• Edward Furlong had a ”
    mixed feeling
    ” about returning to play John Connor in
    Terminator: Dark Fate
    just to have the character be killed off.
  • Furlong expresses gratitude that he got to take the character back for himself, even if it was only a brief experience.
  • John’s death is
    Terminator: Dark Fate
    undermines the events of
    Terminator 2: Judgment Day
    , and it ultimately feels like a waste considering the film essentially killed the franchise.



Original John Connor actor Edward Furlong reveals his honest thoughts about Terminator: Dark Fate killing his character off. Released in 2019 and directed by Tim Miller, Terminator: Dark Fate features the return of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800. The film memorably opens with the reveal that, following the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a T-800 killed John, the future leader of the resistance. Furlong returned to reprise his role in a motion capture capacity after previously playing John in James Cameron’s 1991 movie.

During a recent interview on the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast, Furlong reflects on Terminator: Dark Fate killing John, and what it was like returning to the role.

The actor recalls that his return to the role followed years of addiction struggles, and he ultimately expresses gratitude that he was able to play the character again, even if it was only briefly. Check out Furlong’s full comment below:

“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.”


10 Things The Terminator Sequels Did To Ruin James Cameron’s Franchise After 1991’s Judgement Day

Even without James Cameron’s involvement, the Terminator franchise continued after Judgment Day but with some unfortunately polarizing decisions.

Was Killing John Connor In Terminator: Dark Fate The Right Call?

Why John Connor’s Death Wasn’t Totally Successful

Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) hugging John Connor's (Edward Furlong) body in Terminator Dark Fate

Connor is killed before the real story in Terminator: Dark Fate even gets underway, and the decision was understandably met with some controversy. John, after all, is the leader of the human resistance in the future who has been crucial to almost every previous movie in the Terminator franchise. To kill him so suddenly is to make a major shift in the premise that defined earlier installments.

What’s more, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is also a beloved film, and it’s widely regarded as one of the best sequels of all time. It’s in this film that Furlong is introduced as John, and he remains a key character throughout its runtime alongside Hamilton’s Sarah and Schwarzenegger’s T-800. By killing him off in the opening moments of Terminator: Dark Fate, it undermines T2‘s story somewhat, which is all about protecting John from the more advanced T-1000 (Robert Patrick).

The decision to kill John also isn’t helped by the fact that Terminator: Dark Fate was a box office bomb that essentially killed the franchise. If John’s death felt like it was part of a larger franchise arc or if the movie it occurred in had been stronger, this could have alleviated a sense that it was a misstep. While John’s death was truly shocking, and it paved the way for a much-needed refresh of the franchise, the execution of it in Terminator: Dark Fate ultimately wasn’t there to make it the moment it could have been.

Source: Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum

Terminator: Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate is a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day, ignoring the rest of the future films to re-canonize the franchise. Set years after Sarah Connor successfully stopped the impending Judgement Day, a new Terminator is sent to destroy the resistance before it forms. Now forced to team up with a former T-800 terminator model, Sarah will seek vengeance and protect Dani Ramos, the new target of Skynet.

Tim Miller

Release Date
November 1, 2019

Paramount Pictures , Disney

Paramount Pictures , Disney

Billy Ray , Justin Rhodes , David S. Goyer

Linda Hamilton , Gabriel Luna , Fraser James , Natalia Reyes , Arnold Schwarzenegger , Brett Azar , Steven Cree , Diego Boneta , Mackenzie Davis , Claudia Trujillo

128 minutes

$185 million

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