Terminator: Dark Fate director Tim Miller says another Terminator movie could take place entirely in the future, but another entry revolving around the War Against the Machines is likely to be saved for the franchise's "last hurrah." A direct sequel to the James Cameron-directed The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Miller's Dark Fate teams reluctant warrior Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) with T-800 Carl (Arnold Schwarzenegger), both tasked with helping hybrid cyborg human Grace (Mackenzie Davis) protect Dani (Natalie Reyes) from the deadliest form of Terminator yet (Gabriel Luna), who travels from the future to the past to carry out its termination mission.
"I do [think it's possible], and I wouldn't give away anything and say a Future War was part of the plan or anything like that, but I do feel the same way," Miller told ComicBook.com when asked about an entirely future-set Terminator movie. "Although I feel like that kind of might be the last thing you want to do in the Terminator franchise, because so much of it is rooted in today. Something comes back, disrupts our thing. So maybe at the end, the last hurrah could be Future War."
Cameron, who returned to the franchise with a story and producer credit on Dark Fate, says the film was plotted as the start of a three-movie arc. If that plan is realized, it will bring Terminator canon to five movies, ignoring Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation and Terminator Genisys.
"I suppose it is an unusual situation from a high-level perspective since I wasn't involved in three intervening films, but when I talked to [Skydance producer] David Ellison about it his vision for this was basically to go back to basics and do a continuation from Terminator 2, which is one of his favorite films," Cameron previously told Deadline. "He's always believed in the potential of Terminator but he really felt that his own film, Genisys — and he was quite honest with me about this — fell short of the mark and didn't really do what he had wanted it to do. So he said, 'Let's start with a blank slate and take it back to Terminator 2.' And that idea was intriguing."
Should Dark Fate prove its mettle at the box office, Cameron knows exactly where the franchise is heading.
"We spent several weeks breaking story and figuring out what type of story we wanted to tell so we would have something to pitch Linda," Cameron said of the returning Hamilton, back in the iconic role she last filled in 1991's T2. "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."
Terminator: Dark Fate is now playing.