James Cameron: “There is a Greater Story to Be Told” With ‘Dark Fate’

He’s back.

No, not that guy. We know he’s in the new Terminator sequel along with the great Linda Hamilton. (Not for nothing, but Sarah Connor’s kid Edward Furlong returns too.) The storied franchise’s original creator James Cameron has returned to produce the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate. 

In case you missed it, here’s the final revealing trailer:

And if you like that (and seriously, who in the hell wouldn’t), Cameron says there is more to come. In an exclusive interview with Deadline, the acclaimed director behind Titanic, The Abyss, and Avatar hints toward a new trilogy of Terminator films.

“We spent several weeks breaking story and figuring out what type of story we wanted to tell so we would have something to pitch to Linda [Hamilton],” said Cameron. “We rolled up our sleeves and started to break out the story and when we got a handle on something we looked at it as a three-film arc, so there is a greater story there to be told.

Cameron left the franchise after his historic sequel T2: Judgment Day, although he did act as a consultant for T2-3D: Battle Across Time (a 12-minute theme park ride). Since then, Terminator movies have been polarizing among fans.

  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines – On the edge of Judgement Day, we meet a cyborg with invisible liquid metal. Should it have stayed invisible?
  • Terminator: Salvation – This attempt to reinvigorate the franchise didn’t save anyone from missing the original cast, plot, or meaning.
  • Terminator: Genysis – Time travel and an embodiment of Skynet. Ironically, this marked a new beginning (“genesis”) for the franchise, as beleaguered some may think it was as a film.

Following those projects, the franchise co-creator has returned triumphantly seeing a bigger picture for Terminator, but why?

“One of the things that seemed obvious from looking at the films that came along later was that we would need to get everything back to the basics and that we would need to avoid the mistakes of making things overly complex and that we needed to avoid stories that jump around in time and one that goes backward and forward in time” 

Young Arnold vs. Old Arnold? Skynet as a person? Post-Apocalypse android with feels? All complex. Time to get back to basics, indeed, but not completely.

terminator-dark-fate-

We get Gabriel Luna as the baddie. Luna, also known as ‘Ghost Rider’ in Agents of SHIELD, is a superbly versatile actor (and fellow Texan, just sayin’) who will get his opportunity to flex all his skills — and looks like he is doing just that. Also, our cyborg heroine is played by the slightly familiar Mackenzie Davis. Playing ‘Grace’, Davis may look familiar to Blade Runner: 2049 fans — she was Mariette.

Everyone is committed to the pacing Cameron put into place during the first two films, so he’s bringing that back:

“Let’s keep it simple in the relative unity of time. With the story, let’s have the whole thing play out in 36 hours or 48 hours. In the first two movies, everything plays out in less than two days in each one so there’s energy and momentum.”

Of course, if we are going to get a new franchise, Dark Fate has to get a ton of light at the box office. Even Cameron knows that side of the business:

“If we get fortunate enough to make some money with Dark Fate we know exactly where we can go with the subsequent films.”

Nerds, if the Terminator franchise is something you have hoped would get resurrected and get better, now is the time to back that hope up. Cameron seems committed to sticking it out for all three films, but the first one has to be a ticket sales bonanza.

You have your marching orders. You know what to do.

Mark your calendars: Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures release hits theaters November 1.


Images Courtesy of Paramount Pictures/Skydance Productions

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