There is little doubt that Terminator: Dark Fate had a lot of potential of kickstarting a new leg of the franchise without Arnold Schwarzenegger's time-travelling robot assassin. However, the film still brought Arnie back and ended up being a box-office flop. Now, James Cameron is admitting his mistake of bringing back Schwarzenegger and not going with director Tim Miller's plans.
James Cameron is currently promoting Avatar: The Way of Water but he also spoke about his past projects. For instance, the filmmaker owned up to insisting on bringing back Schwarzenegger despite Tim Miller's wishes (via The AV Club).
"I think the problem, and I’m going to wear this one, is that I refused to do it without Arnold," Cameron said. "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.’"
He then revealed that it was Miller's idea to bring in Linda Hamilton as well, and that led to Dark Fate's downfall.
"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," Cameron said.
Seeing both Schwarzenegger and Hamilton in the movie was certainly nostalgic for fans but it simply didn't work out for the best. Still, Cameron is still expected to make up for the Terminator: Dark Fate error if Avatar: The Way of Water turns out to be a major hit.