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Terminator: Arnold Schwarzenegger Doesn't Mince Words When It Comes To Genisys And Dark Fate

1984's "The Terminator" is one of the most influential science-fiction films of all time, and its sequel, "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," is often heralded as one of the best sci-fi movies ever made. Not only were those movies incredibly well-received, but they also solidified Arnold Schwarzenegger's status as a movie superstar. He had appeared in films before then, but portraying the T-800 took his star to another level. Lines of dialogue he had in the franchise, like "I'll be back," are still referenced in other movies and TV shows to this day.

The franchise allowed Schwarzenegger to pursue other interesting projects, and he's continued to be part of it even in its most current installments. However, none of the other four films in the "Terminator" series have lived up to the majesty of those first two in the eyes of fans and critics. And while Schwarzenegger seems to believe the franchise will live on somehow, his time in it is done, especially after the reception to the previous two. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger admits Genisys and Dark Fate weren't well-written

There hasn't been any word on another movie in the "Terminator" franchise since 2019's "Dark Fate." That film wasn't received well by critics, and it only grossed $261 million at the global box office, which is a fairly poor performance for such a recognizable series. It definitely requires some retooling, and the topic of "Terminator" came up with Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about his career at large. When asked if the franchise was done, the actor sounded pretty adamant, "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."

He admits that he'll always have fond memories of the franchise because it's what really jumpstarted his acting career, but it sounds like if there's another "Terminator" movie, he won't be part of it. And most of that is due to the reception of the last two films, where he admitted, "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."

It sounds like Schwarzenegger and crew knew for a while "Genisys" and "Dark Fate" weren't going to smash successes. And the response to those movies likely dampened any enthusiasm he had about continuing the role. But rest assured, "Terminator" will continue just as soon as anyone can figure out what to do with it.

It's time for this Terminator to get a fresh coat of paint

When it comes to franchises as big as "Terminator," the question of the next installment always seems like a matter of "when" and not "if." We'll likely get "Terminator 7" at some point, but the series needs some renovations to stay up and running, especially if Schwarzenegger is calling it quits. The next movie is going to need another hook to bring in audiences, which didn't exactly work out well for "Terminator: Salvation" when the actor was busy being governor of California. 

Recently, James Cameron, who directed the first two "Terminator" installments, expressed interest in potentially returning to the series. While nothing's set in stone, the filmmaker declared on the "Smartless" podcast, "If I were to do another 'Terminator' film and maybe try to launch that franchise again — it's in discussion, nothing's been decided — I would make it much more about the A.I. side of it than bad robots gone crazy." 

Granted, Cameron has his hands full with "Avatar" sequels these days, so it's unlikely he could fit a "Terminator" movie in there, too. But he could be onboard as a producer and help guide a new vision, possibly one that emphasizes the existential threat of artificial intelligence over another T-800 reskin. Whatever the direction of the franchise holds, Schwarzenegger made his thoughts loud and clear. The "Terminator" will live on, but he won't be there.