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Will There Be A Terminator: Dark Fate Sequel?

It's been a long time coming, but the O.G. Terminator team of James Cameron, Linda Hamilton, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is officially back in action with Terminator: Dark Fate. And if early response is to be believed, the trio that birthed sci-fi classics in The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) may have successfully salvaged the beloved franchise all but decimated by years worth of substandard sequels. But will the potential success of Dark Fate give way to a sequel? Let's discuss. 

Under the direction of Deadpool's Tim Miller and the watchful eye of producer Cameron, Terminator: Dark Fate ignores all of the much-maligned sequel films and positions itself as a direct successor to Terminator: Judgement Day. If you'll recall, T2 found Hamilton's gun-loving badass (and mother to future resistance leader John) Sarah Connor finding a way to outsmart the titular machines and save humanity from their ominous fate. Turns out she was only staving off the rise of the machines, and that judgement day is still on the way, though significantly later than expected.

Dark Fate picks up with Connor a couple of decades after T2, and finds her still kicking butt in the name of humanity. It also sees her team up with the human-machine hybrid Grace (Mackenzie Davis) to help protect a young woman named Dani (Natalia Reyes) — and also the fate of mankind — from a new breed of mechanical assassins, most notably the Rev-9 model Terminator (Gabriel Luna). From the looks of things, Dark Fate is indeed a return to form for the franchise.

Though Terminator: Dark Fate is only just hitting theaters, the reappearance of the franchise's A-team, combined with a wave of encouraging early reviews, the series' fanbase has already started asking one of the more obvious questions of the new film, and that's whether or not Dark Fate will spawn a sequel. 

So, will there be a Terminator: Dark Fate sequel?

It seems likely that this new chapter in the Terminator film series will indeed see a sequel — and might even become a full-blown trilogy. 

But before anyone gets too giddy at the thought of a fresh run of vintage-styled Terminator tales, there's one caveat to a potential Terminator: Dark Fate sequel (or sequels). The status of any Dark Fate follow-up will largely depend on whether or not the film turns a suitable profit. Both Cameron and Miller have offered up that their plan for Dark Fate was to kickstart a potential trilogy, but still, the likelihood of that happening rests at the box office. 

As Cameron told Deadline in August 2019, "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. If we get fortunate enough to make some money with Dark Fate we know exactly where we can go with the subsequent films."

So yeah, if you end up digging what Dark Fate has to offer when it hits theaters, get the word out and maybe saddle up for a second screening yourself. It sounds like the only way you're getting more Terminator madness is if Dark Fate brings home some serious bacon.

Sarah Connor might not be back for a Terminator: Dark Fate sequel

Assuming Terminator: Dark Fate does set the box office ablaze, the obvious question isn't just if the franchise will be back, but who will be back with it. 

No, we're not asking if Schwarzenegger will return as the big bad T-800, because if the Terminator franchise has proven anything over the years, it's that it'll find a way to slot Arnie's mug into the mix whether he's available or not. The bigger question is if Linda Hamilton would be down to once again reprise the role that made her an action movie icon — and the answer to that is less certain than you'd think.

First and foremost, we have to acknowledge Miller's assertions that part of the goal of Terminator: Dark Fate was to finish Sarah Connor's story. It's unclear as of this writing whether Sarah Connor survives Terminator: Dark Fate, but that ultimate goal obviously leaves a major question mark as to whether Hamilton will return. However, the time-travel elements of the Terminator franchise certainly open the door to all kinds of possibilities. So too does the notion that Dark Fate may serve as the opening chapter of a new trilogy that could serve as Sarah Connor's swan song.

Whatever the case, it's more of a concern that Hamilton seemingly doesn't want to go down the Terminator road again. It was apparently quite the challenge to convince the actress to come back to the franchise for Dark Fate in the first place. In a recent interview, Hamilton admitted, "It really was hard, it was the hardest and the greatest I've ever done. It was so hard making this goddamn movie [...] I've been threatening to fake my own death so I wouldn't have to do the next one if there is one."

From that statement alone, it seems that Sarah Connor probably doesn't die at the end of Terminator: Dark Fate, and if there is to be another Terminator movie, Hamilton may not want to appear in it. Thus, there's likely a logical narrative out point for Sarah Connor in Dark Fate. Whether or not Hamilton will take it, we'll have to wait and see. 

It's also worth noting that part of Dark Fate's function is presumably to pass the torch to the next generation of Terminator heroes. If that's the case, Mackenzie Davis' Grace seems like a more than worthy heroine, with the actress playing super tough with humans and terminators alike throughout the Dark Fate's twisty bombast. While we certainly hope Davis returns for a possible Dark Fate sequel, we're just as eager to see Hamilton return to the fray for one more noble fight against the mechanized future.