Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back for James Cameron’s potential Terminator reboot — and according to the franchise mastermind, so will his original female star, Linda Hamilton.
The director announced Hamilton’s return on Tuesday night, EW has confirmed, at a private event celebrating the 33-year-old franchise (the news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter).
In 1984’s The Terminator, Hamilton’s Sarah Connor was on the run from Schwarzenegger’s killer machine, sent from the future to eliminate her before she gives birth to a son who will eventually lead the human resistance. (Spoiler alert: He failed.)
Hamilton returned for 1991’s blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day, where she emerged as a female action star, fighting to save her now-born son, John Connor (Edward Furlong), this time with the Terminator as an ally.
“As meaningful as she was to gender and action stars everywhere back then, it’s going to make a huge statement to have that seasoned warrior that she’s become return,” Cameron said of Hamilton. The Avatar and Titanic filmmaker noted the “50-year-old, 60-year-old guys out there killing bad guys” but said there “isn’t an example of that for women” in current movies.
Last month, Cameron confirmed to EW that it was “looking very likely” the franchise reboot would happen with Skydance and Paramount Pictures, and producer David Ellison. While he previously told News.com.au that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be involved “to some extent,” Cameron told EW that would “be up to [Schwarzenegger].”
While Cameron will write the script, Tim Miller (Deadpool) is on board to direct the new movie, which will reportedly be a sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and may become a trilogy. “It all depends on whether the first one makes money,” he told EW.
The new movie won’t just focus on Schwarzenegger and Hamilton’s characters, though. “We’re starting a search for an 18-something woman to be the new centerpiece of the new story,” Cameron said of his plan to bring in the next generation of Terminator stars. “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.”
In the years since Cameron’s trailblazing 1991 Terminator sequel, there have been three films in the franchise — all without Cameron or Hamilton involved. In the last attempt to revive Cameron’s Terminator franchise, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke played a younger version of Sarah Connor.