“The blood is still being scrubbed off the walls from those creative battles.”
James Cameron on Terminator: Dark Fate

After creative differences with Ryan Reynolds led to Tim Miller leaving Deadpool 2, it appears creative differences with James Cameron over Terminator: Dark Fate will keep Tim Miller from working with him again.

In the wake of Terminator: Dark Fate’s $29 million opening flop, Miller told Hollywood Reporter that he is still processing it.

“I’m sure we could write a book on why it didn’t work, I’m still not sure and I’m processing, but I’m very proud of the movie.”

But why though?

It is possible to be proud of a good movie that didn’t perform well financially, like 2012’s Dredd, but Terminator: Dark Fate is not a good movie.

It is a basic rehash of the elements of Terminator and Terminator 2, with some gender-swapping and the new John Conner a five-foot-nothing waif who’d be knocked over if she fired anything larger than a popgun.

Give Linda Hamilton her due in Terminator 2, she muscled up and looked like someone who the human race could rely on. Something Natalia Reyes does not.


Couple this with the decision to kill off John Connor in the first five minutes of the film, utterly destroying the motivation for the most loved film in the franchise, Terminator 2, and Terminator: Dark Fate becoming a bomb was entirely predictable.

Linda Hamilton herself was shocked by that decision, especially the way in which her character’s younger self let it happen.

“I just was so upset that I didn’t really have anything to do with it, Sarah was not putting up the fight that was written in the scene and I’m like ‘no, no, no, no.’ My body would be doing different things, more fierce. She’s not gonna just let him knock her away, she would be biting him, she’d be grabbing his arm — not that arm, grab the arm with the gun! It wasn’t me and it really hurt.”

Did anyone know what they were doing when they wrote this movie?

“I cried my eyes out when I got home.”

According to Box Office Mojo, Terminator: Dark Fate has, at this point, made $250 million in sales off a budget of $185 million.

Frankly, that is terrible but deserved.

Tim Miller acknowledged the truth of Cameron’s quote, saying that there were disagreements between himself and the producers.

His vision of a human race being defeated by Legion (the new SkyNet) conflicted with Cameron’s view that humanity would be ultimately successful, with the desperate machines going back to the past to prevent the resistance rising.

In this Cameron proves the wiser because if the machines are winning already, where’s their motivation to send terminators to the past?

Kyle Reese was sent back to stop the Terminator who’d been sent to kill Sarah Connor and prevent the machines’ defeat. The T800 was sent back in time to stop the T1000 who’d been sent to kill John Connor and prevent the machines’ defeat.

If you’re winning already you just blow up all the time machines and finish off the survivors.

Tim Miller wants to have ultimate control as director of his movies, but to entrusted with ultimate control directors need to have a proven track record. Those who are faithful in small things will be trusted with great things.

Tim Miller comes across as more of a prima donna.