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Go Behind the Scenes of TERMINATOR: DARK FATE’s Airplane Scene

Ever since the James Cameron first sent the T-800 back in time to 1984, the Terminator franchise has been the crème de la crème when it comes to edge-of-your-seat cinematic stunt pieces. And this tradition still holds true today, as the most recent installment, Terminator: Dark Fate, has some amazing set pieces that will blow any filmgoer away.

In this behind-the-scenes clip from streaming and home video releases of Terminator: Dark Fate, we see how one of the film’s most memorable and suspenseful action sequences came to life. And if you think “it’s all just CGI these days,” then we advise you to think again. The filmmakers accomplished this scene almost entirely with practical on-camera effects and stunts on a giant set that’s quite a feat of engineering wonder. This one massive, massive set recreates the interior of a C4 Galaxy aircraft for a scene in which the newest model terminator (Gabriel Luna) tries to kill our heroes while high above the sky.

Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger prepare to do battle with a new Terminator in a scene from Dark Fate.

Paramount Pictures

As you can see in the clip above, this scene from Tim Miller’s fourth version of a third Terminator movie was a huge challenge to pull off for everyone involved. Stunt Coordinator Freddy Boucigues and Phillip J. Silvera talk about how difficult it was to pull off this moment in a convincing fashion (the scene is actually just a few minutes of screen time in the final finished film). Special effects supervisor Neal Corbould knew that Tim Miller wanted a zero gravity-style effect for this sequence, so they rotated the set on a giant gimbal, which which took them nearly six months to design and another six months to build.

The crew behind this movie have quite an impressive list of credits behind them. Freddy Boucigues’ work can be seen in movies like Justice League and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, and series like Westworld and (appropriately enough) Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Silvera was a stunt and fight coordinator on projects like Netflix’s Daredevil and Punisher series, as well as the Deadpool films. Neal Corbould’s credits include several chapters of the Mission: Impossible saga, Rogue One, and The Martian. Together, these gentlemen created one of last year’s most memorable action scenes.

The action scene on the C4 plane in Terminator Dark Fate, which took six months to prepare and six month to create.

Paramount Pictures

Terminator: Dark Fate is a fitting end to the saga, at least in this fan’s opinion. And if it does indeed end there, then it went out on a positive note creatively. But it’s a bit of a shame we probably won’t see more of this world and these actors, because the film also dangled the possibility of even more interesting stories to come down the line. Certainly there’s more to explore with the elder Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) training the new savior of the future, Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes). But if this is indeed the end, there are far worse ways to go out.

Terminator: Dark Fate is directed by Tim Miller and produced by James Cameron. It stars Linda Hamilton, Arnold, Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, and Gabriel Luna. This clip is available as part of a bigger featurette now available digitally, and will be released on Blu-ray on January 28.

Featured Image: Paramount Pictures