Terminator: Dark Fate Director Explains That Shocking Opening

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If you still haven’t seen Terminator: Dark Fate and you want to experience the full impact of the film’s shocking opening, stop reading now.

Still here? Presumably, that means you don’t mind learning that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 kills John Connor (Edward Furlong) early in the film, setting the stage for his mother, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), and her despairing state. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, director Tim Miller revealed the thought process behind this development.

“You’d think it was probably a controversial decision, but it really wasn’t,” he said. “There was a lot of talk at the really early stages of should this new saviour be someone who was connected to the Connors? Should it be John’s daughter or something like that? Which I was always against because I’m just not a fan of the Chosen One sort of movie as much as I am of a hero sort of rising to meet adversity, who could be an everyman or an everywoman. I identify with those people much more than I do with Neo in The Matrix or King Arthur or something like that. So I was all for this being some new person that wasn’t connected to the Connors and had been chosen by the hand of fate.”

According to Miller, the idea was that John’s death would establish his mother as an unhappy character, fuelling her actions in the film. “She is best when she is driven and tragic and you need some rocket fuel for that,” he explained. “You can’t have John be a 36-year-old accountant somewhere. And really, when you think about it, he could be sort of a pathetic figure as a man who had missed his moment in history and was relegated to this banal, ordinary existence, when in fact had Sarah not chosen to destroy Cyberdyne, he would be the leader of humanity. Nobody wants to see that.”

Terminator: Dark Fate is in theatres now. Check out the trailer below.