Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Terminator Anime Series - What We Know So Far

In the nearly 40 years since its first entry hit theaters, the Terminator franchise has explored just about every way to blow off half of a dude's face. It's blown off half a dude's face in six movies, a television series, a 3D amusement park entertainment extravaganza, two web series, a bevy of video games, and a stack of comic books so high that a full-grown man with half his face blown off could stand up straight and barely see over the top of it with the side of his face that wasn't blown off.

Now, Terminator is set to blow off half a guy's face in a whole new way, with Variety reporting that the good folks at Netflix have ordered an anime series based on the beloved property. Set to be a co-production with Ghost in the Shell, and B: The Beginning" studio Production I.G, the anime will mark the Terminator property's first foray into the world of animated television.

And that's not all! Project Power's Mattson Tomlin, fresh from writing the script for Matt Reeves' long-awaited The Batman, has been brought on as both showrunner and executive producer. Beyond that, details remain scarce in these early days, but that won't stop us from trying to sleuth our way through what we know so far, piecing clues together like they're the opposite of half of a Terminator's face.

Where can you watch the Terminator anime?

The Terminator anime is being created as a Netflix original series, so finding it anywhere else will be an uphill battle.

Netflix has been making a hard push into the world of anime over the past few years. In 2017, they found tremendous success with their Castlevania animated series, which was both released and renewed in the same day. Variety reports that the streaming service is also in the process of developing a Splinter Cell anime written by John Wick veteran Derek Kolstad, as well as a series based on Zack Snyder's upcoming Army of the Dead.

John Derderian, the company's vice president of anime, expressed excitement about the new Netflix exclusive project, stating that "Terminator is one of the most iconic sci-fi stories ever created — and has only grown more relevant to our world over time." It's a sobering sentiment about a franchise hinging on technology's inevitable revolution against its creators made by a representative of a digital platform.

When will we see the Terminator anime?

There's no news at the moment as to when fans can expect to see half of an anime Terminator's countenance get blown to smithereens. All we have to go off of is the past.

The turnaround time on other Netflix animes has generally been between one and two years. Netflix picked up Castlevania in 2015, and debuted it in 2017. Similarly, the company's Dragon's Dogma adaptation was announced in March of 2019 and released in September of the following year. With that in mind, we could be watching cartoon Terminators traveling through cartoon time and demanding cartoon people's cartoon clothes in the second half of 2022 or early 2023.

The streaming service could also hold off for another year, waiting until 2024 to release the series as part of the franchise's 40th anniversary. Or, if they really wanted to show off, they could get into the spirit of things by traveling back in time to 1984 and releasing it then, though internet speeds during that era would make buffering an issue.

What's the plot of the Terminator anime

Sussing out the Terminator anime's plot is a lot like jazz: It's all about the killer robot stories you don't already have in your Blu-Ray collection. The production team behind the project hasn't given much away in regards to the story, but they've been sure to point out that it'll be like nothing that fans have ever experienced.

"The new animated series will explore this universe in a way that has never been done before. We can't wait for fans to experience this amazing new chapter in the epic battle between machines and humans," Derderian gushed in a public statement. Additionally, showrunner Mattson Tomlin gave signs that the franchise would be headed in a new direction under his watchful eye.

"Anyone who knows my writing knows I believe in taking big swings and going for the heart. I'm honored that Netflix and Skydance have given me the opportunity to approach 'Terminator' in a way that breaks conventions, subverts expectations and has real guts," Tomlin stated. It's hard to guess what new ground the team hopes to break in a series that's already been backwards, forwards, and sideways in time. Will less than half of someone's face get blown off this time around? More than half? Ours is not to know.

Who will be back for the Terminator anime?

Casting news has yet to break for the Terminator anime, but one question undoubtedly stands head and impossibly broad shoulders above the rest: Will Arnold be involved?

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who hit major, lifelong pay dirt when he took the role of the antagonistic T-800 in 1984's The Terminator, has generally been all too keen to reprise the part at any opportunity. To date, the only onscreen iteration of the Terminator story without Arnold's direct involvement was McG's 2009 post-apocalyptic thriller Terminator Salvation, in which the Austrian powerhouse and former governor of California was subbed in for by a CGI reconstruction of his 1980s self.

Which isn't to say that he hasn't shirked his metallic duties other times. Most recently, Schwarzenegger's iconic killing machine was added to Mortal Kombat 11, voiced by an impersonator — notable, as another DLC character, John Rambo, came fully realized with genuine Sylvester Stallone vocals backing him up. Whether Schwarzenegger will step up to the voice acting plate — or even be invited to do so — remains to be seen.