T-800 in Terminator Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate hopes to hit the reset switch on the uneven Terminator franchise. Terminator creator James Cameron is involved with the series again for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and this new movie ignores every sequel after that. As a result, a whole new timeline has been set up in the world of the films – and that means new Terminators are afoot as well. Director Tim Miller dropped some info regarding the new Terminators in a recent interview, and also teased that Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s famous T-800 is “very different” than what audiences are used to.

In Terminator: Dark Fate, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) is back, and she’s dealing with some new ‘bots. Gabriel Luna plays a super-advanced evil Terminator, while Mackenzie Davis is Grace, a human-machine hybrid who teams up with Sarah. But why is all of this happening?

“There’s this new future because of what Sarah did at the end of Terminator 2, and it’s worse than ever,” Tim Miller told EW. “And that gives us the opportunity for these new characters. Gabriel comes from something that is not Skynet, but it’s like Skynet. And Mackenzie comes from something that Kyle Reese and the Resistance did. I tried to keep Gabriel a bit grounded while still interesting; I feel his new weapons and abilities are right for our times but not so ridiculous that it just turns into a visual effects superfest. And the same with Mackenzie’s character — I really liked her origin story. We did an early writer’s room and Joe Abercrombie came up with her as this super soldier from the future, but it comes at a cost to be one of these people. They’re the first people to die, they’re the shock troops who protect the rest of humanity, and her readiness to sacrifice is a really interesting way to come at a character.”

I have to say I’m a little miffed at this “Terminator 2 made things worse than ever!” idea, but I’ll reserve full judgment until I see the full movie. All of Miller’s quotes above are focused on the new Terminators – but what about the O.G.? The classic? The T-800, aka Arnold Schwarzenegger? Arnold is in the film, and the trailer shows him looking considerably older than we’re used to, complete with a salt-and-pepper beard. So what’s the deal what that? Miller is being cagey, but he does say: “I don’t think people will be ready for what Arnold has become either, because it’s very different.”

So what could that mean? Is Arnold even playing the T-800 this time? Or is he a completely different character? Or human, even? We’ll find out when Terminator: Dark Fate opens November 1.

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