Terminator: Dark Fate has only been in UK cinemas a short while, but even before it bowed there was talk of a sequel. The sixth instalment in the franchise is, perhaps confusingly, only the third in what will hopefully be forever known as the canon Terminator franchise.
This ignores the third and fourth movies, as well as the attempted reboot Genisys. Be forewarned, as we detail what we know and speculate about the sequel, there will be spoilers for Terminator: Dark Fate.
How does Terminator: Dark Fate set up the sequel?
There is, of course, the fact that the entire Terminator franchise involves time travel, which leaves open the door for an infinite number of sequels. But besides this, Dark Fate explicitly lays the groundwork for a direct follow-up with many of the same stars.
In short, the ending involved Dani Ramos and Sarah Connor overlooking a playground where a young Grace is enjoying the afternoon with her family. What Dani and Sarah know, however, is that in the future when the machines rise up and Legion (aka Skynet) enacts its genocide on humanity Dani will rescue Grace and help her evolve into the soldier she is destined to become.
Dani and Sarah get into a jeep and drive away, knowing full well that Judgment Day is coming and Grace will be key to their succeeded against the machines. It’s a pretty clear set-up to a sequel, in a similar way The Force Awakens clearly laid the path towards two more movies.
Dark Fate producer James Cameron revealed they’ve got enough not only for two movies, but three. “We spent several weeks figuring out what type of story we wanted to tell so we would have something to pitch Linda. We rolled up our sleeves and started to break out the story and when we got a handle on something we looked at it as a three-film arc, so there is a greater story there to be told.”
As for T-800’s role, by the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day he was dead. Or whatever the equivalent is for Terminators. But if we’ve learned anything from the five Terminator movies so far it’s that a T-800 will always be back.
Cameron is also clearly looking to the future, telling Yahoo: “And ultimately [Sarah Connor] becomes a really important character in passing the baton to the new characters that come in. It’s a very female-centric film… I’m glad [director] Tim embraced those themes.”
Those new characters include both Natalia Reyes and Mackenzie Davis, of course. The next Terminator movie could also feature Gabriel Luna’s Rev 9, which debuted in Dark Fate. After all, if T-800 can come back…
Right now a release date and plot are way off in the future, but given the success of Terminator: Dark Fate, it may be sooner than we think