Bringing James Cameron back to the Terminator franchise after almost 30 years should have been cause for celebration. Unfortunately, Terminator: Dark Fate wasn’t exactly the saving grace that most audiences were hoping for when it hit theaters in 2019. The film managed to earn some of the strongest reviews for a Terminator entry since Cameron’s own Terminator 2: Judgement Day bowed in 1991. But considering all the lackluster sequels that came out in between, this wasn’t a very high bar to clear. Now, the future of the franchise remains uncertain. And in a new interview with Deadline, Cameron reflected on why the movie didn’t work as well as it could have.
Cameron worked on Dark Fate as a producer and co-writer. However, he found himself at odds with the film’s director, Tim Miller (Deadpool), who had his own ideas about how to inject new blood into the Terminator saga. Needless to say, these didn’t line up with Cameron’s own vision, and the ensuing behind-the-scenes clashes may have caused the final product to suffer in the long run. Regardless, it sounds like the two filmmakers have buried the hatchet since then.
RELATED: Tim Miller Fought With James Cameron Over Terminator: Dark Fate’s Final Cut
“I think, I’m actually reasonably happy with the film,” shared Cameron. “Tim and I had our battles and we’ve both spoken about that, but the crazy thing is we’re still pals. Which is weird. I liked him before the movie, didn’t like him very much during the movie, and I like him now, and I think he feels the same way. We’re both these crazy sci-fi geeks and we like a lot of the same things, and I love his show, Love, Death & Robots. But yeah, we butted heads.”
One of Miller’s ideas involved making Dark Fate without the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Naturally, this didn’t sit well with Cameron, given his and Schwarzenegger’s longtime friendship. But Miller also pushed for Linda Hamilton to reprise her iconic role as Sarah Connor from the first two films in the series. And in the end, the nostalgia play backfired, with Cameron admitting that he and Miller “got a little high on [their] own supply.”
“I think the problem, and I’m going to wear this one, is that I refused to do it without Arnold,” recalled Cameron. “Tim didn’t want Arnold but I said, look, I don’t want that. Arnold and I have been friends for 40 years and I could hear it, and it would go like this: ‘Jim, I can’t believe you’re making a Terminator movie without me.’ It just didn’t mean that much to me to do it, but I said, if you guys could see your way clear to bringing Arnold back and then, you know, I’d be happy to be involved.”
RELATED: Linda Hamilton Wants To Be Done With the Terminator Franchise
“And then Tim wanted Linda,” continued Cameron. “I think what happened is I think the movie could have survived having Linda in it, I think it could have survived having Arnold in it, but when you put Linda and Arnold in it and then, you know, she’s 60 something, he’s 70 something, all of a sudden it wasn’t your Terminator movie, it wasn’t even your dad’s Terminator movie, it was your granddad’s Terminator movie. And we didn’t see that. We loved it, we thought it was cool, you know, that we were making this sort of direct sequel to a movie that came out in 1991. And young movie-going audiences weren’t born. They wouldn’t even have been born for another 10 years.”
Do you agree with Cameron’s assessment of Terminator: Dark Fate? Let us know in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: Terminator: 2029 to 1984 (Graphic Novel)
We are also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising program also provides a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.