The Terminator series has begun to feel a bit like Shakespeare, though only in the respect that actors continually hand down the same roles from generation to generation for a new re-interpretation. The position of John Connor, for instance, was originated in the sequel T2: Judgement Day by Edward Furlong as a 10-year-old kid, then bequeathed to the likes of Christian Bale, Jason Clarke and Nick Stahl when future installments required the character to be remolded as an action hero.
Still, it’s highly unusual for an actor to reclaim a character they originated decades earlier, after having already left it to other performers. But that’s precisely what was announced at San Diego Comic-Con, as has reportedly Furlong signed on to appear in the upcoming Terminator sequel Dark Fate in his star-making role of John Connor.
It’s an appropriate move for a film angling to wipe clean the slate of its franchise’s thoroughly mixed-up mythology; Dark Fate situates itself as a direct follow-up to T2 and the original Terminator, erasing the existence of Genisys and Salvation in what can only be described as a concession to the will of the people. The hilariously convoluted mythos of Terminator, second only to that of the X-Men in its time-traveling pretzel twists, is probably best served with a reset.
Dark Fate will act as something of a cast reunion, not only bringing back Furlong but also reuniting original stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger as survivor Sarah Connor and the unstoppable T-800 model, respectively. However, with Mackenzie Davis‘ mysterious newcomer Grace taking the lead, the function that these legacy cases will serve in the film remains cloudy.
At any rate, it seems like a back-to-basics approach for this sequel: back to the original continuity, back to the original cast, and back to the original plot schematic of ‘killer robot comes back from the future to destroy the chosen one’. Good news for those of us captivated by the sight of twisting CGI liquid metal.
Terminator: Dark Fate arrives in the UK on 23 October, and then the US on 1 November.
Published 19 Jul 2019
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