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Terminator: Dark Fate Rumor Reveals Shocking Story Twist

Contains potential spoilers for Terminator: Dark Fate

Nearly five full months stands between moviegoers today and the launch of Terminator: Dark Fatethe sixth franchise installment meant to reinvigorate the property and turn a blind eye to everything that came after 1991's Terminator 2: Judgement Day. A retconning that intense is bound to have some huge consequences — and according to a new rumor, the Terminator story fans know and love will get seriously shaken up in Dark Fate

The information we're about to dig into is unconfirmed but spoils a big part of the upcoming movie. Proceed with caution.

Heroic Hollywood is reporting that Terminator: Dark Fate will offer up a shocking twist upon which it sets its story: the death of Sarah Connor's (Linda Hamilton) son, John (Edward Furlong). 

The original Terminator movie from 1984 saw the artificial general intelligence system known as Skynet sent the T-800 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time to kill Sarah, who would eventually give birth to John, the man meant to save humanity in the impending battle between mankind and machines. (Skynet doesn't want the humans to win, obviously, hence the assassination mission.) Terminator 2: Judgement Day upped the stakes, with Skynet sending a different Terminator, a model T-1000, to take out John and the humans shipping out another Terminator to keep him safe. Ultimately, the Connors and the T-800 Terminator dismantled Skynet's creator, Cyberdyne, and stopped Judgement Day. 

Given that Terminator: Dark Fate picks up after Terminator 2 and ignores everything that followed it (like the resurgence of Skynet in third movie), the film doesn't include Skynet. There's an issue with that fact, though: how would any Terminators appear in the past if Skynet doesn't exist anymore? Well, Dark Fate apparently takes place on an alternate timeline... one in which John Connor is no longer alive. 

You read that right – Terminator: Dark Fate reportedly explains that a Terminator killed John in 1998, seven years after the events of Terminator 2 and over two decades before Dark Fate. His death paved the way for a new savior, Daniella "Dani" Ramos, played in Dark Fate by Natalia Reyes, to safeguard all humans. 

Without Skynet, a new danger known as Legion rises. Apparently, Legion sent the Terminator to murder John in the late '90s, then ordered a Rev-9 Terminator prototype (which Gabriel Luna portrays in the new film) back in time to murder Dani. The human side of the man-versus-machine war sends a cyborg assassin named Grace, portrayed by Mackenzie Davis, to ensure Dani stays safe. Essentially, Dani is the new John, the updated Terminator is to her what the T-1000 was to him, and Grace is to Dani what the T-800 was to Sarah Connor in Terminator 2.

Of course, we can't say for certain how accurate this report from Heroic Hollywood is, as the outlet didn't list explicit sources. If what this ends up being completely true, it might explain why Terminator franchise star Arnold Schwarzenegger has been quiet about the film. He previously told Business Insider that Paramount Pictures wants to keep the film's story "more under wraps this time around," as he believes the studio "learned from the last time that they gave too much away of the story." In talking freely about Dark Fate, Schwarzenegger might have accidentally revealed too much about this part of the plot and been in a whole world of trouble. Ironically, Heroic Hollywood wound up doing it for him.

Is it the right move, though — killing off the long-promised savior John and bringing a completely new character into the franchise to literally take his place? We know Schwarzenegger said Dark Fate is "a whole new movie" and dismisses a lot of the established lore, but would the creative team go this far? A twist like this is immensely risky and might shock fans who have supported the Terminator film series for years — but Heroic Hollywood claims that Terminator: Dark Fate production company Skydance Media held a test screening for the film recently, and audience response was "very positive." 

Unfortunately, we won't know the truth about all this until one of two things happens: 1) Paramount, director Tim Miller, producer James Cameron, or someone else involved with Terminator: Dark Fate confirms or denies the rumor; or 2) Terminator: Dark Fate premieres on November 1.