There are not many things that would make us genuinely interested in seeing another Terminator movie, but Dark Fate checks a few boxes: The sixth film in the franchise is directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool), who knows a thing or two about course-correcting a beloved franchise character; it features Linda Hamilton, reprising her role as Sarah Connor for the first time since Terminator 2: Judgment Day; and it co-stars the excellent Mackenzie Davis of Black Mirror and Halt And Catch Fire fame. On the subject of Davis and her intriguing role in the sequel, Miller tells Variety she’ll “scare the fuck out of” misogynists—so yeah, maybe we’ll give this new Terminator a chance. Davis’ role is that of Grace, whom Miller describes as a “machine fighter” from the future, filling the “protector” role previously played by Kyle Reese:
It’s a painful life, and they’re scarred and take a lot of drugs to combat the pain of what’s been done to them. They don’t live a long time. It’s a very sacrificial role; they risk death to save others. And from the very first suggestion it was always a woman.
Although it may seem reductive to cast a woman in the role of “protector,” which can read as very maternal, Miller explains that they “did not trade certain gender traits for others” in writing Grace’s role, which is precisely why he believes she’ll scare the fuck out of sexist creeps. “She’s just very strong, and that frightens some dudes,” Miller says. When asked about the misogynist reactions to the Dark Fate poster (online commenters referred to Davis and Hamilton as “feminazis”), Miller said, “You can see online the responses to some of the early shit that’s out there, trolls on the internet. I don’t give a fuck.” If you’ve ever seen Miller in person, or even seen photos of him, you know that is a man who most certainly does not give anything in the realm of fucks.
That said, he’s also a self-professed nerd who’s been attending Comic-Con for 25 years, both as a fan and as a filmmaker. It goes without saying that he’s fond of the Terminator franchise and understands why some fans aren’t excited about yet another sequel, but Miller explains that he was compelled to tell a specific story:
I really wanted to see Linda Hamilton come back to personally finish her story as Sarah Connor. Like James Cameron, I always find stories about women are much more interesting than men picking up guns. Jim’s movies are grounded in reality and character and just happen to have time travel and robots.
Setting aside Tim Miller’s desire to push a feminist agenda, which is rad, that whole bit is kind of hilarious. Has Tim Miller seen Aliens? A female-driven story, sure, but one that’s drenched in macho symbolism and fire power. The next line suggests one of two things: Tim Miller is a brilliant satirist or he’s had too much of the James Cameron Kool-Aid: “Jim’s movies are grounded in reality and...” Honestly, it’s impossible to finish that sentence without laughing. Anyway, Terminator: Dark Fate might make misogynist fan boys cry, and that’s a fun idea.