Rosario Dawson Joins Terminator Zero

By Jason Collins | Published

Just when we thought the Terminator franchise was dead, following the admittedly-not-that-horrible release of Terminator: Dark Fate, Netflix decided to bring the franchise back. This time, however, we’re not likely to see Arnold Schwarzenegger being the big mean killing machine because the upcoming Terminator Zero is actually an anime—one that just added Rosario Dawson to its cast.

The Terminator Anime

Netflix just announced that Ahsoka star Rosario Dawson has joined the cast of Terminator Zero, adding her name to the list of cast members, which includes Andre Holland, Timothy Oliphant, Sonoya Mizuno, and Ann Dowd. Dawson will voice Kokoro, an advanced AI, and Japan’s answer to Skynet, which now calculates whether humanity is the plague Skynet believes it to be or if humans are actually worth saving.

A New Angle

Andre Holland portrays Malcolm Lee, who is the genius programmer behind Kokoro; Sonoya Mizuno portrays Eiko, a resistance fighter from the future trying to stop Malcolm from launching Kokoro in the first place—that’s rather interesting—and Ann Dowd as The Prophet, who is a philosophical guide for the humanity’s future resistance.

But now we’re wondering just what kind of calculations Rosario Dawson’s Kokoro terminator AI makes when Eiko is trying to stop Malcolm from launching the program. Did Kokoro turn out to be a Japanese version of Skynet?

Covers Two Time Periods

All of that remains to be seen once the anime launches. Rosario Dawson and the previously mentioned cast join Timothy Oliphant as the Terminator in an animated narrative that takes place between two timelines in 2022 and 1997, following Skynet’s war against humanity throughout time. Olyphant’s character, the Terminator, also hunts down Lee—who is considering the moral complexities of his own creation—but we don’t know to what cause. If his mission is to assassinate him, then Kokoro might not be an ally to Skynet but a threat.

Terminator Turns 40

Rosario Dawson Terminator series, Terminator Zero, is created and executive-produced by Mattson Tomlin, with the animation provided by Production I.G. It’s the eighth major release within the franchise, the second serialized release—the first one being the sadly-canceled The Sarah Connor Chronicles—and the first Terminator release to be animated. The now-legendary Terminator franchise is turning 40 this year, with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger being the official face of the franchise, and depending on the movie, either its villain or one of its protagonists.

Can An Anime Save The Once Great Franchise?

The original movie was released in 1984, and despite the low pre-release expectations, it turned out to be a massive hit among the fans, grossing $78.3 million at the box office against a rather modest budget of $6.4 million. It’s often credited with launching filmmaker James Cameron’s film career, and its success led to a massive franchise consisting of several sequels, a television series, comic books, novels, a whole range of video games, and now, a Rosario Dawson Terminator anime, whose release is now scheduled for a Judgement Day date of August 29. We see what you did there, Netflix.