terminator dark fate editing

Say what you will about James Cameron, he doesn’t sugarcoat things. When he’s not making countless Avatar sequels, the filmmaker is being brutally honest about, well, everything. Case in point: Cameron recently revealed that the Terminator: Dark Fate editing process was a bit bumpy. So bumpy, in fact, that he hints at a metaphorical bloodbath of sorts – one that had him and director Tim Miller at odds sometimes. But Cameron makes it clear this is all part of the creative process, and not the sign of some beef between himself and Miller.

Terminator: Dark Fate is arriving in theaters this weekend. Normally, when a movie is about to hit theaters, the folks that worked on the film in question spend their press days talking up how fun and exciting the project is. But not Mr. James Cameron. The filmmaker and Avatar prisoner is being open and honest about the behind-the-scenes process of Terminator: Dark Fate, and he’s not saying it was all smiles and sunshine.

Speaking with CinemaBlend, Cameron said that the editing process turned out to be a little tricky, primarily because he and director Tim Miller didn’t see eye to eye on everything. Cameron compared it to his recent experience working with director Robert Rodriguez on Alita: Battle Angel. Asked if there were disagreements while editing Dark Fate, Cameron replied: “I would say many. And the blood is still being scrubbed off the walls from those creative battles.” He went on to add:

“This is a film that was forged in fire. So yeah, but that’s the creative process, right? I mean, my work with Robert on Alita was very different. Robert loved the script, loved everything, said, ‘I just want to make this movie. I want to make the movie the way you see it.’ I was like, ‘No, you got to make it your movie.’ I had the reverse experience with Tim, which is Tim wanted to make it his movie. And I’m like, ‘Yeah, but I kind of know a little about this world.’ So I had the matter and the anti-matter version of that producorial experience.”

In a past interview (also with CinemaBlend), Cameron said of the editing process: “It wasn’t a slam-dunk at the time. I felt there were a lot of pathways that were taken that were unnecessary. I’m an editor myself, so I gave notes that were both broad, and very specific…I was very involved in the writing and I was very involved in the cutting of the film. And to me, the cutting is really an extension of the writing.”

While I can understand Miller wanting to have a bit more control over his specific movie, I also think Cameron has a point when he says that he knows “a little about this world” – since he’s the guy who created the Terminator world, after all.

Terminator: Dark Fate opens November 1.

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