Dissecting the Downfall of Terminator: Dark Fate and the Franchise

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Dissecting the Downfall of Terminator: Dark Fate and the Franchise

Terminator: Dark Fate – The Franchise’s Demise?

Dissecting the Downfall of Terminator: Dark Fate and the Franchise Credit: Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate has been widely regarded as the nail in the coffin for the entire franchise. While the latest installment in the Terminator series wasn’t terrible, it paled in comparison to James Cameron’s earlier masterpieces and leaned heavily on a feminist theme. The controversial killing of John Connor left a sour taste in the mouths of many fans. As a result, the Terminator franchise is now in limbo, with Dark Fate costing the studio a staggering $120 million. What’s even more surprising is that James Cameron was on board as the producer, initially sparking hope among fans for a return to the glory days of Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Unfortunately, Dark Fate failed to revive the series after the disappointment of Terminator: Genisys.

Behind-the-Scenes Turmoil

It’s no secret that there was trouble brewing behind the scenes during the making of Dark Fate. Director Tim Miller has openly discussed the creative clashes he had with Cameron throughout the filmmaking process. Thankfully, the two men have since resolved their differences. The Deadpool director has even acknowledged that Terminator: Dark Fate was a flop, sharing his thoughts during Collider’s Directors on Directing Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con.

Dissecting the Downfall of Terminator: Dark Fate and the Franchise Terminator: Dark Fate

Miller and Cameron’s Differing Opinions on the Film’s Failure

Both Miller and Cameron have their own theories on why the film bombed at the box office. However, Cameron’s perspective might be slightly off the mark. The Oscar-winning director has been making the media rounds for Avatar: The Way of Water and shared his thoughts on why Terminator: Dark Fate failed to resonate with modern audiences in an interview with Deadline:

“I think the problem, and I’m going to wear this one, is that I refused to do it without Arnold,” Cameron stated. “Tim [Miller] didn’t want Arnold, but I said, ‘Look, I don’t want that. Arnold and I have been friends for 40 years, and I could hear it, and it would go like this: ‘Jim, I can’t believe you’re making a Terminator movie without me.’ It just didn’t mean that to me to do it, but I said, ‘If you guys could see your way clear to bringing Arnold back and then, you know, I’d be happy to be involved.”

Dissecting the Downfall of Terminator: Dark Fate and the Franchise Credit: Terminator: Dark Fate

Was Arnold Really the Problem?

Contrary to Cameron’s belief, Arnold’s presence in the film was not the issue. While it may have been strange to see him return as an aging Terminator in the last two films, he wasn’t the problem in Terminator: Dark Fate. In fact, the conflict between Sarah Connor and the T-800 was more engaging than the main storyline. Miller and Cameron could have delved deeper into the consequences of John Connor’s death and focused on Sarah’s journey following the tragic loss of her son. Regrettably, Dark Fate played it safe by relying on familiar faces and recycling a tired plot.

Cameron Reflects on the Film’s Missteps

“I think what happened is I think the movie could have survived having Linda in it,” Cameron said. “I think it could have survived having Arnold in it, but when you put Linda and Arnold in it and then, you know, she’s 60-something, he’s 70-something, all of a sudden it wasn’t your Terminator movie, it wasn’t even your dad’s Terminator, it was your granddad’s Terminator movie. And we didn’t see that.”

“We thought it was cool, you know, that we were making this sort of direct to a movie that came out in 1991,” he added. “And young moviegoing audiences weren’t born. They wouldn’t even have been born for another 10 years… So, it was just my own myopia. We kind of got a little high on our own supply, and I think that’s the lesson there.”

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