Terminator: Dark Fate director Tim Miller says that the franchise has been "tainted" by the previous sequels in the series, acknowledging the pressure and high expectations he's been given by taking on the project. Miller opened up about what it was like coming on board the anticipated sequel, admitting even he would have some reservations about seeing a sixth movie if he weren't directly involved. Describing the other sequels past Terminator 2: Judgment Day as "misfires," Miller suggests the other movies had drifted too far away from what made T2 as special as it was.
"I think the brand has been tainted a little bit. I don't want to disparage the work of any of those movies, and some of them were interesting, but I feel like they just played in the world of The Terminator - it was essentially a different thing. T2 was just one of those events that was a fucking revelation. It's one of those films that everyone remembers what they were doing when they first saw it. I still don't think I realise what I'm doing trying to follow that up..."
Tim Miller is clearly referring to the past three sequels in the series, each of which have been criticized for a variety of reasons. When Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was released in theaters in 2003, there was a lot of excitement for the sequel, as the original two installments were so popular and it featured the return of series star Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, among other problems, many fans weren't happy to see that Sarah Connor had since died and her son John was recast with a new actor. Although profitable, the reviews were mixed, and it was clear this wasn't the sequel fans were hoping for.
Similarly, the future-set sequel Terminator: Salvation didn't live up to its predecessors either when it was released in 2009, and featuring a CGI Arnold probably didn't help. Starring Christian Bale as an adult version of John Connor, the movie also made money but was met with mixed reviews at best. Hoping to reach the heights of Terminator 2, the franchise reboot Terminator: Genisys also brought back Schwarzenegger while recasting Sarah Connor with Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke. Like Rise of the Machines and Salvation, Genisys did make money at the box office, but not as much as the studio was hoping for. Plans to develop sequels to the movie were then scrapped, ultimately leading to the upcoming sequel to Judgment Day.
The Terminator and T2 star Linda Hamilton makes her return to the franchise in Dark Fate, once again playing the role of Sarah Connor. James Cameron also returned to produce and assist with the creative direction of the story, considering the movie a true sequel to Judgment Day. Additionally, Edward Furlong has also been tapped to reprise the role of John Connor. Set 27 years after the events of T2, a new liquid metal Terminator (Gabriel Luna) is sent by Skynet to terminate a new subject, Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes), a hybrid cyborg human (Mackenzie Davis), and her friends. Coming to their aid is the original Terminator and an even more hardened Sarah Connor.
Terminator: Dark Fate will premiere in theaters on Nov. 1, 2019. The movie has been tracking for a soft box office release, but if it fares better critically than its predecessors, it may do better than expected with ticket sales. For the sake of those involved, let's hope it does well. Miller's words come from Total Film magazine as transcribed by GamesRadar.