It would be a rather futile exercise to delve in the question of whether there would be a sequel to the newest Terminator film, especially considering its place in the universe of Terminator films, the timing at released, and the very purpose for which this film was brought to fruition.
Long story short, at this point, it would almost be a certainty that there would be more ‘Terminator’ films in the pipeline since as I stated, the very purpose of ‘Dark Fate’ was a dual one. The first, to suitably bring a close to the events of the first two films that were left somewhat hanging in the middle after James Cameron’s departure from the franchise owing to intellectual property issues while other films, ‘Rise of the Machines’, ‘Salvation’ and ‘Genisys’ took the story forward in a different direction. The second, was to go back to the franchise’s roots and re-introduce a potential, new trilogy of films to the audience. In that, ‘Dark Fate’ was intended to serve both as a direct sequel only to T1 and T2, and a reboot for the entire franchise for it to go forward in different directions.
It does so by something I call the ‘Days of Future Past’ phenomenon, simultaneously taking the story forward while using the very tangible tool of time travel in cinema to open up entirely new avenues, while also undoing the mistakes of the past, since directly doing so would seem rather blunt and impolite to the audience, something that X-Men films went ahead and did anyway, and also since the gestation period for regular reboots may even stretch decades, something that hasn’t borne fruit for any production company involved.
The only spanner in the works could be thrown if the film completely pummels with respect to the box office returns it enjoys, something that I feel is a bit unlikely as opening weekend predictions would state. However, we still have to wait for the original numbers to be turned in.
With the intent of the film out of the way, we come to the avenues that Dark Fate opens up that could directly figure into a new Terminator film. First in that, if you have read any of the reviews for the film, you’d know that ‘Dark Fate’ is just borderline derivative of the first two Terminator films, especially T2, wherein if it would have the heart of the 1991 classic, it could almost be termed a remake, almost being the key word here.
However, just as the makers of the film, it is important to view ‘Dark Fate’ as rather a transient entry rather than a tent pole one. Before delving further into the discussion, I must also warn you that everything beyond this point will contain minor and major spoilers for the plot of the film.
What Could the Next Terminator Film be About?
‘Dark Fate’ follows up the events of T2, but begins with killing off one of the major protagonists of those film, John Connor, who meets his end at the hands of a remaining T-800, just in case you still weren’t sure that the franchise was looking to introduce new faces. Shortly after, the film introduces the new “John Connor” in Dani Ramos, the future leader of the human resistance against another AI apocalyptic threat, Legion, elucidating that Skynet ceased to exist after the events of the previous films, but the humans found a way to develop another AI designed for cyberwarfare but turned against them.
From a future ravaged by war, a new enhanced terminator, Rev-9, and a member of the human resistance, an augmented humanoid, Grace is sent back in time to respectively kill and protect Dani, and while on the run, Dani and Grace are joined and protected in their fight against the machines by Sarah Connor who now hunts Terminators, and a retired T-800. You can read more about what happened in the middle and end segments of the movie in our detailed explainer, but for now, we can safely bet that the ending of the film leaves enough room for exploration.
In that, future sequels could see more Terminators being sent back in time to hunt a now aware of her purpose Dani, aided by Sarah, who would indeed be pushing towards fulfilling her destiny of saving the future leader of the human resistance. That right there is two of the stars, Natalia Reyes and Linda Hamilton back for a potential sequel.
As for the other two, we do know that Skynet and the timeline of the first two Terminators left enough room for another T-800 to survive, and by extended definition, room for Arnold Schwarzenegger to return in his iconic role. Long shot, but entirely possible. Mackenzie Davis was probably my favourite part of the movie, and there is a complete possibility that she might not return given the end her character saw, but there is always room for new enhanced soldiers to return from the future.
Producer and writer James Cameron, who returned to the franchise after nearly two decades too seems to be up for a sequel, revealing that he had always imagined ‘Dark Fate’ to be the beginning of a potential new story stretching over 2-3 new films, particularly stressing upon the human-technology interaction bit, stating that “I feel that we set the stage or we set the table for that exploration, and that would take place in a second film and a third film.”
Tim Miller, the director of ‘Dark Fate’ on the other hand seems completely content with his work on the film, and stated that despite the intent of the film to stem a new franchise, he would be completely okay handing over the reins to somebody else in his stead.
Terminator 7 Release Date
There hasn’t been any official announcement made so far, but you can expect that to happen sometime in near future. Typically, a film of Terminator’s scale takes at least two years of production and post production time. So, even if the Terminator 7 is greenlit by the end of 2020, we are looking at a release date that could be sometime in early 2023.
Read More: Where to Stream Terminator?