Terminator: Dark Fate Reveals New Details at SDCC 2019
Kicking off the big slate of Hall H panels at Comic-Con, Paramount brought a new look at Terminator: Dark Fate reveals. The panel, moderated by “Ms. Moviefone” Grae Drake, featured Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna, Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta, and director Tim Miller.
But first, a special live video stream of James cameron from the set of the Avatar sequels, joking about how everyone’s always “whinging” that he’s taking too long with them, so he can’t get away, and that it would take five hours to explain the technology behind him. He also said “there is no Sarah but Linda,” which may upset Lena Headey fans. He discussed being heavily involved with the creative team to come up with the story and bring Linda back, and for the first time mentioned Eddie Furlong is back as John.
“My name is Sarah Connor. I kill Terminators.” This kicked off a behind-the-scenes reel which showed Davis beating someone with a metal pipe, Luna’s Terminator making blade-hands and slicing people up, and Arnold with a robot arm and bits of face scraped off to reveal metal. This would suggest he actually is a Terminator, and not just the guy Terminators were based upon. There’s lots of gun action, and while much of it does look present-day, there’s also some future war stuff with armed endos and flying hunter-killers at the end.
Miller stated that he knows fans probably didn’t want to see another one, but as a fan himself, he felt Sarah’s story was unfinished, and seeing that continue is what would make him want to go back to it. In Dark Fate, he says there is only one timeline, no multiverse. Change anything and there’s a ripple effect. So when Sarah destroys Cyberdyne, “She hopes it’s good; we wouldn’t have a movie if it was.” She’s living with the consequences of that decision.
The movie is definitely rated R, “because the fans kinda demanded it…to not do it R feels disingenuous to the source material.” There was a backup plan for PG-13, but Miller always pushed for R.
Hamilton considered that not coming back would be “retiring a champion,” but the possibilities that time passing allowed for, and the ability to “rock it as a woman of a certain age,” appealed to her. She knew that because 27 years had passed it couldn’t possibly be just the same thing. “I am so much more than I was.” She went to her “places of deepest loss” emotionally, but Miller taught her that she could also be strong and light.
Reyes and Boneta play sister and brother, hard workers in Mexico City who get targeted by a new Terminator for reasons they don’t understand. Davis’ Grace and Sarah Connor show up to protect them. Davis said making the movie felt like “opera” rather than the “black box theater” of more personal indies.
Both Davis and Hamilton worked out hard, but they agreed in a fight, Hamilton would win. She’s meaner. Luna trained with Schwarzenegger, who apparently doesn’t spend a lot of screen time with Hamilton. Arnold would travel the world when he wasn’t shooting, always sending photos of him doing different activities. Miller says Arnold does more in a weekend than he’s done in six years.
“I’m addicted to Terminator,” said Arnold. “I have to come back.” The character of the Terminator is considered one of the top ten movie villains and heroes, which he finds uniquely appealing.
Hamilton’s favorite line in the franchise is “You’re terminated, f***er.”
Then there was some more footage. It begins with a car chase – Grace stands in the back of a moving pickup, throwing metal bars at Luna in the big truck chasing them. Luna absorbs the metal and splist in two – an endoskeleton driving, and a humanoid Luna who jumps at the pickup and does his knife-hands thing. The vehicles crash, and Grace tells Dani to run when they start to kill her. Then Sarah shows up in a car and blows the endo away with a bazooka, and tosses a grenade at the human form. “I’ll be back,” she quips, of course.
Then there was more. Sarah explaining her past, Grace revealing herself as an augmented human from the future, Dani described as the next Sarah Connor, and the first meeting with “Karl,” as the Arnold Terminator is now known. Sarah accepts his help but vows to kill him when it’s all over. “I understand” he says. There are scenes at an air base, and the implication that nuclear war could happen again. Karl shields Sarah from bullets with his body, after which she scowls “Don’t touch me!” Lots of F-bombs. No sign of Furlong.
If nothing else, the action looks exactly as you’d hope. They closed out the panel announcing a cast AMA on Reddit later this afternoon, and showed the clip again.