Key to the narrative of Terminator: Dark Fate is revealing what happened to Sarah Connor in the decades following the events of T2: Judgment Day.
It was also a further incentive for Tim Miller to sign on as director. “As a fan myself, I wondered how I would feel about another Terminator movie,” he says. “I might think, ‘Is this needed?’ Until I heard Linda is back and we’re going to finish the story of Sarah Connor. That’s a reason to show up. And for me as a director, that’s the reason to make the movie. No offence to other actors who have played her in other films, but to me there’s only one Sarah Connor and it is Linda Hamilton.”
For Hamilton, the idea of returning to the role after so long was intriguing. “After T2, I felt I had worked a very complete character arc from a nobody to a warrior woman,” she explains. “At that point I didn’t want to just keep doing it without the ability to add something new. But the last 28 years have changed Sarah dramatically and I was ready to explore that.
“When this film begins, she is lost, broken and rootless. She learns that, after all her sacrifices, the future hasn’t changed in the way she had hoped. That pretty much destroys her. The only thing she has left is her loathing of technology, the future and machines. She goes on another journey to try to reach that last little kernel of humanity inside herself.”
Reuniting with Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the big highlights of shooting Terminator: Dark Fate, she adds. “I don’t really think in terms of how iconic all this is, although I know many people do. I was just happy to see Arnold. In fact, I didn’t know how happy I was going to be until he showed up on set.”