Terminator: Dark Fate is a 2019 American science fiction action film directed by Tim Miller, with a screenplay by David Goyer, Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray, from a story by James Cameron, Charles H. Eglee, Josh Friedman, Goyer and Rhodes. Cameron and David Ellison are the film's producers. It is the sixth installment in the Terminator franchise and a direct sequel to The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), while Cameron described Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), Terminator Genisys (2015) and the television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008–2009) as occurring in alternate timelines.
The film is the first since Terminator 2: Judgment Day to have franchise creator Cameron involved. The film is also the first since There Will Be Blood to be co-production with Paramount and Disney. The film stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger returning in their roles of Sarah Connor and the T-800 "Terminator", respectively, reuniting after 28 years. The film also stars Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna and Diego Boneta as new characters. In the film, the machines send a Terminator, the Rev-9 (Luna), back in time to kill a young woman, Dani Ramos (Reyes), whose fate is connected to Sarah Connor and her son John's legacies; thus making her a target. The Human Resistance sends an enhanced soldier, Grace (Davis), whose existence also depends on Dani's survival, back to protect her. Grace and Dani's only hope for survival against the Rev-9 depends on them joining forces with Sarah and an aging T-800 Terminator.
Distributed by Paramount Pictures in North America, Tencent Pictures in China, and 20th Century Fox in other territories, Terminator: Dark Fate was theatrically released in the United States on November 1, 2019. It received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, with many considering it as a return to form for the franchise and finding it superior to recent Terminator sequels, but found it derivative of the first two films.
In 1998, three years after defeating the T-1000 and averting the rise of the malevolent artificial intelligence Skynet, Sarah Connor and her teenage son John are relaxing at a beach bar in Guatemala. Suddenly, a T-800 Terminator, sent from the future before Skynet's erasure, arrives and brutally murders John, to Sarah's horror.
Twenty-two years later, a cybernetically-enhanced soldier, Grace, and an advanced Terminator model, the Rev-9, are separately transported from the future to Mexico City; both with Daniella "Dani" Ramos in their sights. The Terminator infiltrates the factory where Dani and her brother Diego work to kill the former, but is thwarted by Grace, who escapes with the siblings. The Rev-9 pursues them, utilizing its ability to split itself into its powerful endoskeleton and shapeshifting liquid metal exterior to kill Diego and corner Grace and Dani. However, Sarah arrives and temporarily disables the Terminator with explosives. After acquiring medical supplies, Dani, Grace, and Sarah retreat to a motel, where Grace reveals that she was sent from 2042 to protect Dani. Sarah reveals she was able to find them because in the years since John's death, she received messages detailing the arrivals of more Terminators; each ending with, "For John". Grace notes that while neither Skynet nor John exists in her time, humanity is threatened by an AI called Legion, which was designed for cyberwarfare. By her time, Legion seized control of servers worldwide and humanity failed to neutralize it with nuclear devices; resulting in a nuclear holocaust before the AI built a global network of machines to exterminate the human survivors.
Grace traces the messages to a location across the Mexico-United States border. The Rev-9 tracks the group through local video surveillance and infiltrates the United States Border Patrol to complete its objective; but Dani, Grace and Sarah manage to escape it. Arriving at the messages' source, they discover the T-800 that murdered John. Left desultory after completing its objective, it learned from humanity and integrated into it; developing a conscience, taking the name "Carl", and adopting a human family. It sent Sarah the messages to ensure she still had purpose. Requiring Carl's help, Sarah promises to kill him once the Rev-9 is defeated. Determined to help Sarah defeat it, Dani asks for combat training.
