After a string of crappy Terminator films, James Cameron is back to pull the Titanic from the bottom of the ocean. While Cameron may not have directed Terminator: Dark Fate — he handpicked Tim Miller (Deadpool) for the task — this is the first Terminator film since T2 where Cameron is heavily involved in the film creatively. The trailer for the film is great, teasing a film that is both nostalgic and fresh. What did stand out, though, is the fact that the story, at least in a broad sense, feels oddly familiar. A teenager is on the hunt, there’s a robot trying to kill her and there’s a robot assigned to save her.
In a roundtable interview (per CinemaBlend), James Cameron talks about why this familiarity makes sense from a storyline perspective:
“I think one of the things that was against us from the beginning of this movie is the fact that we’ve got the future as Sarah was told it would take place, and then she obviously changed it. So now we’ve got to reconcile what she knew, what she knows about the Skynet future, with now what has transpired in the future that Mackenzie Davis’ character comes back from… So now you have two futures, or two possible futures, as [Kyle ]Reese would call them. I think Sarah has had to adjust to the fact that there’s probably a kind of inevitability, like a great kind of forcing factor that always tends to see the rise of an artificial superintelligence.”
It was only once Cameron and his team acknowledge this that they managed to find a proper direction for this franchise to head in next.
“That it’s just the direction that the universe is heading. This is a collision that the human race is on, essentially with its own progeny, in a sense. So we came up with this idea of like what Sarah had done was she kicked the can down the road, but she’s just going to have the same fight again, and have it again, and have it again, until there’s a resolution.”
But if that’s the case, will there ever be a resolution? As it turns out James Cameron and his writing team have a resolution in mind. The catch is, we’ll only get to see this resolution if Terminator: Dark Fate makes money and another sequel is greenlit.
“In our grand scheme, what we came up with is there is a resolution. Kick the can as many times as you want, but there has to be a resolution. But that’s… if we’re lucky enough, we make some money with this film, and we get to do a second one, maybe a third one, we have a direction to resolve that innate conflict, you know, ultimately. I don’t want to talk too much about that, obviously, for spoiler reasons, but you know, we’ve thought that through.”
I’ve already seen Dark Fate and can confirm that Cameron isn’t randomly speaking out of his ass. They really do seem to have their finger on the pulse and have crafted a new story (albeit with similar beats) that we can sink our teeth into. Stay tuned for my in-depth review that will be dropping tonight.
Terminator: Dark Fate opens wide in Malaysian cinemas 24 October 2019.