Terminator: Dark Fate is the sixth Terminator film, and it is a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The film was directed by Tim Miller, with James Cameron serving as producer, and was released on November 1, 2019.
More than two decades after the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) sets out to protect a young woman named Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) and her friends as a liquid metal Terminator (Gabriel Luna) sent from the future attempts to terminate them.
Official synopsis, released October 4, 2019:
- More than two decades have passed since Sarah Connor prevented Judgment Day, changed the future, and re-wrote the fate of the human race. Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is living a simple life in Mexico City with her brother (Diego Boneta) and father when a highly advanced and deadly new Terminator – a Rev-9 (Gabriel Luna) – travels back through time to hunt and kill her. Dani's survival depends on her joining forces with two warriors: Grace (Mackenzie Davis), an enhanced super-soldier from the future, and a battle-hardened Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). As the Rev-9 ruthlessly destroys everything and everyone in its path on the hunt for Dani, the three are led to a T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from Sarah’s past that may be their last best hope.
- 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.
- Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (T-800) return in their iconic roles in Terminator: Dark Fate, directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool) and produced by visionary filmmaker James Cameron and David Ellison. Following the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator: Dark Fate also stars Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Diego Boneta.
In 1998, three years after they have defeated the T-1000, Sarah and John Connor are at a beach bar in Guatemala when a T-800 Model 101 Terminator suddenly arrives and shoots John, killing him, much to Sarah's horror.
In Mexico City in 2020, Resistance fighter Grace and a new model of Terminator, Rev-9, arrive from the future in separate locations. Rev-9 escapes soon as he disguises himself as a US Air Force pilot while Grace escapes following a conflict with the police which found her naked.
Dani Ramos lives with her father and brother, Diego. She heads off to work at a factory with Diego. Diego is dismayed to learn that he might be replaced on the assembly line by a robot and as Dani confronts the factory manager, the Rev-9 enters the factory disguised as their father.
The Rev-9 attacks Dani, but Grace appears and defends her. Grace, Dani, and Diego escape in a car, but the Rev-9 gives chase in a truck. The Rev-9 is able to divide itself into two separate entities—the endoskeleton and the mimetic polyalloy shapeshifter. Diego gets killed in the attack, and, as both parts of the Terminator move in on Grace and Dani, Sarah arrives and temporarily disables the Rev-9 by blasting him via a grenade launcher.
Dani and Grace escape in Sarah's car whilst she is fighting, but Grace passes out. She reveals to Dani that she is an augmented human, designed for short bursts of action, and needs various medical items to return back to full capacity. Dani and Grace raid a pharmacy for supplies, but Sarah has tracked them and takes them back to her motel room. There, Grace reveals that she is a human from 2042 who, after being severely injured in a fight with a Rev-7, volunteered to be augmented with cybernetic parts and sent back by the Resistance to protect Dani. Sarah tells them that she knew of their location because of mysterious text messages she receives detailing the arrival of Terminators through time. She hunts them as they arrive, and each message ends with the phrase "For John."
As Sarah tells her story, Grace reveals that she has never heard of Skynet or John Connor. Deducing that she succeeded in preventing Skynet's rise to power, Sarah is horrified as Grace informs her that a new A.I. designed for cyber warfare, Legion, became self aware and initiated Judgment Day. Grace is able to trace the source of the text messages and the coordinates match to the numbers Grace has tattooed on her body.
While tracing the coordinates, they cross the border into the US, but are arrested by border officers due to the Rev-9's interference. After being detained, the Rev-9 attempts to kill Dani, but the group manages to escape in a helicopter. Arriving at the coordinates, they discovered that the occupant there is the same Terminator that killed John, now going by the name of Carl. It is revealed that after killing John, Carl lost his purpose and integrated into human society, adopting a family and starting a business.
The group devise a plan to destroy the Rev-9; They would need electromagnetic pulse grenades that can be acquired from a military major, but, during the deal with the major, the Rev-9 attacks, and they escape to a nearby military base. They acquire an aircraft there and escape, but the EMP grenades get damaged and end up being unusable. It is then revealed that Dani is the future leader of the Resistance against Legion. The Rev-9 pursues them in another aircraft. After a series of fights, the aircraft crashes into a river by a hydro-power plant.
Being chased by the Rev-9, the group enters the complex, where they fight against the Rev-9. The Rev-9 gets severely damaged, with Carl and Sarah being subdued and Grace failing. Grace pleads Dani to take her power source to destroy the Rev-9. Dani takes her power source, shutting down Grace, and attempts to destroy the Rev-9. Carl sacrifices himself to destroy the Rev-9 in the blast of the power source.
