It’s been 35 years since James Cameron introduced us to The Terminator in 1984. Now, with five films in the franchise and a worldwide fanbase ravenous for more, Cameron is back, along with Terminator alums Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger for a 2019 reboot (sequel?) titled Terminator: Dark Fate.
The release of the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate finally gave fans a glimpse at a movie that seeks to right some big missteps from past Terminator films. The addition of actors Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, and Gabriel Luna, as well as a new director (Deadpool’s Tim Miller) mean that the Terminator franchise will get a much-needed update while still holding onto the magic of the earlier films. (Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger are back!)
Let’s take a look at every last bit of information we have about Terminator: Dark Fate, the sixth (but hopefully not final) film in the Terminator franchise, from release date details to potential plot spoilers.
Possible spoilers ahead for Terminator: Dark Fate.
When Is the Terminator: Dark Fate Release Date?
Terminator: Dark Fate will land in theaters on November 1, 2019.
Is There a Trailer For Terminator: Dark Fate?
The first teaser trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate was released on Thursday May 23, 2019 (you can watch it above).
Who Is Returning for This Terminator Film? Please Say There’s More Arnold!
The trailer confirms that Terminator alums Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger are back and still trying to take down Skynet in Dark Fate. We’re not too sure if past Terminator alums will make an appearance in the film (sorry, Jai Courtney), but you never know!
During a panel discussion for Dark Fate at CinemaCon in April, Hamilton opened up about why she chose to return to the world of Terminator after a nearly 30-year absence:
“It has been nearly 30 years since I last stepped into the shoes of Sarah Connor, a character who definitely changed my life and only a script, a story, a director like this could bring me back into this world — a perfect confluence of events. Once in a lifetime, or maybe twice, an event comes along that you cannot turn away from. And for me, this is that moment.”
Hamilton’s commitment to reviving the magic of the first two Terminator films was also mentioned during a CinemaCon red carpet interview with Variety. During that interview, she wondered aloud whether the Terminator films post-Terminator 2: Judgment Day were “forgettable” (shady!) before sharing how Dark Fate would course-correct the franchise:
“You start something and you’re invested in the franchise, but somehow the characters that you care about weren’t there. Too many people, too many story points. So I think we’ve done a good job of narrowing down the focus again so it will echo the first two films.”
Who Are the Newcomers to the Terminator World?
The trailer for Dark Fate also gives us a first look at three of the leads and newbies to the Terminator franchise: Mackenzie Davis as Grace; Natalia Reyes as Dani Ramos; and Gabriel Luna as a Terminator.
Davis was cast in Dark Fate all the way back in March 2018. She’s kept mostly mum about her character since being cast, only revealing this in an interview with ComicBook in April 2019: “I can say that I’m an enhanced human being and I come to Mexico City under a mysterious mission to protect Dani Ramos played by Natalia Reyes, and that’s about it.”
Reyes and Luna were among the second wave of cast members tapped to star in Terminator: Dark Fate. Reyes is mostly known for her work in Spanish-language film and television, although she has slowly been transitioning to English-language projects. Dark Fate will likely serve as a breakout role for the actress. Luna’s breakout role was in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Ghost Rider, a role he will continue to play in his forthcoming solo Ghost Rider series on Netflix.
What Is the Plot of Terminator: Dark Fate?
The official synopsis for Terminator: Dark Fate reads:
“27 years after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a new, modified liquid metal Terminator (Gabriel Luna) is sent from the future by Skynet in order to terminate Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes), a hybrid cyborg human (Mackenzie Davis), and her friends. Sarah Connor comes to their aid, as well as the original Terminator, for a fight for the future.”
This plot is confirmed in the first teaser trailer. Past that, we don’t have too much information about Grace’s origins, why Dani must be terminated, or what Sarah Connor has been up to since the events of Judgment Day. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see, huh?
Has James Cameron Been Involved in Terminator: Dark Fate at All?
Any longtime Terminator fan will tell you that once James Cameron parted ways with the franchise after Judgment Day, the following Terminator films have been wildly hit-or-miss. There’s just something about a Cameron-Terminator pairing that makes sense, ya know?
Luckily, Cameron has returned for Dark Fate as a producer for the 2019 film. He helped Miller develop the story, ostensibly consulting on the film as the mind behind the Terminator world. Dark Fate’s DNA will have Cameron all over it, but expect Miller to also bring his own sensibilities to the film.
Where in the Terminator Timeline Does Dark Fate Fall?
The return of Hamilton and Schwarzenegger confirms what we’ve known for some time: In the Terminator timeline, Dark Fate happens after Terminator 2: Judgment Day. This means that any Terminator sequels or reboots that happened between Judgment Day and Dark Fate — Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation, and Terminator: Genisys — don’t exist in this universe.
Which Terminator Films Should I Watch Before I See Dark Fate?
Because Dark Fate will ignore everything that came after Judgment Day, you won’t have to study up too much before checking out the film. For now, just rewatch 1984’s The Terminator and Judgment Day, and you’ll be all set. However, the other Terminator films are pretty fun rides (for better or for worse), so maybe you’ll want to make a marathon of it before you head to the theater for Dark Fate [Editor’s note: Maybe skip Genisys, though.]
Terminator: Dark Fate arrives in theaters on November 1, 2019.