The tagline for Terminator: Dark Fate was...

"Welcome to the day after Judgment Day"

...appearing on the posters and a similar reference in trailers.

Due to this, I expected the film to take place the day after Judgment Day, and be mainly a post-apocalyptic type film. However, the film I just watched bears little resemblance to this concept. Apart from Grace's description of how 'the day after Judgment Day people were just surviving and hoping things would get back to normal', I don't remember any other reference to the "day after Judgment Day".

Why was this so heavily mentioned in advertising, and does it have any relation to the actual movie?

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  • Judgement day never happened, so there was no Apocalypse. This movie ignored everything after t2. So the movie picks up literally they day after...where nothing happened and there is no post anything....until ‘Carl’ shows up anyways. The Judgment day of Graces time line is a different one, same as the AI and all the subsequent movie plot. Nov 10, 2019 at 13:44
  • @morbo Is that supposed to be an answer?
    – T.J.L.
    Nov 10, 2019 at 22:38
  • @morbo I don't think it's correct to say that "the movie picks up literally the day after", as far as I remember the first scene in the movie is set in 1998 (a year after Judgment Day was meant to have happened in 1997) the scene with Sarah and John on holiday
    – Kidburla
    Nov 12, 2019 at 13:13
  • 2
    You’re right the film doesn’t start literally the next day, but the colloquial understanding is that it’s a film that is the direct sequel to T2, where John and Sarah simply continue on with their lives knowing judgement day will never happen. If i could remove the word ‘literally’ from the comment i would. Nov 12, 2019 at 13:25
  • 1
    I'd forgotten just how much of a mess the marketing posters were. There's a couple of old people, a woman who looks like like she just stepped out of Mad Max and everyone just looks really angry. Hard pass.
    – Valorum
    Jan 2 at 11:56

1 Answer 1


The film was marketed as a "direct sequel" to Terminator 2: Judgment Day. It doesn't literally take place the day afterwards, but the implication is that the other sequel films that were released (chronologically) after Judgement Day are being ignored, meaning that you can watch and enjoy this film as long as you've seen the first two.

“And then Tim wanted Linda,” he said. “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. And we didn’t see that. We loved it, we thought it was cool, you know, that we were making this sort of direct sequel to a movie that came out in 1991. And young moviegoing audiences weren’t born. They wouldn’t even have been born for another 10 years.”

James Cameron Has Some Regrets About ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’: ‘It Was Your Granddad’s ‘Terminator’ Movie’

As to why this decision was taken, the director was pretty scathing about the quality of the previous sequel films, describing them as 'misfires'.

"The last movie was not good. Wait, I shouldn’t say that," he tells our sister publication Total Film magazine. If Miller has a hard time staying diplomatic about the franchise, it's only because he adores the movies so much. “There have been some… misfires,” he laughs, “You don’t want it to go out that way as a fan. I wanted the franchise to have some kind of noble future again. I wanted to help with that because I love The Terminator so, so much.”

Exclusive: Terminator: Dark Fate director on ignoring the post-Judgment Day movies: "There have been some… misfires"

  • "Welcome to the day after Judgment Day" — yep, the "day" is there just because T2 had it in the title. "It's like poetry, it rhymes."
    – user28434
    Jan 5 at 15:02

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