After Dani witnesses Grace of the present timeline as a child at a playground, Dani and Sarah drive off, with Sarah telling her that if she is destined to become the future leader of the Resistance, she would need all the training she can get.
- Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor
- Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the T-800 who also goes by Carl
- Mackenzie Davis as Grace
- Stephanie Gil as Young Grace
- Gabriel Luna as the Rev 9
- Natalia Reyes as Dani Ramos
- Diego Boneta as Diego Ramos
- Enrique Arce as Vicente Ramos
- Edward Furlong as John Connor
- Earl Boen as Dr. Silberman (archival footage)
A "Terminator 6" of sorts was conceived as being at least one of two sequels to Genisys, though was referred to as "Terminator 2" internally. This sequel was originally set for release on May 19, 2017. It would have followed the story of John Connor after his conversion into the T-3000. "Terminator 3" (a seventh film) would have followed on June 29, 2018. Due to below expected box office returns and critical reception, the Genisys sequels were put on hold. Paramount later put the franchise on hold, and the planned "Terminator 2" and "Terminator 3" were both removed from Paramount's production slate.
In May 2017, Schwarzenegger stated that he would return for Terminator 6. With the rights to the franchise set to revert to James Cameron in 2019, it was stated that he would reboot the franchise. In August 2017, it was confirmed that the film would begin filming in March 2018, with Tim Miller directing, and Cameron producing, and that it would be the first installment of a new trilogy, with the writers room consisting of Cameron, Miller, David Goyer, [Justin Rhodes], Josh Friedman and Billy Ray. The idea to reboot the franchise came from David Ellison, who wanted to bring Cameron "back into the fold." According to Cameron, Ellison wanted "to go back to basics," namely returning to Terminator 2. A consensus emerged that the character of Sarah Connor would return only if Linda Hamilton returned to the role. Plotting out the story pitch took several weeks. The third, fourth, and fifth films were looked at as an example of what to avoid. According to Cameron, "one of the things that seemed obvious from looking at the films that came along later was that we would need to get everything back to the basics and that we would need to avoid the mistakes of making things overly complex and that we needed to avoid stories that jumps around in time and one that goes backward and forward in time. Let’s keep it simple in the relative unity of time. With the story, let’s have the whole thing play out in 36 hours or 48 hours. In the first two movies everything plays out in less than two days in each one so there’s energy and momentum."
By April 2018, the trilogy proposal had yet to be greenlighted, and pre-production began that month. On June 19, 2018, Terminator seemed to have officially begun production under the working title "Phoenix" in Madrid, Spain, with Mackenzie Davis spotted on set with Natalia Reyes and Linda Hamilton on set the next day.  On November 6, 2018, production on Terminator wrapped in Budapest. On February 9, 2019, James Cameron revealed that the new working title for the film was Terminator: Dark Fate. On March 19, 2019 Paramount confirmed that to be the official title.
The question as to whether the film would be R rated was a controversial one during development. In the end, Paramount agreed to an R rating. During early filming, scenes were left open for an R and non-R version.
On the subject of potential sequels, James Cameron commented "I feel like one of my major motivations on this film or coming back to the, hopefully, franchise, was to explore the human relationship with artificial intelligence. I don't feel we did that in Dark Fate. We set the table for that exploration, and that exploration would take place in a second film and a third film. And we know exactly where we're going to take that idea. What we wanted to get in the first movie was this idea that it's just going to keep happening. The names will change, but the basic conflict is going to continue to take place until it gets resolved one way or the other." Cameron further reiterated that Dark Fate could still potentially stand alone however, stating "then you elaborate, and you can elaborate over a series of films. If they're made by the same people with the same intentions and the same philosophy, then there can be a story arc across multiple films. But that said, I think Dark Fate stands alone as a pretty good one-time story." As for the plot of the next films, Cameron stated "we've got a lot of thinking about what things look like up in the [Terminator] future to draw upon, and we know where our storyline is going in broad strokes. The "innate conflict" that the future Terminator films will have to resolve, will be the ultimate -- and inescapable -- showdown between humanity and A.I." On the subject, Cameron elaborated that in-universe, there is "a kind of inevitability, like a great forcing factor that always tends to see the rise of an artificial superintelligence. That it's just the direction that the universe is heading. This is a collision that the human race is on, essentially with its own progeny, in a sense." Ergo, the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Skynet's preemptive destruction was "kicking the can down the proverbial road."
- A 5 minute trailer was shown at San-Diego Comic-Con 2019
- The Japanese film title is Terminator: New Fate (ターミネーター：ニュー・フェイト).
- Main article: Terminator: Dark Fate/Gallery