‘It Was a Mixed Feeling’


  • Killing off John Connor early in
    Terminator: Dark Fate
    was a controversial move, and Edward Furlong has mixed feelings about it.
  • Furlong was grateful to return to the role of John Connor in
    Terminator: Dark Fate
    after conquering addiction issues.
  • Dark Fate
    aimed to be a proper legacy sequel with Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger returning.

Terminator: Dark Fate had its share of woes when it was released in 2019, particularly less than stellar box office, but the death of Edward Furlong’s John Connor at the start of the film, was another reason fans didn’t warm up to the sequel and now the actor is giving his candid thoughts about the decision five years after the film’s release. During a recent chat on the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast, Furlong expressed what it was like returning to the role that kicked off his career as a kid and what felt like to have the character’s life come to an end so abruptly at the start of Dark Fate.

The actor was grateful he was able to return following years of addiction issues that he has now conquered, even if it was for a short stint.

“I got called in to do some mocap work and kind of act the scene out. I got the call actually right when I got sober. They’re like, ‘They want to talk to you about the new Terminator,’ so I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s a sign. Thank you!’ And I get there and they’re like, yeah, we want you to play you at 14 and we’re just going to kill you. And I’m like, ‘Aw, sh-t.’

And I didn’t understand, like, how the hell are they going to do that? I don’t know, it just felt a little bit like What Ever Happened To Baby Jane situation. So I went in there and did that, so I knew what was happening. It was a mixed feeling. It was understanding that I wasn’t in a place to shoot a movie right then anyway. I was kind of happy a little bit too… I was glad to just get the character back to myself, even if it was like for a day.”

Terminator Dark: Fate Was Positioned to Be a Proper Legacy Sequel

Furlong first took on the role of John Connor in 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which is largely viewed as one of the best sequels and sci-fi action films ever made. When it came time to do Terminator: Dark Fate, initial thoughts made it feel like a proper legacy sequel that could be better than some of the sequels that followed the second entry. Not only was Arnold Schwarzenegger returning as the T-800, but Linda Hamilton was returning as Sarah Connor after sitting the subsequent sequels out. Hearing that Furlong’s John Connor was returning was just icing on the cake, but it was clear early on that his return wouldn’t be what fans thought it would be.


Terminator Star Linda Hamilton Gets Candid on Franchise Future: “It’s Been Done to Death”

Linda Hamilton has reiterated that she is “done” with her role as Sarah Connor in the Terminator franchise, and doesn’t see why it needs rebooting.

In a shocking turn of events, Connor is killed off early in the film before the main story of Dark Fate even gets started. Since John was built up as the leader of the human resistance in the future and has played a pivotal role in the other films, it was jarring to see him killed off so early in the latest sequel, and it was a move that generated considerable controversy from the fans, who felt that it was a poor move to make.

Perhaps this was one of many factors that Terminator: Dark Fate failed to ignite the box office. Despite decent reviews (70 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), Terminator: Dark Fate was a massive box office bomb, grossing a mere $62.3 million domestically and just $261.1 million worldwide. Due to an additional marketing spend that was said to be between $80-100 million, the movie needed to gross over $450 million worldwide to break even. According to reports, Paramount Pictures and Skydance ultimately lost $122.6 million when it was all said and done.


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