James Cameron opens up about Terminator: Dark Fate missteps: "I got high on my own supply"

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2: Judgement Day
(Image credit: Tri-Star Pictures)

James Cameron has opened up about the issues involving Terminator: Dark Fate.

The sixth installment in the Terminator franchise, directed by Tim Miller, brought back stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, but lost over $122.6 million at the box office and effectively canceled any plans for future Terminator films.

"I think the problem, and I’m going to wear this one, is that I refused to do it without Arnold [Schwarzenegger]," he explained (via The AV Club). Cameron worked on the film's story in addition to producing. "Tim didn’t want Arnold, but I said, ‘Look, I don’t want that. Arnold and I have been friends for 40 years, and I could hear it, and it would go like this: ‘Jim, I can’t believe you’re making a Terminator movie without me.’ It just didn’t mean that much to me to do it, but I said, ‘If you guys could see your way clear to bringing Arnold back and then, you know, I’d be happy to be involved.’"

Cameron continued: "And then Tim wanted Linda. I think what happened is I think the movie could have survived having Linda in it, I think it could have survived having Arnold in it, but when you put Linda and Arnold in it and then, you know, she’s 60-something, he’s 70-something, all of a sudden it wasn’t your Terminator movie, it wasn’t even your dad’s Terminator movie, it was your granddad’s Terminator movie."

The decision to have both Hamilton and Schwarzenegger in the film resulted in the interesting plot choice to bring back and kill off an important, central character to the franchise – which technically cancels out the events of the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

"It was just our own myopia," the filmmaker explained. "We kind of got a little high on our own supply, and I think that’s the lesson there."

Despite plans for any future films having been scrapped, an anime series based on the Terminator franchise is in the works at Netflix. For more, check out our list of the best action movies of all time.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.