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SYFY WIRE Terminator: Dark Fate

Gabriel Luna based his Terminator: Dark Fate baddie on Ted Bundy and Tom Cruise

By Tara Bennett & Josh Weiss
Terminator: Dark Fate Gabriel Luna

Ahead of Terminator: Dark Fate's wide theatrical release this Friday (Nov. 1), SYFY WIRE sat down with the cast and crew of the film, which serves as a direct sequel to 1991's T2: Judgement Day.

While Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor), Arnold Schwarzenegger (the T-800), and Edward Furlong (John Connor) are all back for the ride, Dark Fate also brings in plenty of new faces, like Gabriel Luna's Rev-9 — a never-before-seen Terminator model that can mimic humans and even split itself in two like a single-celled organism performing mitosis. To get into the head of this new killer machine, Luna (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) looked to dark characters such as serial killers for inspiration.

"[We] certainly wanted to honor everything that had come before. There's no reason to remake the wheel when it's running so smoothly and seems to scare the pants off everybody," Luna told us. "[We wanted to] find what worked really well ... but I think that they wanted him to have a charming quality, an approachable quality. You know, the fact that Ted Bundy could walk up to you in a park and all of a sudden, you're gone. That always was there."

Terminator Dark Fate

In addition to Bundy (most recently portrayed by Zac Efron in Netflix's Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile), Luna also cited the character of Vincent the professional killer from the Michael Mann-directed film Collateral. The movie follows a ruthless hitman (played by Tom Cruise) who forces a taxi driver (Jamie Foxx) to drive him around Los Angeles over the course of a single night as he picks off predetermined targets one by one.

"When I was auditioning, they gave me a scene ... from Collateral where Tom Cruise is the assassin and he's very very likable, and he's talking to Jamie, convincing him to help him do what he was doing over the course of that night," continued Luna. "So that was always there, and that's something that we tried to make sure to remind ourselves, that it's okay to have a little fun, to flash a smile and to give him a more human simulation. But still, no blinking, something is just slightly amiss with him."

Produced by James Cameron (returning to the franchise for the first time in 28 years, and who also helped with the story), Terminator: Dark Fate co-stars Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, and Diego Boneta.