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Arnold's back in Terminator 6, but not as who you might think

By Jedd JongMovies - 12 September 2017 10:57 AM

Arnold's back in Terminator 6, but not as who you might think

The Terminator franchise has had its highs and lows: 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day is often praised as one of the finest sci-fi action films ever made, but 2009’s Terminator Salvation and 2015’s Terminator: Genisys turned out to be largely unsuccessful attempts to continue the franchise. Terminator: Genisys, functioning as a semi-reboot, was intended to launch a new Terminator trilogy. The TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was largely well-received by fans, but was cancelled after two seasons. Terminator: Genisys was intended to be spun off into a new TV series in addition to spawning a new trilogy of films. While the film made $440 million at the global box office, making it the second highest-earning entry in the series, this was not good enough for a sequel to be greenlit.

James Cameron
James Cameron

The rights are set to revert to James Cameron in 2019, and Cameron will be overseeing yet another reboot of the franchise. Cameron directed the original 1984 Terminator film and its 1991 sequel, but not the other films that followed. Cameron argued that the themes explored in the franchise were more relevant than ever and that this was what pulled him back to the Terminator series, saying “I mean, a lot of the things that were science fiction in Terminator are now around us…and actual discussions on the ethics of having a robot have its own kill decision possibilities, things like that. It’s actually happening.” Cameron is set to produce alongside Skydance’s David Ellison, with Tim Miller (Deadpool) taking the directorial reins.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator Genisys
Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator: Genisys

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played the T-800 in earlier entries in the series, will return in the reboot. Instead of playing the iconic cyborg, Cameron has stated that Schwarzenegger would instead portray the human being on which the T-800 is based. “You got to ask yourself, ‘Why did they make these characters look and sound like Arnold?’ There has to be a reason. So yeah, it has flashed through my mind that there has to have been a prototype,” Cameron said. “Now, the question is, did that person have some sort of meaning to Skynet on WHY they chose that one (Arnold)? Or was it like a whole rack of Terminators and the one that happened to be the Arnold model just happened to be closest to the door going out to the time displacement centre and all the others looked different?” Cameron mused. “I’ve asked myself these questions but it’s never been resolved…so stay tuned!”

There was a deleted scene from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines depicting Schwarzenegger as a Southern-accented military man named Chief Master Sergeant William Candy, who is selected by Cyberdyne Research Systems as a physical model for the Model-101 Terminators. The scene was included in the DVD release of the film. It is speculated that this scene, which is markedly more comedic than the rest of Terminator 3, was meant to be a cut scene in the tie-in video game, instead of being a scene deleted from the film itself.

Schwarzenegger himself confirmed his involvement and a March 2018 start date for production, saying in a recent interview “In March next year, I am shooting Terminator 6, James Cameron and David Ellison are back on board and then comes a Conan.” A return to the Conan the Barbarian role has long been in the works for Schwarzenegger.

A 3D re-release of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, opens in U.S. cinemas on 25 August.