It’s been no secret that Terminator: Dark Fate had serious script problems; Linda Hamilton talked about how both she, and Mackenzie Davis, had problems with the script needing to be worked out, – previously Enrique Arce (Vicente “Papa” Ramos) also talked about how his dialogue was being delivered to him.
Back in 2018 Enrique Arce said:
“They also do not give us the script, they just pass us the paper that you have to say that day and then they pick it up. “Enrique Arce told elnortedecastilla.es
Linda Hamilton divulged more of the messy sounding script scenario in an interview to promote the home release of Terminator: Dark Fate:
“Very much at times. The script wasn’t really finished when we started, and it was kind of coming along as we went along. And we all found that very hard to work that way. I heard too many people say, “Well, that’s how they make movies these days.” [Laughs.] It’s like, you know what? I need a beginning and a middle and an end. Link those moments together one by one; I’ve got to know where I’m coming from. And I would get a scene that had just been sent the night before and go, “Well, I can’t be saying that if they’re going to move that piece to onto the train top, because my character hasn’t learned it yet!” You know what I mean? Like, “Let’s make this something that is solid so that the actors can then work that way… We can’t wait until September for the script to be finished.” So, yeah.”Linda Hamilton told A.V. Club
The story, direction and acting in Terminator: Dark Fate left a lot to be desired (for us anyway), the cast had proven they can act (very well) in previous projects – but with script problems like this… the end result becomes more… understandable.
James Cameron, at times, punching up the script the night before a shoot is more proof of how much chaos this production was in. How bad was the material that was sent over to Mr. Cameron before he made it remotely passable with his pen strokes?
Disallowing actors preparation time also sounds horrific, yes, pressure and acting go hand-in-hand but as Linda Hamilton said… “Well, that’s how they make movies these days.” This is not the kind of film-making we admire or expect.
An example of Linda Hamilton disagreeing with a scene…
“There were versions of the scene where we first meet the Terminator—when we meet [Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character] Carl —where they tried to flip it so that the Terminator is the one holding me as opposed to the girls holding me back. And we tried forever to make that work, but there was no way to get free of it, because I was never going to slump in defeat in his arms. I just was like, “Sarah Connor would die trying to fight her way out of this machine’s arms. I am not going to slump in defeat, so let’s find some other way to do it.” “Linda Hamilton told A.V. Club
Sarah Connor collapsing like a wreck into the arms of a T-800? Ridiculous.
Actors shouldn’t have to work out a way to reword and reshape scenes because they feel that their characters are being misrepresented by a script which has been cobbled together by eight writers with differing opinions (not to mention the handful of top-flight science fiction authors who either contributed via their physical presence or Skyped in). Yes, of course an actor should have input, especially someone like Linda Hamilton who knows her character like the back of her hand – but it very much sounds as though Linda’s two cents were an intervention of sorts.
Young Terminator body double Brett Azar previously told us at TheTerminatorFans.com that Linda Hamilton took control of the John Connor death scene as it was important for Sarah Connor to be reflected in a manner which was true to the character…
“Linda Hamilton really took control of Sarah Connor’s reaction to that, because she was there for it, she wanted to see- like, she wanted to make sure that it was as intense enough to be believable for her, she was so… personal with that reaction of seeing John shot, and she wanted to make sure that it was done justice, so she took control of that whole fight scene “Brett Azar told TheTerminatorFans.com
This kind of input was great, whether you agree or not with the decision to kill young John Connor off, that kind of passion was greatly welcome but when time comes for another Terminator movie one day… we hope it has a solid script prepared long before the cameras roll.
What is also concerning is that Tim Miller and the previous Deadpool team were working on action set pieces (written by Miller) and stunts before people had been cast and long before a script had been completed…
Gabriel Luna said the following on Instagram:
“These are my first moments as the Rev-9. Months before I got the gig. Before I completely changed my body with strength training and gained 16 lbs of muscle. Before I ever read a word of the script and had no idea what the Rev-9 was capable of, I was called in by the stunt team for an assessment. Here is @jimmychhiu and I working out some fight choreo that would eventually become “the factory fight””Gabriel Luna
At the end of the day – what can we expect from a movie that was built around action set-pieces written by Tim Miller before a coherent story had even been constructed?
