James Cameron Gives Explains Why He Thinks Terminator: Dark Fate Failed

Credit: Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate has arguably killed the entire franchise. To be fair, the latest Terminator feature wasn’t bad. However, it was a less superior version of James Cameron’s earlier works with a clear feminism theme. The senseless murder of John Connor did not go over well with most of the Terminator audience. The Terminator franchise is currently on ice as Dark Fate lost the studio $120 million. The surprising result is that James Cameron was actually on board as the producer. At first, this excited fans hoping for something in vein of Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Sadly, Dark Fate failed to get the series back on track following the disappointment known as Terminator: Genisys.

I didn’t help that there was trouble behind the scenes as well. it’s no secret that Tim Miller wasn’t happy during the filming process of Dark Fate. Miller has described the wars he had with Cameron during the creative process. Thankfully, both men have been able to sort out their differences after the film commenced. The Deadpool director has acknowledged that Terminator: Dark Fate was a flop. Miller shared his thoughts to an audience during Collider’s Directors on Directing Hall H San Diego Comic-Con.

Terminator: Dark Fate

Both Miller and Cameron have their opinions on why the film tanked at the box office, though in terms of the latter, he may be off the mark a bit. The Oscar winner is making his media rounds for Avatar: The Way of Water. Cameron told Deadline his reasoning on why he felt Terminator: Dark Fate just didn’t click with modern audiences:

“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.”

Credit: Terminator: Dark Fate

Arnold was never necessary for the film. While it’s odd to have Arnold be back as an old Terminator in the last two films, he wasn’t the problem in Terminator: Dark Fate. In fact, the conflict between Sarah Connor and T-800 was more compelling than the main plot of the story. Miller and Cameron could’ve gotten more mileage out of the killing of John Connor. The story could’ve focused on Connor and her journey following the tragic murder of her son. Unfortunately, Dark Fate opted to play it safe. They relied on only bringing back old names of the franchise and recycled a tired plot point.

“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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