Why Linda Hamilton Had To Push Back On Terminator: Dark Fate’s Script

Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in Terminator: Dark Fate

Needless to say that one of the big ways that Terminator: Dark Fate stood out from the other post-Terminator 2: Judgement Day movies was by Linda Hamilton returning to play Sarah Connor. It was the first time Hamilton had appeared onscreen as the character in nearly 30 years, and she wasn’t afraid to express disapproval of the Dark Fate script if necessary. When recently asked if she had to “speak up and advocate” for some of the elements of Sarah that she was most invested in, Hamilton responded:

Very much at times. The script wasn’t really finished when we started, and it was kind of coming along as we went along. And we all found that very hard to work that way. I heard too many people say, ‘Well, that’s how they make movies these days.’ [Laughs.] It’s like, you know what? I need a beginning and a middle and an end. Link those moments together one by one; I’ve got to know where I’m coming from. And I would get a scene that had just been sent the night before and go, ‘Well, I can’t be saying that if they’re going to move that piece to onto the train top, because my character hasn’t learned it yet!’ You know what I mean? Like, ‘Let’s make this something that is solid so that the actors can then work that way… We can’t wait until September for the script to be finished.’ So, yeah.

Obviously it’s best to have a film script finished before principal photography begins, but occasionally there are productions where words are still being put on pages while the cameras are rolling. Not one to mince words, Linda Hamilton made sure the right parties on set were aware if there were portions of the Terminator: Dark Fate script that didn’t work, as she was determined to ensure that the story flowed as smoothly and logically as possible.

Linda Hamilton added in her interview with The AV Club that some of Sarah Connor must have “spilled over” into her actual personality, because while she’s usually “simple” about her work and “not results-oriented,” she’s “very invested” in Sarah. So when there were moments when she felt like Sarah was saying or acting in a way that wasn’t organic, she chimed and made sure folks knew that this is not how her character would behave.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Linda Hamilton having issues with the Terminator: Dark Fate script. Last summer, she mentioned how there were a few times she wouldn’t say specific lines of dialogue because they were “stupid,” and she also disagreed with director Tim Miller’s initial approach with wanting to make Sarah Connor “relatable.”

Overall though, it sounds like Linda Hamilton enjoyed her time working on Terminator: Dark Fate, previously calling it the “hardest and greatest thing” she’s ever done. And while she was initially hesitant to see the movie not because of a perceived lack of quality, but because she doesn’t like watching herself perform, she decided to take in Dark Fate to support everyone else who worked on it.

Although Terminator: Dark Fate earned better critical reception overall than the previous two Terminator movies, it underperformed commercially, making only around $261 million worldwide off a budget in the $185-$196 million range. Linda Hamilton believes that it’ll be the box office that kills the Terminator franchise, but even if that wasn’t the case, she has no desire to stick around, making Dark Fate her swan song as Sarah Connor.

Terminator: Dark Fate is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital. Be sure to look through our 2020 release schedule to learn what movies are arriving in theaters later this year.

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.