Spoilers ahead for Terminator: Dark Fate.
As far as sci-fi franchises go, there are few quite as iconic as The Terminator. James Cameron's original set of movies broke new ground for the film world, and contained countless catch phrases that are still in the pop culture vernacular today. Tim Miller reunited Cameron, Linda Hamilton, and Arnold Schwarzenegger for the new sequel Terminator: Dark Fate. The blockbuster ignored the myriad other movies, serving as a direct sequel to T2. And it looks like the final action sequences were originally much grosser.
Terminator: Dark Fate has plenty of pulse-pounding action throughout its 128-minute runtime. And the movie's R-rating allowed Tim Miller to go full tilt when it came to violence and language. But it out that the movie did pull back when it came to gore. During the film's third act, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Carl attempts to keep the new villain away from Dani within a pit, getting his skin ripped off in the process. It turns out that that fight was originally much grosser, as Miller explained:
We had to walk the line between gross and horrific. We had shot the Rev-9 ripping the flesh off (Carl's) arm, and it was hanging like a big piece of jerky. But we took that out. That’s where we drew the line.
Is anyone else having some horror-related FOMO? It looks like Carl's de-skinning was going to be even more gnarly in Terminator: Dark Fate. And while Tim Miller and company had the rating to include it, they ultimately decided the additional gore was too much.
Tim Miller's comments to USA Today might be surprising to fans of both the director and the Terminator franchise as a whole. Miller and James Cameron were thrilled to be doing a return to form with an R-rating, as the past few sequels pulled back and went with PG-13. And while this allowed for more intense action and Linda Hamilton's countless F-bombs, that didn't mean the filmmaker was going to blindly include everything in the theatrical cut. That includes Carl's bloody encounter with Rev-9.
Watching Arnold Schwarzenegger's character lose an arm and part of his face was already pretty grueling. The T-800 has taken plenty of punishment throughout his tenure on the screen. And usually the robot's human skin ends up falling off eventually, to reveal the metal underneath. But that doesn't mean that moviegoers will want to watch Gabriel Luna's new villain literally rip the flesh from his arm. Everyone has their limits.
Carl took plenty of punishment throughout the course of Terminator: Dark Fate. After learning empathy and developing a conscious, he joins the mission to protect Dani. And after saying goodbye to his family, it's clear he's not intending on coming back. He ultimately sacrificed himself to make things right "For John", but not after losing an arm in the process.