To this day, there are a handful of iconic roles associated with the immortal Arnold Schwarzenegger, the most recognizable (arguably) of those being the T-800. Having successfully catapulted the bodybuilder-turned-actor’s career into the stratosphere with 1984’s The Terminator, director James Cameron came back for another round in 1991 with Terminator 2: Judgement Day, sparking endless debate amongst the geek community in the time since as to which film is superior. Personally, I lean toward the original, but appreciate the merits of both.
As time has gone by, several sequels by way of other directors have debuted in cinemas, none of which garnered the acclaim of the first two installments. In fact, both Salvation and Genesys intended on kickstarting new multi-picture arcs, each of which obviously failed to do so. Furthermore, things didn’t go so well on the small screen, with The Sarah Connor Chronicles being cancelled by Fox after only two seasons. But no matter how many entries in this franchise fail to resonate with moviegoers, someone always aims to make a buck off it, come hell or high water.
Having said that, it comes as no surprise that not only is a sixth installment on the way, but that it’ll also disregard the events of all films following the original two. Furthermore, the stalwart that is Arnie has been confirmed to come back for another round, causing many to wonder how his age will be addressed.
Well, according to James Cameron himself, they’ve found a way to work around that:
“You don’t have to get around it. The beauty of it is: He’s a cyborg. And so, the org part is on the outside, meaning organism. And Reese says it in the first film: ‘They sweat. They have bad breath.’ Because they were supposed to be infiltration units, so there’s this idea that flesh sort of sheaths over a metal endo-skeleton. So that would age normally. So, obviously he’s one that’s been in action and operation for a long time. And that’s all I want to say about the actual story part of it.”
Granted that was the same explanation offered in Genesys, but it adheres to series canon so well that we’ll let it slide. Additionally, incoming Terminator director Tim Miller followed up with this:
“I haven’t talked to Arnold about this so I could get in trouble. But because he’s been in all the other movies — unlike Linda — I do think there needs to be a reason to be different here. I like my sci-fi grounded. I like my characters grounded. And what Jim said about the exterior aging while the interior remains the same — well, not the interior, as in the brain, as emotionally and intellectually he will have evolved. They’re learning machines. But that’s a way to make it different than it was. Even in Genisys, he looked — I should stop — he was a slightly gussied-up version of the old Terminator. I think we should embrace his age. And that’s what’s going to make it interesting and fresh for the fans.”
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