How Old Terminator Will be Different in New Film Than in Genisys

In a Q&A with The Hollywood Reporter, new Terminator director Tim Miller and series creator/producer James Cameron have revealed how the aging Arnold Schwarzenegger will be different in the July 26, 2019 release from the old Terminator he played in 2015’s Terminator Genisys.

“You don’t have to get around it,” said Cameron of Schwarzenegger’s age (71) by the time they film the new movie. “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.”

While that’s not too different from how they justified an old Terminator for Genisys, Tim Miller elaborates on what Cameron said a little more.

“I haven’t talked to Arnold about this so I could get in trouble,” teases Miller. “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.”

So, as opposed to simply Arnold fresh out of the gym with a little more salt than pepper in his hair, the new film may have a more creaky, world-weary Terminator teaming up with a similarly-wizened Sarah Connor, played by returning star Linda Hamilton (age 61).

Re-teaming with Schwarzenegger after starring together in both the original Terminator in 1984 and the 1991 sequel, Hamilton will return to the franchise as a “seasoned warrior” version Sarah Connor. Miller and Cameron hope the new Terminator movie — which will ignore Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys — will lead to a new trilogy of films, with a writers room that includes David Goyer (Batman Begins), Charles Eglee (Dark Angel) and Josh Friedman (Avatar sequels), the latter of whom created the Terminator spin-off The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

“We’re starting a search for an 18-something woman to be the new centerpiece of the new story,” Cameron previously said. “We still fold time. We will have characters from the future and the present. There will be mostly new characters, but we’ll have Arnold and Linda’s characters to anchor it.”

Cameron, who will regain the Terminator rights in 2019, is producing the new film series which has Deadpool director Tim Miller and David Ellison of Skydance teaming up.

Cameron originally sold the rights to the original film for $1 to producer Gale Anne Hurd, with the agreement that he would be allowed to direct The Terminator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The first film earned $78.4 million worldwide and was topped by Cameron’s highly-acclaimed sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which grossed $519.8 million worldwide. Cameron stepped away from the franchise after that film, though three more were made, with the most recent one, Terminator Genisys, having earned $440.6 million globally (though only $89.8 million of that was domestic) on a $155 million budget.