Arnold Schwarzenegger Quits Terminator Movies: “I’m Done”

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Terminator: Dark Fate may not be the final Terminator movie, but if a new one is made, don’t expect Arnold Schwarzenegger to be in it. Speaking in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 75-year-old actor was asked whether the Terminator franchise was finished, to which he replied that while the franchise wasn’t done, he was, going on to admit that he knew “ahead of time” that Genisys and Dark Fate, the most recent Terminator films released in 2015 and 2019, respectively, were “not well written.” Schwarzenegger also revealed that he originally thought his iconic “I’ll Be Back” line in The Terminator “sounded stupid,” but James Cameron insisted on it.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

The Terminator franchise — it feels done now?

The franchise is not done. I’m done. I got the message loud and clear that the world wants to move on with a different theme when it comes to The Terminator. Someone has to come up with a great idea. The Terminator was largely responsible for my success, so I always would look at it very fondly. The first three movies were great. Number four [Salvation] I was not in because I was governor. Then five [Genisys] and six [Dark Fate] didn’t close the deal as far as I’m concerned. We knew that ahead of time because they were just not well written.

The last thing most actors want is to be associated with catchphrases that follow them around. Yet you’ve embraced yours. What does a line like “I’ll be back” mean to you at this point?

I think about how it was an accident. [Terminator director] Jim Cameron and I were debating how to say the line because I was not comfortable with saying “I’ll.” I said, “I think it’s stronger to say, ‘I will be back.’ ” Cameron said, “Are you the scriptwriter now? It’s just one word. Don’t tell me how to write. I don’t tell you how to act.” I said, “You tell me how to act every fucking minute! What are you talking about?!” So he says, “Arnold, you think it sounds weird. It doesn’t. What makes it great is that you sound different than me or Charlie over there. That’s what makes it work. So just say it 10 times. Say it different ways. I’ll keep rolling the camera. Then we’ll choose one.” So they set it up, and I say: “(Flatly) I’ll be back … (cheerful) I’ll be back! … (guttural) I’ll beeee baaaack …” It sounded stupid.

The movie comes out. I’m in Central Park. This guy comes up and says, “Say the line!” … Now, a few days ago, I was skiing in Aspen, and the concierge comes up asking me to say the line. So that’s where it started and where it ended up. It’s wild. I’m the last one to get complicated and say, “I don’t want to compare myself to my movies or use a line from my movies.” Hell, Clint Eastwood takes the clothes from his movies and that’s all he wears. So why would I be worried about using a line?

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