Should it not be the other way around, should the action not fit the story first?
All of the above sounds slap-dash and it might fit a business model of throwing a quick product out to fans, but a lot of fans expected much better from a movie that proclaimed itself to be the true sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
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They should have left John Connor’s death unknown. The Terminator should have knocked out Sarah Connor and the last thing she sees before passing out is the Terminator going after her son. Then toward the end of the movie, John reappears telling his mother, come with me if you want to live. His mother is shocked, the audience is shocked. What the ****??? John saves his mother. One of the last scenes should have been her pushing a button to destroy this new Terminator and Carl who holds the Terminator in place. She crushed the first one, lowered the second one to its death, third should have been the same way. We find out somewhere in the movie that Carl tried to kill John but he was intercepted by future Dani Ramos, who takes him out temporarily, enough time for John to escape and go into hiding with future Dani. She becomes the new “mother” to John, as she prepares him and younger Dani for the unknown future.
I have no desire to listen to or read through the nonsense of producers, the director and the actors of Dark Fake. Clearly they defend their product / film and sell it as super cool and explain to fans that it is the best since the bread slicer was invented.
We want John Connor, we want Skynet and we want a story with or around it and we want a suitable casting (who takes the role off) or NOTHING!
John Connor: You (Dark Fate Fake Marketing) are the total losers!
Seems like a very self-defeating, self-destructive practice of having so many different scriptwriters and not finishing the full material for the actors to prepare for, all this screams to me what i suspected since this project was announced a whole year+ ago: RUSHED AS HELL, ! this movie was way too soon after Genisys, they should have waited another year to get their working material straightened out before pointing the camera lens on the actor.
Thanks for putting this up. This is really enlightening as to the state of moviemaking these days.
This movie could have been great when I heard Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton, Arnie and James Cameron were back I was wrapped thought this will be the Terminator movie all us fans have been looking forward too. Killing John Connor was a bad script decision, I’m very disappointed to hear how rushed this movie was but it explains a lot.
I realise I’m opening a can of worms here but…
Sending revisions to a script over the night before a shoot is pretty standard – for TV and film. It has been for decades.
The actors rehearse out of costume months before the cameras roll. There would have been a working script and revisions are made based on actor’s comments and what the director feels is working and what isn’t.
Linda making a call on the Terminator holding her in the ‘meet Carl’ scene is a typical example of something sounding OK on paper but when it comes to shooting everyone goes ‘this doesn’t work’. It is for this reason that ‘goofs’ and continuity errors appear in all sorts of media.
Cameron is a notorious taskmaster and is known for revising scripts on set while filming! Let us not forget ‘The Abyss’.
Personally, for me, I enjoyed ‘Dark Fate’ (much more than I expected) but it was always going to fail with ‘fans’ because of the films that came before it. I consider myself a student of film. Is this film a masterpiece? No. Does it serve its purpose within its genre? Absolutely. Does it do it well? Very much so.
There is only so much you can do with the time travel story. At least with ‘Dark Fate’ they tried something different and in my opinion killing off John was totally the right call. All previous films struggled to write his character correctly. He was always meant as a mythical leader (child version aside), and seeing him lead ruins the legend.
I could write a full review of why I think the film works for me, but I’ll save that for another time.
“At least with ‘Dark Fate’ they tried something different and in my opinion killing off John was totally the right call.”
Tried my ass.
All that praise for “Originality !”, all the praise for cynically disposing off a key, established character as “paving the way forward !” where is it coming from ? why ?
Terminator Dark Fate 2019 (themes and story-wise) is nothing but a gender-swapped remix of T1 and T3ROTM (with little bits from Salvation and TSCChronicles).
1# Grace is basically a Marcus+Kyle Reese fusion.
