Nobody seems to know what terminator is about anymore


As of the release of Terminator: Dark Fate in 2019, James Cameron’s sci-fi franchise was in its 37th year and (arguably) its 30th without a decent follow-up to the gritty, sometimes gruesome original. Although, as fans continue to yearn for a decent film, the newer movies seem to have grown in quality in hindsight. It’s not easy to see where the post-apocalyptic series goes from here, after many, many misfires.

A new Terminator movie is as inevitable as Skynet destroying the world in the meandering plot(s), despite the fact that takings have got progressively worse with each subsequent film. In fact, with the exception of the original movie in sixth place, the previous five entries are in descending order in terms of their box office performance. Dark Fate made $US142 million less than Judgment Day, which encapsulates Terminator’s declining appeal in one statistic.

It’s also just as inevitable that a new movie will be a reboot of some description, as writers continue to fumble for a formula that works. It’s a disappointing scenario, as a movie about robots, time travel, and a malevolent AI should be an easy thing to sell. However, there’s no getting away from the fact that directors keep trying to remake and emulate Terminator 2, right up to the point of bringing Linda Hamilton back in Dark Fate.

Mackenzie Davis

Part of the problem is, of course, Arnie. Beloved as he might be, the Terminator franchise is hamstrung by his ongoing presence, as it prevents any kind of true diversion from the existing story. There’s also a preoccupation with just two characters – John and Sarah Connor, which isn’t necessary anymore. These stories have been told and, due to the wandering timeline, retold several times over.

The creators of Batman and Spider-Man finally stopped killing the characters’ parents and uncle, respectively, in every film, so there’s really no need for Skynet to keep sending robots back in time to inconvenience the Connors. 

Terminator has come too far without having to worry too much about the box office. The franchise has a major presence in just about all forms of media, including iGaming. Of course, there are various slots based on famous movies, such as the title themed around Terminator 2 and released by Microgaming. A recent blog post from BonusFinder Canada explains that “insatiable fans” tend to demand more and more products around their favourite films, including comic books, video games, and all sorts of merchandise.

What’s next for Terminator, then? Mackenzie Davis, who played the super-human Grace in Dark Fate, is actually signed on for three films. However, quite apart from producing another robot romp around a Terminator factory, rumours suggest that the next writer will go down the horror route, something that the first movie did to great effect. Davis has noted that franchise fatigue is crippling Terminator, though, which is a bit of an alarm bell for future movies.

In an ideal world, Terminator 7 will be refreshed from the group up – yet it’s hard to see producers opting for something other than a Terminator chasing the Connors, once again.

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