Fate dealt Terminator: Dark Fate a cruel hand. After years of terrible Terminator movies, expectations were low, but this film was absolutely the best in the franchise since Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Sadly, however, audiences burnt by crap like Salvation and Genisys stayed away and the pic is estimated to have lost Paramount $120 million. It’s a real shame, too, as the movie was packed full of little touches that thrilled longtime fans and had some incredible special effects (bringing back Edward Furlong’s John Connor circa 1991 was jaw-dropping).
One little Easter Egg that’s recently come to prominence even takes place outside the film. In Dark Fate we meet “Carl,” an older T-800 played by Arnold Schwarzenegger who’s working as a drapery salesman. On the side of his van there’s a telephone number and if you call it you get this:
I called the phone number on the side of the van owned by Arnold’s Terminator (who works as a drapery salesman) in DARK FATE: pic.twitter.com/1TX94dWwU3
— Matt Singer (@mattsinger) July 8, 2020
Another eagle-eyed fan pointed out that the number – 5121984 – is also the date that Kyle Reese and the first T-800 arrived in Los Angeles in The Terminator. It’s a cool little touch, especially as they got Schwarzenegger to do the recording.
Of course, there’ve been a handful of movies that have done something like this before. 1984’s Ghostbusters ran adverts for the film including a number to call the team. If you did, you got to hear a recording of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd saying: “Hi. We’re out catching ghosts right now!” The film was so successful that the line got 24,000 calls a day for six weeks. The 2016 Ghostbusters tried a similar tactic as well, with phone boxes featuring a number that allowed you to call Chris Hemsworth’s receptionist Kevin (check out his message here).
But this message might well be the last thing we hear from Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator franchise. After the failure of Terminator: Dark Fate, the futuristic adventures are on ice for the foreseeable future. But you can’t keep a good killer robot down, so let’s hope for a reboot after a few years have passed.