The upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate sees the return of many familiar faces from the franchise to seemingly reprise their iconic roles but, according to director Tim Miller, the T-800 that we see in the new film, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, might not be the one you were expecting. With the original T-800 having famously melted down at the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, it would be pretty difficult for the same cyborg to mysteriously return, but with time travel being such a key component of the franchise, it was hard to rule that out entirely. Miller did note that, while it's a different body, Schwarzenegger's character will still feel familiar.
"I can tell you that Arnold is not that same T-800 that was in the other movies, obviously. He melted down," Miller explained to ComicBook.com. "But for the non-hardcore fans, you should know that he's not the same guy. But he is the same guy, in many ways, because Terminators all start out in the same place."
The new film marks the sixth entry in the series, so it's understandable how a more casual viewer could see Schwarzenegger and assume it's the same character that debuted in original 1984 film. Miller pointed out that, while in some ways he is the same exact character, the years the character, who is dubbed "Carl," has spent walking amongst humanity has had a major impact on him.
"Imagine the rules that [original director James Cameron] set down, about what would happen with a Terminator, what they become, they're a learning machine, they're a neural net, they just keep learning," Miller noted. "So the longer you leave one around in our society, the more he learns about humanity. And then what does he become? Skynet sent, just like the T-1000 and the other T-800s, Skynet sent a whole lot of Terminators back to kill John. We call them 'slow bullets' in the writers' room, and Arnold is one of those characters."
Earlier this year, during the Terminator: Dark Fate panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Cameron himself teased that fans should expect something entirely new from the character.
"If I was gonna do it, I wanted Arnold in... What do we do with the T-800? How do we create a new character for him, something no one has ever seen before?" Cameron shared in a video message. "I think we came up with something pretty good."
Terminator: Dark Fate lands in theaters on November 1st.
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