The first footage from TERMINATOR: DARK FATE blew the doors off CinemaCon 2019 in Las Vegas. Even better, the presentation from Paramount Pictures was a chance for director Tim Miller — whose work you know from DEADPOOL — to bring out the film’s cast, including returning stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and, at long last, Linda Hamilton.
“To say this was a labor of love for me is an enormous [bleeping] understatement,” Miller said. The director got choked up on stage talking about making the movie, saying, “I get very emotional sometimes; I’m sorry,” as he welled up. It was an endearing sight, especially given that Miller is a big, muscular guy whose profanity-peppered comments make him sound like his DEADPOOL star.
Here’s what Miller, Schwarzenegger and Hamilton had to say about TERMINATOR: DARK FATE and about the franchise that changed their lives.
Let’s allow the director to set the scene. The film is “a direct sequel — and I can’t tell you how important that is — to the movies that Jim [Cameron] directed.” Which means DARK FATE only connects to TERMINATOR and TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY. All of the other films are wiped out by this story.
And that’s why Linda Hamilton is back. “It’s the opportunity to bring back the original cast,” Miller said, “with a talented group of newcomers to the franchise. They inspired me every single day on set, and I think you’ll see that passion up on the screen.”
That new cast includes Mackenzie Davis (above), playing a woman — we think she’s human anyway — sent back from the future on a mysterious mission. She’s technologically augmented and incredibly deadly.
Natalia Reyes plays a woman whose place in the story is still a mystery, even after the footage played, but we know that Davis’s character is traveling with and possibly protecting her. And Gabriel Luna (below) plays a relentless liquid-metal Terminator who seems to be a successor to Robert Patrick’s T2 character. “He can split [in two],” Miller explained, “so he’s twice as deadly.”
When Arnold Schwarzenegger took the stage, he joked about his role — “this is really not to present the movie; it’s a fundraiser for my next political race” — before getting down to the business of hyping up the new movie.
“Man, am I excited that we have everyone back again,” he said. “[Creator and producer] James Cameron and Linda Hamilton — isn’t that great? The whole team is back together again!” The original Terminator was brimming with compliments for the film’s entire team. “I’ve never seen action like this,” he crowed. “They worked so hard! I am so proud of this team here, and I have done a lot of movies, but I’ve never seen a harder-working team and actors, as the people you see up here.”
The former governor gushed about the entire cast, but he really lit up when talking about Linda Hamilton, as she stood nearby. “I was so impressed to see Linda Hamilton being the badass that she was in TERMINATOR 1 and 2,” he said. “She’s ripped again! And she’s handling the guns with all the cool moves. I don’t know how much secret training she did, but it’s magic.”
Over the years, we’ve seen Arnold Schwarzenegger pepper speeches and public comments with quotes from his movies. When it came to reflecting on his first experience with this series, he cut right to the chase.
“THE TERMINATOR, from 1984 on, changed my life. Think about it — what would I do without that line ‘I’ll be back’? What would I do without saying, ‘Hasta la vista, baby’? Even in politics! When I’d go out to do a political speech, everyone is talking about the carbon footprint and the global warming and all that. [F-bomb] that. ‘Terminate climate change!’ Very simple! It’s easier to say that, right? It’s all from TERMINATOR. I could use this stuff over and over.”
Linda Hamilton waited patiently while her co-star spoke at length. But she finally stepped forward to deliver a concise statement. “It has been nearly 30 years since I last stepped into the shoes of Sarah Connor,” Hamilton said, “a character who definitely changed my life. And only a script, a story, a cast and director like this could bring me back into this world. The perfect confluence of events. Once in a lifetime — or maybe twice! — an event comes along that you cannot turn away from. For me, this is that moment, and I cannot wait to share this movie with all of you.”
TERMINATOR: DARK FATE opens on November 1.