Tim Miller’s TERMINATOR: DARK FATE is being billed as a direct sequel to James Cameron’s action-movie classic, T2: JUDGMENT DAY. As a result, the story is finding ways to bring back both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will play Sarah Connor for the first time since 1991.
But when the TERMINATOR: DARK FATE cast took the stage at Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, a secret bit of casting dropped, courtesy of Cameron himself. The AVATAR director beamed into the hall from the set of AVATAR 2 and spoke at length about his excitement for Tim Miller’s work on the TERMINATOR sequel.
And in the process of pumping up the crowd, Cameron let it slip that they also have Edward Furlong back as John Connor in the new movie.
The way that it happened in the panel, it almost seemed like James Cameron wasn’t supposed to drop this bit of news. Reporters in the room reacted with shock, and there was no mention of Furlong during the rest of the panel. In the moment, it felt like a secret that TERMINATOR: DARK FATE wanted to protect, until Cameron let that cat out of the bag.
How could DARK FATE use Eddie Furlong? Obviously, as this is set on the same timeline as T2 and the original TERMINATOR, he’d be much older — as Linda Hamilton has shown her natural age progression as Sarah. John Connor could show up alongside Sarah as she hunts Terminators and fights to protect a new character played by Natalia Reyes.
But the full trailer that TERMINATOR: DARK FATE brought to San Diego Comic-Con showed some interesting footage. Mackenzie Davis plays an enhanced human who is sent back from the future to protect Dani Ramos (Reyes). And we do see shots of her fighting in the future war against higher-tech Terminator robots. Our guess would be that it’s Edward Furlong’s John Connor who sends Davis back. Will he get a reunion scene with his grizzled mother, Sarah?
Using Furlong for continuity makes total sense, as TERMINATOR: DARK FATE tries to build a bridge between T2 and now. Seeing the original cast return in familiar forms will help excite die-hard fans, while also educating a new generation of audience members why this franchise was so important in the overall picture of sci-fi action filmmaking.
The footage shown at Comic-Con for TERMINATOR: DARK FATE proved this to be a slam-bang, action-packed thriller that has the same relentless pace of the first two TERMINATOR films. It has Cameron’s blessing, and it has Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton in their signature roles.
You can see for yourself when Paramount unleashes TERMINATOR: DARK FATE in theatres on November 1.