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Trivia / Terminator: Dark Fate

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  • Approval of God: Natalia Reyes has approved of the Grace/Dani ship (coining it as "Drace"), having shared some fanart of it on her Instagram stories.
  • Ascended Fanon: Fans and writers for non-canon Terminator works have speculated for years what would happen if a Terminator succeeded in their mission, with some works claiming that Terminators without orders operate in "rogue" or "independent" mode until they can return to Skynet for a new mission. This film makes said mode canon, as the Terminator "Carl" was forced to operate in "rogue" mode permanently, with no Skynet to return to.
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  • B-Team Sequel: James Cameron returned to the series, albeit in a producer's capacity. Tim Miller directs this time around.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $185 million (not including marketing), $325 million (with marketing). Box office, $62,253,077 (domestic), $261,119,292 (worldwide). Despite the vastly improved reception of this film by critics when compared to its two predecessors, Dark Fate suffered a miserable $29 million opening weekend, the incredible hold of Joker not helping matters. And because the movie made only 7 to low 8-figures in every country (only barely making back its production budget, not counting advertising costs, by the time of its second week of screening), it lost about 130 million by the end of the run.
  • California Doubling: The majority of the film is set in the outskirts of Mexico City, the central Estado de Mexico, and the Southern United States, but was shot primarily in Spain and Hungary due in part to security concerns (which got ironically subverted in Spain's case, as said in Troubled Production below). This makes Dark Fate the first Terminator film to be shot outside the United States.
  • Content Leak:
    • An audio clip of on-set dialogue recorded during production of the film was eventually leaked to Youtuber Mr H Reviews, who revealed that as a result of timeline alterations, Skynet is no more, and has been replaced by a similar AI named "Legion", as per dialogue between Grace and Dani. That twist isn't listed anywhere in the official marketing. The film proper confirms this.
    • The same source also leaked an apparent plot summary, which included an opening sequence where John Connor is killed off in a flashback by a T-800 while hiding out with Sarah in Guatemala. The Terminator in question, having fulfilled its primary objective and having no further purpose, decides to integrate himself into society and takes the name "Carl", which is where Dani, Grace and Sarah later find him, having built his own business in the interim. The film also proves this correct.
  • The Danza:
    • The Rev-9, whose undercover identity is "Gabriel" according to All There in the Script, is played by Gabriel Luna.
    • Diego Boneta as Diego Ramos (Dani's brother).
    • Alicia Borrachero as Alicia (Carl's wife).
  • Darkhorse Casting: Surprisingly, in spite of being a big-budget reboot to an iconic franchise, this is utilized. Other than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton reprising their roles and Mackenzie Davis joining the cast, the rest of the cast is much less known. Natalia Reyes, who plays one of the main characters, has had only two film roles prior to this and both of them were indie films released within a year from each other (one of them being the critically acclaimed Birds of Passage, though). Most of her other screen credits were telenovelas that have never aired outside of Latin America. Gabriel Luna is primarily known for playing the Robbie Reyes incarnation of Ghost Rider on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and not much else. Diego Boneta has had roles in Scream Queens and Rock of Ages, but that's about it.note  Jude Collie, who replaces Furlong as young John Connor, has an empty IMDb page. Contrast that of Terminator Genisys, which had plenty of well-known actors, such as Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, Matt Smith, and J. K. Simmons.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Natalia Reyes's older brother is portrayed by someone younger than she is.
    • Speaking of Reyes, she also plays Dani as a future resistance leader, following Judgment Day some years after the film's present time, when Grace is a teen.
  • Dear Negative Reader: According to Tim Miller: "If you're at all enlightened, she’ll play like gangbusters. If you’re a closet misogynist, she’ll scare the fuck out of you, because she’s tough and strong but very feminine. We did not trade certain gender traits for others; she’s just very strong, and that frightens some dudes...I don’t give a fuck."
  • Dueling Works: The film came out two months after Rambo: Last Blood, another grittier and R-rated installment from an action movie franchise that originated in The '80s and starring the other major action movie star from that time, Sylvester Stallone. Both also see the return of an aged protagonist of the franchise, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and John Rambo (Stallone again), who still kicks ass left and right. Terminator: Dark Fate ended up with the best critical reception and box office of the two by far. This one ended up box office bomb, however, mainly due to the massively higher budget and marketing compared to Rambo.
  • Fake American: Dani's American factory boss Craig and Air Force Major Dean are both played by Brits.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Natalia Reyes is a Colombian actress and plays a Mexican.
