So, what is going on with the Terminator franchise?
Terminator: Dark Fate had its first trailer released this week and I have many, many questions.
Is this a continuation of Judgement Day? or Terminator Genisys? Or does this just do away with the narrative quagmire that has accumulated over the years and just tells a new story? How is Linda Hamilton back? How is Arnie still a T-800? Why does Mackenzie Davis look so badass fighting (a bad CGI version of) Gabriel Luna?
We know that the script, overseen by James Cameron, written by David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes and Josh Friedman, was conceived with the intention of it becoming the first part of a trilogy. To be directed by Deadpool director Tim Miller, the film wanted to reset the series after the complete failure of Terminator Genisys. Linda Hamilton was announced to be joining the cast soon after Arnold Schwarzenegger.
With all that added together, it almost makes it feasible that this could be quite good. And then we got the trailer.
Everything about Terminator: Dark Fate seems a bit, well, off. The tone seems too somber, too reflective.
I have seen every Terminator film in the cinema (re-releases count). Got taken to see T3 when I was 13, and proceeded to have a nightmare that night which strongly featured the red eyes of a T-800. Even saw the 3D release of T2 last year. I am a big fan of the first 2, and even like the ending of 3, and I even stand up for Salvation (the aesthetic is just so gritty and bleak). Even though I haven’t actually got round to watching The Sarah Connor Chronicles, I really like the series.
But after the awful Genisys, in my opinion the series needed to put to rest.
And put to rest it was. For 4 years.
What should’ve happened was that the producers should’ve taken a leaf out of Fox’s book (not a sentence I ever thought I would write), and approach the series like Ridley Scott did with the Alien franchise.
We got Prometheus and Alien: Covenant (and a just announced third film), which expanded the world of the franchise and gave us Michael Fassbender acting like a murderous Peter O’Toole. The prequels are weird, thought out and very strange, I love them. This came after a much lower low-point than the Terminator franchise, AVP: Requiem.
If the Terminator franchise continues after Dark Fate, in my opinion it would be advisable to get weird with it. Time-travel paradoxes, different realities, just dig into what made me love the series.