The biggest news out of Paramount’s panel for “Terminator: Dark Fate” at Comic-Con today was that Edward Furlong will return to the franchise to play John Connor.
Furlong last played the role in 1991’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” in what was his first screen role and while the character has reappeared in all the films since, other actors like Nick Stahl, Christian Bale and Jason Clarke have played him.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton headed the panel on the Hall H stage for the Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media film, while James Cameron appeared in a video and revealed the Furlong news.
Also during the panel, the film’s director Tim Miller confirmed the new movie will be rated R, not PG-13 like the past two films:
“The DNA of Terminator is an R-rated f—ing’ movie. To not do it R feels disingenuous to the source material.”
Miller told EW yesterday that he doesn’t think people will be ready for what Schwarzenegger is doing in the film because “it’s very different”. Footage screened during the panel indicates he plays a character named Carl, a T-800 protector who has been hiding out and living as a human. Miller also says Gabriel Luna’s new Terminator: “comes from something that is not Skynet, but it’s like Skynet” and there’s a good reason why he’s not some big Austrian muscle man:
“I tried to keep Gabriel a bit grounded while still interesting… This Terminator is a lot more human than a regular Terminator has been, which makes sense because computers are human, they understand us more every day.”
Mackenzie Davis’ super soldier and protector character meanwhile:
“[She] comes from something that Kyle Reese and the Resistance did… [she’s] this super soldier from the future, but it comes at a cost to be one of these people… It would be easy to go, ‘Okay, you’re going to get some woman who’s an ex-MMA fighter or all about fitness and fighting, but I knew that she really had to connect. Because Sarah in a lot of ways is broken, and I knew that the audience would relate a lot to what had happened to humanity’s future…the audience has to really feel for Grace by the end of it. And so I knew first and foremost, she had to be a great actor.”
The film will also deal heavily with consequences, specifically the actions by Sarah Connor in the second one which saw the destruction of Skynet:
“The first two movies really deal with time as a loop, what’s happening is the same thing that happened before and everybody is fighting to ensure that happens again. And Jim [Cameron] had this lucky break that he only broke that rule at the end of Terminator 2 when Sarah destroys Cyberdyne, it’s the first thing that happened that hadn’t happened before, and so it was going to change the future — but no one knew how. And I don’t think the movies that came after it really explored that in a clean way like I believe we are, with true consequences, and it makes perfect sense for Sarah to be the one to face those consequences since they were her choices to begin with.”
The news comes ahead of a new trailer expected to drop during a live-streaming Reddit AMA with the cast taking place from 3pm US-PST today. “Terminator: Dark Fate” opens November 1st.