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Terminator: Dark Fate Photos Reveal The New Terminator
He always promised he would be back. Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger and original Sarah Connor actor Linda Hamilton are back in action in a batch of new photos from the upcoming sci-fi sequel, Terminator: Dark Fate.
One new photo released by the studio shows a grizzled and bearded Schwarzenegger, as the T-800 model Terminator, sporting a scar and giving the stink-eye to someone off camera. Another depicts Hamilton in character as Sarah Connor, looking older but no less battle-hardened with a heavy vest of armor on her chest, and aviator sunglasses.
Though Terminator: Dark Fate does feature the two iconic franchise stars, it also brings several new faces into the fold: Mackenzie Davis as a soldier-assassin named Grace, Natalia Reyes as Dani Ramos , Diego Boneta as Miguel Ramos, and Gabriel Luna as a new type of Terminator.
IGN shared stills of each star new to the series in action, with shots including Davis' Grace character staring down an opponent mid-fight, Reyes' Dani peeking over her shoulder near a parked car in the middle of an open field, Boneta's Miguel affecting a scowl from behind the wheel of a truck, and Luna's Terminator dressed in what looks to be a military uniform while stalking through some sort of high-tech facility.
Set after the events of T2: Judgment Day, Dark Fate will effectively do to the Terminator franchise what 2018's Halloween revival did with its own series - by pretending most of the sequels in the series didn't happen.
Instead, Dark Fate is reportedly picking up at the last point basically everyone agreed the series was still good. As a result, the movie won't address the events of 2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, 2009's Terminator Salvation, or 2015's much-maligned Terminator Genisys - likely for the better.
As producer David Ellison once said of the film's focus,
"I will say we have resolved the future of the franchise, and believe me, it's an incredibly bright future. I think where it's going will be the continuation of what the fans really wanted since T2 … It's something we're incredibly excited about and we think is the direction it needs to head."
James Cameron, the director and writer of the first two films and a longtime series producer, is also back in the creative mix for Dark Fate, and he's previously shared his vision for this transformative sixth movie in the franchise.
Speaking in an interview in July 2017, Cameron expressed that the goal with the forthcoming movie is to pass the narrative baton through the introduction of new characters, while also modernizing the doomsday narrative to reflect current technological anxieties.
He's also aware that the franchise needs a careful approach to bring it back in line with the speculative sci-fi ambitions of the first two movies. As Cameron phrased it, "The question is, 'Has the franchise run its course or can it be freshened up? Can it still have relevance now, where so much of our world is catching up to what was science fiction in the first two films?'"
Despite how important the new characters may be for evolving and continuing the Terminator series, Dark Fate director Tim Miller says that Linda Hamilton is the most vital piece of this movie's puzzle. He explained to IGN that Hamilton returning to her role as Sarah Connor made a vision for the new sequel fall into place for him, and that her presence helps bridge the gap between past franchise entries and installments that are yet to come.
The director said, "The fact that Linda came back makes this particular Terminator fresh. This story could only continue with her in the role of Sarah Connor. That's the most important thing for me. Linda reinvented this character in a way that both honors who she was before and brings something new to the role."
He also gave major kudos to the new cast, all of whom he says hold their own and bring something new to the table while sharing the screen with Hamilton and Schwarzenegger.
Miller also teased the movie's focus on character over big-budget spectacle, investing audiences in the cast before putting them all in peril. He said,
"We have a lot of powerful, moving character moments up front, but toward the back half of the movie, when s--- gets going [...] it just doesn't stop. And we tried very hard to make it all different and fresh - it's not just people punching each other; it's a roller coaster ride and I think [it's] great."
Fans can watch as old-school meets new-school when Terminator: Dark Fate arrives in theaters on November 1.