Like many a franchise, the Terminator movies have had their ups and downs and it is generally considered that beyond the first two films (both directed by James Cameron) and an ambitious but ratings-challenged FOX tv series, The Sarah Connor Chronicles (featuring Lena Heady and Summer Glau), the subsequent instalments (T3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: Genisys) simply failed to live up to the potential of the premise. Even by the standards of the time-travel genre, they only succeeded in muddying the waters regarding continuity. Behind the scenes, the rights to the franchise and who had the ability, money and patience to move the franchise forward was also a matter of debate. 2015’s Genisys was supposed to be the start of a new trilogy of stories, recasting and rebooting elements of the original film as the future robotic overlords (including Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith) sought to change history once more, but its box-office failure nixed that idea.
With the rights issue sorted and Skydance Media in control, there have been mixed feelings about the next chapter in the Terminator saga. The good news is that Arnold Schwarzenegger will appear and Linda Hamilton will be reprising her role as the original’s Sarah Connor for the first time since T2. The production will have Tim Miller, the original Deadpool director at the helm. James Cameron is on board as an executive producer and is contributing to the story which he and Miller say will be in the spirit of the original movies rather than later chapters. Hamilton will be joined by Natalie Reyes (as Dani Ramos), Mackenzie Davis (as Grace) and Gabriel Luna (the ‘Ghost Rider’ from Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD) as another terminator.
There isn’t much known about the specifics of the story beyond its positioning after T2. On 1st August, the production released the first official image of its main leading ladies and drew mixed reactions. Many agreed that Hamilton looks as ‘bad-ass’ as ever, but there were questions as to whether the markings on a somewhat androgynous-looking Mackenzie’s arms mean that Grace simply has symmetrical, interlocking tattoos or if they perhaps indicate she isn’t human but yet another cyborg model? There’s also very little information as to how prominently Sarah’s son John will figure into the story. However, in some ways, Terminator IS Sarah Connor’s story and that may have been the element missing from the male-dominated stories that came later.
The new day of judgement was originally going to be in July 2019, but with filming having only just started in the last month or so, the newly-announced release is 22nd November 2019.