Women Are Back In The Lead For Terminator: Dark Fate, Where They Should Be Always

It's about damn time.

The thought of a new Terminator film isn’t exactly the same excitement-inducing thing it once was. But Terminator: Dark Fate is bucking the trend because of a number of reasons.

It’s directed by Tim Miller, who did Deadpool and knows how to fix a beloved franchise that’s been hard done by, it’ll ignore all the films after Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and James Cameron is onboard as a producer to make sure they don’t mess it up again.

But the biggest reason why Dark Fate is incredibly exciting is because women are back in the lead. They got Mackenzie Davis as the lead terminator role of Grace and they’ve they’ve brought Linda Hamilton back to reprise the role of Sarah Connor, aka one of cinema’s greatest action heroes.

In a new interview with Variety, Miller said that the lead terminator role was always intended to be played by a woman, calling the human/machine character a “new protector” who doesn’t “live a long time”, is basically in a “sacrificial role”, and someone (something?) who’s had a “painful” life that’s numbed by “a lot of drugs”.

While this may seem like a case of token casting, Miller explains that they “did not trade certain gender traits for others” when developing Grace, calling the character “just very strong.”

Unsurprisingly, the internet bros had a lot to say about Dark Fate‘s female characters when the first poster and trailer was released, which won’t bode well for them when they actually see the film because Miller thinks Grace will “scare the f**k” out of “closet misogynists”, not that he gives a crap what online trolls think anyway.

Visual representation of Dark Fate beating down on misogynists.

What some people forget is that a lot of why the first two Terminator films (aka the good ones) worked was because it was driven by a strong female lead in Sarah Connor. It’s perhaps no surprise that the lack of good female leads from Terminator 3 onwards resulted in rapidly diminishing returns.

By bringing Linda back as Sarah and creating a badarse new female lead for Dark Fate, the filmmakers are doing what made the series so good in the first place, which immediately renders whatever weak “argument” trolls have about Grace and Dark Fate‘s emphasis on female characters moot.

We’ll find out if Dark Fate has managed to put all the pieces together when the film drops on November 1, but the thought of the movie making whiney bros cry with its female empowerment is more than worth the price of admission.

A Lot More Pie-Boning Went Down In American Pie Than You Thought

They definitely didn't eat it all.

Raunchy teenage sex comedies involving hormonal kids trying to get laid are nothing new to moviegoers. But perhaps none have quite captured the imagination of audiences quite like 1999’s American Pie.

It’s surprisingly honest, hilarious, and holds up surprisingly well despite being 20 years old. But let’s be real, the reason why we still remember the film is because of that infamous scene where Jim bones that apple pie.

You know the one.

Well, actually it is.

For those who don’t remember or haven’t seen the film, Jim (Jason Biggs) is told by his buddies that getting to “third base” felt like “warm apple pie”. Later, he comes home and lo and behold, there’s a warm apple pie sitting on the kitchen counter. And as one does when they’re a naive teenager who’s yet to have sex, Jim decides to bone it.

Now depending on if you saw the movie in cinemas or on DVD, you would’ve either seen Jim humping and pumping the pie on the kitchen counter or holding the pie against, uh, himself.

It’s a lot of pie-porking but the truth is that there was a lot more boning than what we saw and it’s enough to make you feel sorry for both Jim and what’s left of the pie.

It still looks exactly what we think it looks like.

The New York Times (of all places) did a deep dive into the making of the pie-boning scene with the filmmakers and Biggs revealed that he wasn’t aroused. Not only that, he didn’t even stick his dick in the (fake) pie and sort of just had his junk “against” the (fake) pie.

Talk about not taking one for the team. Daniel Day-Lewis would’ve done it for real and he would’ve won an Oscar for it.

Anyway, while Biggs didn’t actually bone a pie for real, he did have to fake-bone the pie a lot. Like a lot. He not only filmed those two versions of the scene above, the director would make him do multiple takes from various angles with his bits at various levels of exposure.

All in all, he said it took six hours to film the scene, which is heaps of pie-boning no matter how you swing it.

“Like, ‘O.K., you’re showing too much crack. Oh, you’re showing not enough crack. We can see a little bit of your penis here.’ It was probably like six hours of doing it from all different angles and all different versions of it. “

But all jokes aside, credit must be given to all the work that went into the pie-boning scene and Biggs’ adult-star level of stamina because all that humping resulted in an iconic scene that made American Pie a teenage sex comedy classic and a place in film history as “the dude who porked an apple pie”.

How China Is Deciding What You Get To See At The Cinema, And Even Disney Is In On it

No, it's not just you noticing all the Chinese pandering going on in Hollywood blockbusters.

The world collectively freaked out when Disney dropped the first trailer for its upcoming live-action adaptation of Mulan. Despite the lack of Mushu, no “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You“, or any indication that it’ll have musical bits, it was a gorgeous trailer that highlights just how much of a badarse Liu Yifei’s Mulan is.

However, one can’t help but feel something is “off” with the trailer and the character of Mulan. Compared to all the joy and emotion found in the 1998 animated classic, this new take just seems… cold.

The Guardian‘s Jingan Young says that this version of Mulan appears to pander to China’s nationalistic agenda and they’re not wrong in that assumption. The 1998 animated film flopped in China upon release so it’s pretty clear that Disney are trying to avoid that problem again by making it more appealing to Chinese audiences.

Some would say this is selling out a film’s creative vision in order to make more money and, well, they’d be completely correct. In fact, Disney are far from the only Hollywood studio to pander to the Chinese market with its blockbusters.

The Chinese film industry is absolutely booming right now, with experts putting it a close second to the US in terms of projected box office earnings for 2019 (about $12 billion vs $11 billion). In fact, these experts are predicting it to topple America as the biggest moviegoing audience by 2020.

As China emerges as a moviegoing market equal to the US but with potential for far more growth – there’s well over 1 billion moviegoers in China compared to the mere 300 or so million in the US – Hollywood studios are making big moves in order to get a slice of that Chinese movie pie.

This is why we’ve seen increased marketing in Asian markets, different edits of films and more big name actors going to Chinese cities to plug movies in recent years: there’s a LOT of money to be made there.

For context on just how increasingly important China is for a movie’s bottom line, about $600 million of Avengers: Endgame‘s $2.7 billion box office gross came from Chinese audiences alone. Yeah, that’s a lot of dosh.

It goes beyond PR stuff as we’re starting to see more Chinese influence on the creative side of things due to an increasing number of American/Chinese co-productions or production partnerships of some kind, like The Meg and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

This all looks like Hollywood is selling what’s left of its soul for some extra moolah in China and that’s a pretty accurate assumption. But the numbers don’t lie and it all makes sense from a money-making perspective, even if it means sacrificing things like creative freedom for a touch of Chinese pandering.

And business is booming.

It remains to be seen how this all plays out and how movies will ultimately be affected but don’t be too surprised to see more Chinese influence – for better or worse – on your cinema choices over the next decade or so.


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