When the most iconic quote in your action movie is “I’ll be back,” you better be prepared for a slew of sequels, prequels, spin-offs and TV iterations. That’s just what’s happened to James Cameron’s Terminator franchise, from its humble beginnings as a low-budget sci-fi sleeper hit right up to its most recent sequel, the so-so Terminator: Dark Fate.
After thirty years or so of being chased by merciless cyborgs, it makes sense that the series’ most enduring protagonist, serially unlucky Sarah Connor, is keen for a decent vacay. Actress Linda Hamilton has spoken to The Hollywood Reporter about the future of the franchise that made her a star, turning down any notion of a sequel anytime soon.
“It should definitely not be such a high-risk financial venture, but I would be quite happy to never return. So, no, I am not hopeful because I would really love to be done”, Hamilton said, elaborating that if she were to return to the role in the future, it would need to be in a totally different, more minor kind of action film. “I would really appreciate maybe a smaller version where so many millions are not at stake.”
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Further points of discussion from the interview seem to suggest that even Terminator: Dark Fate could have been a reluctant outing for Hamilton, who was determined to only commit to a Terminator film with a little new perspective. The actress brought up the film’s controversial opening, which quickly killed off Sarah’s son John Connor, as an example of the kind of narrative freshness she wouldn’t have signed up without.
“I don’t think Sarah and John would be there at all if they were still fine and strong,” she said. “I thought it was a great leaping-off point for my character…I’m not one that clings to past ideas. I just think it’s much more interesting to launch from a new place.”
Maybe this is what it will take to get Hollywood to embrace more original ideas, and to relinquish their obsessive grip on franchises; the protagonists of heavily sequel-ised films need to ask for a break from all the running and shooting and Messiah-birthing. Thanks for paving the way, Linda!