miller's Terminator: Dark Fate. Cameron didn't have the time to direct either project, instead coming in as a producer to help craft the story with each director. And now he's compared the two experiences.

The pressure is on for Terminator: Dark Fate to deliver, as its a direct sequel to the most beloved movie in the franchise, Terminator 2. Dark Fate is James Cameron's long-awaited return to the property, alongside Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and even Edward Furlong. But how he contributed to the upcoming sequel is quite the change from his collaboration process with Robert Rodriguez for Alita. Cameron was recently asked if there were disagreements during Dark Fate's editing process, and he said:

I would say many. And the blood is still being scrubbed off the walls from those creative battles. This is a film that was forged in fire. So yeah, but that's the creative process, right? I mean, my work with Robert on Alita was very different. Robert loved the script, loved everything, said, 'I just want to make this movie. I want to make the movie the way you see it.' I was like, ‘No, you got to make it your movie.’ I had the reverse experience with Tim, which is Tim wanted to make it his movie. And I'm like, ‘Yeah, but I kind of know a little about this world.’ So I had the matter and the anti-matter version of that producorial experience.

Well, that certainly sounds different. While Robert Rodriguez was hoping to get James Cameron's approval when making Alita: Battle Angel, it seems that Tim Miller was a little stronger willed. And as such, there were plenty of debates and conversations in the editing bay of Terminator: Dark Fate. And it looks like those efforts paid off, as reception for the new sequel has been overwhelmingly positive.

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

James Cameron's comments come from his recent roundtable for Terminator: Dark Fate, which CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg was in attendance for. Despite his busy schedule, the Titanic filmmaker as had his hands in a few cookie jars. And the director of each project he produced approached it quite differently. And in the great Terminator tradition, metaphorical blood was left on the walls when debating about the beloved sci-fi franchise's future.

While he was never physically on set, it's clear that James Cameron contributed quite a bit to Terminator: Dark Fate. His contributions as producer came largely from the editing process, where he was able to collaborate with Tim Miler and the film's editors. And since he created the beloved franchise, Cameron felt he had the right to make certain arguments about the movie's contents. And that's not something he had to do much with Alita: Battle Angel.

Terminator: Dark Fate will hit theaters on November 1st. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.