Post-Terminator Syndrome is a 2020 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Gareth Edwards, and produced by James Cameron, David Ellison and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is the seventh film in the Terminator franchise and directly follows The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), whilst ignoring Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), Terminator Salvation (2009), Terminator Genisys (2015), Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) and the television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008–2009).
The film represents a major deviation from the franchise’s formula: instead of the typical sci-fi action plot, it is a more realistic and character-driven film, featuring few visual effects and almost no action scenes. It stars Linda Hamilton, who reprises her role of Sarah Connor again after starring in the first two films as well as Dark Fate, and Edward Furlong, who returns as John Connor for the first time since Judgment Day.
Set 25 years after the events of that film, Post-Terminator Syndrome follows Sarah Connor (Hamilton) and her son John (Furlong) as they attempt to reconcile their estranged relationship. The film also stars Michael Biehn, who played Kyle Reese in The Terminator and extended versions of Judgment Day, and Levi Miller, who portrays the teenaged Reese. It also features cameo performances from Schwarzenegger as the iconic T-800 and Robert Patrick, who played the T-1000 in Judgment Day; Danny Cooksey and Earl Boen, who played supporting roles in Judgment Day, also reprise their roles as John’s friend Tim and Dr Silberman, respectively.
Post-Terminator Syndrome was filmed from February to May 2020 in the United States and was released in theatres on October 30 in the US and worldwide. Upon release, it was a major critical and commercial success; critics praised the film for eschewing the traditional Terminator formula, its humorous and poignant tone, Edwards’ direction and screenplay, and the performances of the cast, particularly Hamilton and Furlong. The film grossed $489 million off of a $73 million budget, becoming the second highest grossing film in the Terminator franchise, after Judgment Day.