The cyclical nature of blockbuster filmmaking means every valuable property is going to get rebooted at some point or other, but they seem to be trying especially hard when it comes to the Terminator franchise. The upcoming sixth installment, Terminator: Dark Fate, will be the third hybrid of reboot and sequel to hit theaters in ten years, but everyone involved is talking this one up as the one that will serve as the spiritual successor to James Cameron’s groundbreaking and hugely-influential work on the series.
Of course, we’ve heard all of this before. While Rise of the Machines was more of a straightforward sequel to Terminator and Terminator 2, both Salvation and Genisys were heavily-hyped as having the potential to create new storytelling opportunities, new possibilities and ultimately new franchises, yet failed to deliver. The potential was definitely there in the concepts of each to deliver worthy follow-ups to Cameron’s iconic sci-fi blockbusters, but neither McG nor Alan Taylor proved to be capable of pulling it off.
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Deadpool director Tim Miller is the latest to attempt to recreate the magic captured by James Cameron, and he certainly knows what he’s gotten himself into, admitting that the task ahead of him is a daunting one, while also claiming that the previous three entries in the franchise weren’t true Terminator sequels, and had even tainted the brand.
“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 f**king 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 realize what I’m doing trying to follow that up.”
What Miller does have going for him is the return of James Cameron to the franchise for the first time since 1991, along with Linda Hamilton and Edward Furlong reprising their roles as Sarah and John Connor, marking the first Terminator movie for all three since Judgement Day. We’ve been burned by disappointing sequels from the franchise three times now, so hearing the director of a new installment hyping up the project as going back to the roots of the original isn’t exactly anything new, but hopefully Dark Fate will finally provide a sequel that even come close to reaching the quality that Cameron managed during his time behind the camera.