Note: This article contains spoilers for Terminator: Dark Fate.
Linda Hamilton has revealed she knew the opening scene of Terminator: Dark Fate would “upset” a lot of fans of the sci-fi series.
The movie begins with a sequence set three years after the optimistic conclusion of 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day and features the murder of the teenage John Connor by a T-800 Terminator, right in front of his shocked mother.
This did not go down well with fans, who believed this undercut the ending of T2 — widely considered one of the greatest movie sequels ever made.
Hamilton told Film Stories — in a newly released interview which took place before the film’s release — that she was under no illusions as to whether the scene would prove divisive among the fan base.
She said: “This is going to upset a lot of people and a lot of the fan base who just think that it has to remain true to the first two stories.
“The whole concept of Terminator, that John Connor is the hope for the future of mankind and then to have him cut down like that. I think it’s going to upset a lot of people.”
Hamilton also revealed that she was present on the day the sequence was filmed — with CGI used to replicate her younger face on another actress’s body — but said it was “hard to watch” someone else play the role.
She said: “I remember telling the stunt man and this woman that you’ve got to fight harder, this is your son that he is shooting to bits and she would grab – oh and it’s not Arnold [Schwarzenegger] either – so she would grab Arnold’s body double and she’s grabbing his arm and I’m like: ‘No grab the arm with the gun! Not just any arm! The one with the gun!’
“And you know to try to teach someone right there how to be fierce, how to be Sarah Connor, was an edgy moment and then they put my face, younger face on digitally.”
The 63-year-old said the later process of matching her voice to the footage of her double shot on set was “so confusing and not very satisfying”.
Terminator: Dark Fate was a critical and commercial disappointment, earning just $261m (£221m) at the worldwide box office.
After its poor opening weekend, it was projected that the movie could cause studios Paramount and Fox — the latter now, of course, a part of Disney — a huge £90m loss.
Hamilton has said she is unlikely to ever play Sarah Connor again, saying in January that she “would be quite happy to never return” to her most iconic role.
James Cameron, however, has not ruled out the possibility of future Terminator movies, saying Dark Fate is the first entry in a potential trilogy.
It seems like he’ll be back... again.