Major movie franchises such as “Ghostbusters” and “Star Wars” have been targeted by misogynistic internet trolls in recent years for prominently featuring female characters in leading roles. James Cameron’s “Terminator” franchise has long been dominated by one of cinema’s greatest female characters, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), and the upcoming reboot “Terminator: Dark Fate” triples down on leading women by casting Hamilton opposite Mackenzie Davis and Natalia Reyes.
Miller, who broke out in Hollywood after directing “Deadpool,” recently spoke with Variety ahead of bringing “Terminator: Dark Fate” to Comic-Con later this month. The filmmaker said Mackenzie’s cyborg character Grace will be enough to get misogynistic internet trolls shaking in their boots.
“If you’re at all enlightened, she’ll play like gangbusters. If you’re a closet misogynist, she’ll scare the fuck out of you, because she’s tough and strong but very feminine,” Miller said. “We did not trade certain gender traits for others; she’s just very strong, and that frightens some dudes. You can see online the responses to some of the early shit that’s out there, trolls on the internet. I don’t give a fuck.”
Paramount’s official trailer for “Terminator: Dark Fate” featured no shortage of female characters being total badasses. The highlight of the clip features Hamilton’s Sarah Connor firing a bazooka in order to defeat an evolved new Terminator cyborg played by Gabriel Luna. While “Dark Fate” also features the return of franchise veteran Arnold Schwarzenegger, the focus is on a new generation of female characters.
“Dark Fate” marks Davis’ first leading role in a major studio action movie after having small supporting roles in Denis Villeneuve’s “Blade Runner 2049” and Ridley Scott’s “The Martian.” Miller said that Davis’ character Grace plays the protector role in “Dark Fate,” similar to Kyle Reece in the original film. The main difference is that, unlike Kyle, Grace is also a cyborg.
“It’s a painful life, and they’re scarred and take a lot of drugs to combat the pain of what’s been done to them. They don’t live a long time,” Miller said of the character. “It’s a very sacrificial role; they risk death to save others. And from the very first suggestion it was always a woman. We had to look for someone who has the physicality, but I’m very sensitive to actors. I didn’t just want a woman who could physically fit the role but emotionally as well. Mackenzie really wanted to do it; she came after the role. She worked harder than anybody.”
Paramount Pictures will release “Terminator: Dark Fate” in theaters nationwide November 1.