Tim Miller regrets making Terminator: Dark Fate as much as fans regret that it was made. Speaking about it in a recent interview, he says he “was wrong” and that the film was a bad Eureka moment.
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“I went in with the rock hard nerd belief that if I made a good movie that I wanted to see, it would do well. And I was wrong,” he said via Deadline of his judgment at the time. “It was one of those f—king Eureka moments in a bad way because the movie tanked.”
Miller added, “Terminator’s an interesting movie to explore, but maybe we’ve explored it enough.” Most fans would agree with that summation if they break it all down and look at the numbers.
Dark Fate premiered in the Fall of 2019 with the hope the third time — after Genesys (2015) and Salvation (2009) — rebooting the series was to be the charm. Series creator James Cameron returned to produce, with both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton reprising their roles of the T-800 and Sarah Connor.
However, it became clear Miller and company were hitting a creative dead end by rehashing the same story of the first two movies and, worse, killing off humanity’s only hope, John Connor, to make way for a petite female protagonist to become the hero and new leader of the resistance against the replacement for SkyNet — Legion.
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This change wasn’t received well and the failed reset made only $62 million in North America and $261 million worldwide. Any plans for further sequels were then scuttled.
When it was pointed out that gross is still close to the $300 million mark, Miller responded, “Then why aren’t people returning my phone calls?”
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Terminator: Dark Fate may have jeopardized the director’s career but, despite that — admitting to an error, and saying the series is played out — Miller still thinks another installment is possible; perhaps an animated film with a smaller budget.
“I think if you make a lower cost Terminator movie, a good director and movie star could make it great. It could be made with sock puppets and it could be awesome. I’d like to do a Terminator CG,” said Miller.
Outside a video game, there are no plans to follow Dark Fate or re-adapt the world of The Terminator in any way. And if there is at some point, CG or not, Miller probably won’t direct it.
Miller previously blamed “get woke, go broke” sentiment on the film’s failure. He told Kim Masters on The Business with Kim Masters podcast, “There was a lot of ‘get woke and go broke’ sentiment that didn’t help us, but…”
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When asked to explain he said, “There was a lot of issues about having three women in lead positions and all of that stuff. There is quite a toxic atmosphere around this film online, which I was really surprised at. I shouldn’t be, but I was.”
When Masters posited that fans are lying in wait to pounce on directors and creatives because they know what they don’t want, Miller concurred telling her, “Yeah and unfortunately, I think it is a small minority, but it’s a very vocal minority and they make a lot of noise and it’s hard. You now, I don’t dwell online on the negativity, but it’s human nature to read a little bit.”
Before the film even hit theaters, Miller was also extremely antagonistic towards fans and even outright insulted them describing them as “closet misogynists[s]” when they criticized the film’s poster when it was first released.
He said, “If you’re at all enlightened, she’ll play like gangbusters. If you’re a closet misogynist, she’ll scare the f*** out of you, because she’s tough and strong but very feminine.”
What do you make of Miller now admitting the film’s failure might have been his fault?
NEXT: Terminator: Dark Fate Actress Mackenzie Davis Attempts To Explain Why The Movie Failed At The Box Office