Miller was introduced via live stream by James Cameron, who streamed in from the set of his upcoming batch of Avatar sequels. Cameron indicated that if he was to participate in a Terminator film after so many years it would have to include Hamilton and Schwarzenegger (it’s also revealed that Edward Furlong will reprise the role he originally played in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, John Connor). He then described the lengthy process to make a pitch to Linda Hamilton to return to the franchise after a 20 year hiatus. Director Tim Miller came out and then humorously pointed out that he had a bet with Schwarzenegger that he would have to pay him twenty dollars if he said “fuck” five times during the panel. Not surprisingly, Miller reached five f-bombs within ten minutes of being interviewed.
They then brought out the wonderful Linda Hamilton along with cast members Natalia Reyes, Diego Boneta, Mackenzie Davis (who plays Grace, this movie’s instantiation of a resistance fighter, machine enhanced, but not a machine) and Gabriel Luna (whom is playing this film’s version of the T-1000, a liquid machine that can separate himself from the metal machine’s body). The team swapped stories and Hamilton explained what it took to revisit Sarah Connor, “The hard work that I did was the deep exploration of a woman.” She continued, “I had to go to my deepest sorrows and my places of deepest loss.”
Arriving like a conquering champion Arnold Schwarzenegger was brought out last and proudly took the twenty he was owed by director Miller. He quipped with a not-so-subtle smirk, “I’ll have to figure out what to buy with it since the economy’s going so well under Donald Trump.” He added about the f-bombs to a huge laugh from the crowd, “Tim just loves talking about it. I love doing it.” He explained of his participation in this sixth Terminator film, “I’m addicted to Terminator. Terminator was the movie that launched my action movie career.” He added without emotion, “I’m indebted to James Cameron.” The cast all told fun stories of getting to hang out with Schwarzenegger casually and how he occasionally quotes his own famous movie lines. They talked about him saying during a lunch when meeting a friend’s parents, “Who is your daddy and what does he do.” And as Schwarzenegger he even proclaimed his famous Predator line, “Get to the choppa!!!!” to a huge cheer from the crowd.
They then showed an exclusive look at some of the footage from the upcoming film. The clip featured Reyes’ character Dani being escorted by Boneta’s character and Grace (Davis) fleeing down a highway. The new instantiation of the adversarial machine played by Gabriel Luna is in pursuit in a dump truck. Grace attempts to ward off the evil machine by throwing iron spikes at it. She’s successful to a point as one of the spikes pins the machine to the seat, but this machine is apparently able to separate the liquid form from the metal and leaves the metal form driving the car. He jumps on to the car their chasing and clings to it as Grace attempts to fling him off. Eventually all cars crash and both versions of the machine corner the heroes on a bridge. They’re saved by Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor sporting all sorts of bad ass weaponry as one machine flings off the bridge and (apparently) fully incinerates the other. She confidently proclaims Arnold’s famous line in homage, “Stay here. I’ll be back.” They then shift to various sequences further on in the film where Connor explains her role in constantly killing machines from the future. They also show the moment her character meets with the latest version of Schwarzenegger’s Terminator and replies with complete shock. Furlong’s character in the footage was not shown, but everything there from Miller seems primed to be a great Terminator film in the spirit of the first two that Cameron helmed (really the best two of the franchise).
Photo by Raymond Flotat