Terminator: Dark Fate director Tim Miller knows moviegoers are rightfully skeptical of a sixth entry in the long-running franchise, but the Deadpool filmmaker is urging fans to tap their feelings about the 1984 original and 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

“I know it’s hard for people to say, ‘Okay, it’s Terminator 6,’ but it really isn’t, and I hope we get that message out,” Miller tells EW in an exclusive chat, revealing his installment will ignore the events of the post-Terminator 2 films. “It’s really a sequel to those first two stories — and it’s not your usual sequel. I think people are going to be surprised in the way that the story continues and it’s a little more back to basics of what Jim [Cameron] did; it’s not trying to compete with the giant Marvel movies…well, it is a little bit. [Laughs] Nobody is going to be disappointed by the action but it really is a return to character.”

And in a series that often explores the future, the filmmakers looked to the past, not just returning to character, but an iconic character. After sitting out 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, 2009’s Terminator Salvation, and 2015’s Terminator Genisys, Linda Hamilton re-enlisted as Sarah Connor, providing a much-needed lift to the story.

“[Character] is something that I strongly felt was missing with the three since I did Judgment Day,” says Hamilton, echoing Miller’s sentiments. “You had so much action and taking everything and making it that much bigger, but there were no characters that you really cared about. And that obviously has to be the real thread that links my three movies together; you’ve got to have characters you care about or it’s all just a wash.”

Adds Miller, “Or it’s just explosions.”

Terminator: Dark Fate, which also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mackenzie Davis, opens in theaters on Nov. 1.

Credit: Everett Collection

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