    • Dani's father and uncle (Enrique Arce and Tristán Ulloa) are both Spanish.
  • Fan Nickname: Several critics and fans called it variations of "The Best Terminator 3 yet", in reference to every Terminator sequel after 2 (Rise of the Machines, Salvation, Genisys and Dark Fate) basically ignoring the others.
  • Hostility on the Set: Between director Tim Miller and producer James Cameron, particularly during the editing process. To quote Cameron: "The blood is still being scrubbed off the walls from those creative battles. This is a film that was forged in fire."
  • I Knew It!: The announcement of Edward Furlong's return to the franchise was met with excitement by long-time fans, but the fact that he was nowhere to be seen in the trailers or any other promotional material led to concerns that his role in the movie would be minimal. Along with the film's title, this led many to suspect that John Connor would die early in the movie, which is what exactly happens in the opening scene.
  • Lying Creator: It was announced in summer 2019 that 42 year old Edward Furlong would reprise the role of John Connor as an adult in the film. It turned out that teen John (played by child actor Jude Collie with Digital Head Swap) is Killed Off for Real by another T-800 a couple of years after the events of Terminator 2, never getting to become an adult.
  • The Original Darrin:
    • Linda Hamilton returned after Sarah was portrayed by Lena Headey in The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Emilia Clarke in Genisys.
    • In the Japanese dub, Keiko Toda returns as Sarah Connor from the TV Asahi dub of the first film and the in-flight version of the second one, replacing a plethora of voice actresses who had previously voiced her in other films and dubbed versions.note 
    • Linda's European French dub actress from Terminator 2, Véronique Augereau, returns. Marie Tirmont dubbed Emilia Clarke in Genisys.
  • Release Date Change:
    • The film's release has been pushed back from July 26, 2019 to November 22, 2019, to avoid competition with Hobbs & Shaw.
    • Then it was moved to November 1, 2019, wasting no time to take advantage of Wonder Woman 1984 moving to June 2020.
  • Role Reprise:
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger returns four years after Terminator Genisys, and 28 years after Judgment Day for that continuity.
    • Linda Hamilton returns as Sarah Connor 28 years after Terminator 2 and 23 years after the last time she played the role in Terminator 2 3-D: Battle Across Time.
    • Brett Azar serves once again as a body double on which a younger Arnold Schwarzenegger's face is recreated, after Genisys.
    • Linda Hamilton's European French dub actress from Terminator 2, Véronique Augereau, returns after 28 years.
    • In a similar way in the Japanese dub, Tessho Genda and Keiko Toda return again as the T-800 and Sarah Connor respectively.
    • The Brazilian dub also brings back the local voice actors from Judgment Day, yet Mônica Rossi dubbed over Sarah since the first film.
    • The Latin American Spanish dub is a partial example, as Laura Torres reprise her role as Sarah Connor, but not Humberto Vélez as the T-800, but Blas Garcia, who is Schwarzenegger's regular dub voice actor. In this case this is justified, as Velez already stated he considered his job in Judgment Day was a Old Shame for him.
  • Sequel Gap: The film is a straight up sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and came out 28 years after it. Otherwise, it came out four years after the last installment, Terminator Genisys, which it ignores.
  • Troubled Production:
    • Producer James Cameron described the film as being "forged in fire" due to the numerous heated arguments he and Tim Miller had over the film's story. He mostly believed the initial cut of the film was far too long and tried to use his editing experience to give advice, which was typically ignored. Miller, for his part, gave an interview to KCRW offering his side of the story, saying that he lacked creative control and that he'd never work with Cameron again after his experience.
    • Spain was chosen to double as Mexico for security reasons, but their first days there destroyed such purpose, as the first location chosen by the team was Los Mateos, a particularly bad barrio in Cartagena. Despite police presence around the set, material was stolen by burglars mere hours into production and a police chase took place, with two juvenile delinquents ending up arrested in a nice reminiscence to John and Tim from T2. The rest of the shooting had to heavily protected by the Spanish government to prevent more thefts and other disturbances.
  • What Could Have Been: See the franchise's page.
  • Word of God: According to Tim Miller, Grace's last name is Harper.
  • Word of Saint Paul: Mackenzie Davis estimates Grace's age to be 28, although she's probably a little older since this would mean she's 6 in the present yet her present day self is shown to be around 10. (Davis herself was 31 while filming)
  • Working Title: If concept art is anything to go by, the production name was "Phoenix".


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