In order to do so, the group seeks out a military grade EMP. The Rev-9 eventually catches up with the group, forcing them to steal a military aircraft to escape, though the EMP is destroyed in the resulting shootout. Aboard, Grace reveals further that Dani becomes the future leader of the Resistance, as well as her rescuer. As Grace details Dani's future actions and training that led to the formation of the Resistance, Sarah realizes her role in Dani's future and it is fated that they all meet, renewing her purpose. The Rev-9 intercepts their craft in one of its own, destroying them both. Grace, Sarah, and Dani parachute to safety while Carl and the Rev-9 crash into a river beside a hydro-power plant. The advanced Terminator damages its inferior counterpart and goes after Dani. Grace manages to stall the Rev-9 while Dani and Sarah temporarily knock it back into the river. The group reunites with Carl and breaks into the plant before mounting a stand against the unrelenting Rev-9. Carl and Grace force it into a spinning turbine and destroy its exterior shell, but the resulting explosion incapacitates most of the group and mortally wounds Grace. As the Rev-9's damaged endoskeleton continues to hunt down Dani, Grace tells her to use her power source to destroy it. The Rev-9 gets the upper hand, but Carl reactivates and restrains it; allowing Dani to stab it with Grace's power source before Carl drags itself and the Rev-9 over a ledge. They both survive the fall, and Carl restrains the Rev-9. He tells Sarah, "For John", as the power core explodes, destroying them both.
Sometime later, Dani and Sarah watch over Grace as a child, the former determined to avert Grace's death. The pair drives off so Dani can undergo her combat training.
- Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor: The mother of John Connor, the former future leader of the Human Resistance in the war against the machines (Skynet). Now a battle-hardened old woman and left alone after her son's death, Sarah hunts and kills Terminators to prevent Judgment Day and forestall the coming conflict. Due to her previous encounters with the machines, she is at odds with Carl and Grace. Being responsible for altering the future and after learning of Dani's destiny leading a new Resistance against Skynet's successor Legion, she prepares her as she did John.
- Stuntwoman Jessi Fisher served as Hamilton's stunt actress and body double for young Sarah Connor, while CGI was applied to recreate Hamilton's facial likeness from the 1990s in flashback scenes.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger as T-800 "Model 101" / Carl: An aging Terminator built by Skynet, and one of several sent back in time to kill John Connor. Having completed its mission, it gained autonomy from its original programming and integrated into human society; moving to Texas, marrying a human, and raising a stepson. It later joins forces with Sarah and Grace to help protect Dani Ramos from Legion's Terminators.
- Brett Azar served as a body double for the young T-800, while CGI was applied to recreate Schwarzenegger's facial likeness from the 1990s in flashback scenes.
- Mackenzie Davis as Grace: A soldier from the year 2042 taken in by Resistance commander Daniella Ramos who was converted into a cyborg and sent by Daniella to protect her younger self from Legion's new advanced Terminator prototype. She then learns about the initial timeline after meeting Sarah Connor and Skynet's surviving T-800 unit Carl. She and Sarah share a mutual distrust, due in part because the latter sees her as a novice. Despite knowing that Carl is a Terminator and what he did to Sarah's son, she trusts him as a comrade and friend, mainly because of her fascination with his behavioral developments and awareness that he is not one of Legion's machines.
- Stephanie Gil as young Grace
- Natalia Reyes as Daniella "Dani" Ramos: A young woman targeted for termination by the new advanced Terminator prototype Rev-9. Dani was initially believed by Sarah Connor to be, like herself, the destined mother of the Resistance leader. It is revealed later that Dani is fated to succeed Sarah's deceased son John Connor, as the founding commander of the Resistance in the war against the machines (Legion) and lead them to victory; with Sarah as her mentor.
- Gabriel Luna as Gabriel / Rev-9: An advanced Terminator prototype that originated from Legion and was sent back in time to terminate Dani. While he has a traditional solid endoskeleton covered with a "mimetic polyalloy", Rev-9 also possesses the ability to separate these two components into two separate, fully autonomous Terminator units. In addition, the Rev-9 has the ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to a human such as emotions; outclassing most of Skynet's Terminators in infiltration and while behaving sociopathically.
- Diego Boneta as Diego Ramos: Dani's older brother.
- Alicia Borrachero as Carl's wife.
- Enrique Arce as Mr. Ramos: The father of Dani and Diego.
- Steven Cree as Rigby
- Tom Hopper as Hadrell: a Human resistance fighter
Jude Collie serves as a body double for young John Connor, while CGI was applied to recreate Edward Furlong's facial likeness from the 1990s in flashback scenes. Aaron Kunitz provided the voice of young John.