2# Rev-9 is basically an alternate male-shape T-X (just with most of the extra weapons/gadgets removed in exchange for a much more powerful and independent mass of T-1000-style liquid metal tech)
3# Dani Ramos is all but flat out stated as John’s knockoff replacement (whacked over our heads with a sledgehammer in the Airplane sequence), the character itself is basically a composite remake of both T1 Sarah and T2 John.
the only really “original” stuff is Carl’s origin story, maybe.
blasting people’s childhoods with a shotgun aside, this film failed because we are sick and tired of the exact same shit being remade/remixed again and again yet hyped up as “Change”.
“the only really “original” stuff is Carl’s origin story, maybe.”
Pops Guardian (Genisys’ Aged Terminator) also raised a small child (Sarah Connor) and trained her (skipping the diapers). Besides blasting John and sending texts to Sarah Connor we don’t see much originality aside from some draperies perhaps? The family unit of Dark Fate was also just taken from T2.
Again to acknowledge it’s due, IMO TDark Fate is certainly far more entertaining, interesting and well-put together/composed post-T2JD sequel film (which is a miracle considering it’s hectic script rewrites), it’s certainly far superior to Genisys (that’s for sure) and at least more or less on par with the 2008’s TV series.
but to praise it for “Originality !”, “Creativity !”, “Moving the story forward !” is absurd, it’s all been done before (giving the exact same thing a fresh coat of politically-trendy paint does not = originality)
It wasn’t “always going to fail with ‘fans’ because of the films that came before it…”
That’s malarkey. It may have been ill-received by the general public because they didn’t care or weren’t invested in the story, any longer. but the fans are always willing to receive something if its been developed FOR them with the express interest of “righting the ship.”
If this was Terminator 12 and it took 9 sequels to get the 12th one right, those same fans would embrace it wholeheartedly if it was what blew people’s skirts up.
Fans are forgiving when you finally give them the thing they have been craving for years or decades – they have a short memory when things are copacetic.
Speaking purely on technical problems/inconsistencies (by this movie’s own standards): the Third Act of the Airplane-On-Airplane scene and the falling-into-waters scene for big SOD breakers to me, these two scenes that are no doubt the most budget-burning set pieces in the whole are kinda………………meh (it gets a whole lot better during the final dam battle for sure but that one sequence before kinda ruins it): for 3 main factors
1: Most of the exterior shots (even with the helping of nighttime) are painful CGI cartoons.
2: Carl and Rev-9’s toss ups are equally, painfully cartoonish.
3: Sarah and Dani (human flesh and blood characters), whenever it’s convenient sudden;y turn into steel statues with equally superhuman staminas, very much in keeping with the trends set by the Fast-&-Furious franchise.
how come the first dozer-vs-jeep chase scene was so good yet the last epic sky and underwater chase scene is so weak ?
IMO Another advantage/plus that Dark Fate holds over Genisys is that it can be easily improved with some editing choices, no such thing is possible overall for Genisys because everything past the First Act is a broken mess on a fundamental level.
I love this film since my childhood and I am a very big fan of all the cast persons.
C’est vraiment décevant …même Linda Hamilton le dit que ça été précipité et écrit au fur et à mesure. Une Histoire un script se prépare des mois à l’avance ..on ne tourne pas des scènes de film avec le papier à la main ! Le résultat du box office ne peu que se conclure avec tant d’erreurs, de précipitation et d’argents. Tuer John Connor n’a rien d’originalité pour offfrir la voie à une nouvelle histoire ou une suite du jugement dernier ! Pourquoi n’a t-on pas laissé Cameron gérer le script sur place ? Tim Miller n’a joué que sur l’action et la réalisation ! Les fans attendent une vrai histoire avec les bons acteurs ! la réalisation passe après le script ! on ne prépare pas un script à plusieurs ! l’époque de Gale Ane Hurd et Cameron suffisait à rendre le commencement de T1 avec peu d’argent pour un résultat et de suite ouvert à une longue histoire potentiellement perdu par Hollywood depuis que les films c’est devenu que business et plus d’âme pour les fans public !