The Terminator and Sarah Connor are together again. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton took the stage at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Thursday to show off footage from the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, their first film together since 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Paramount released new photos from the film Thursday morning, but the CinemaCon audience got an extended look at the film, introduced by Schwarzenegger, Hamilton, and fellow cast members Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, and Gabriel Luna.
Schwarzenegger and Hamilton’s arrival on stage earned some of the biggest cheers of the entire convention, with Schwarzenegger quipping, “Thank you for this nice applause! This is not to present the movie; this is a fundraiser for my next political race.”
The new Terminator is the sixth installment in the franchise, but it ignores the later sequels and instead picks up as a direct continuation of Judgment Day. Original director James Cameron helped develop the story and serves as producer, with Deadpool’s Tim Miller taking over as director.
Schwarzenegger told the audience he was especially thrilled to reunite with Hamilton and Cameron, adding that the original 1984 Terminator “changed my life.” He signed on after Cameron pitched him the story while they were on a motorcycle ride together (something they apparently do often).
The former governor of California also joked that without Terminator, his political career would never have gotten off the ground.
“Think about it,” he said. “What would I do without these lines like ‘I’ll be back’? What would I do without saying, ‘Hasta la vista, baby’ or ‘F— you, a—hole.’” What would I do?” Thanks to Terminator, he added, he could summarize his political stance as simplistically as “terminate climate change” or “hasta la vista to gerrymandering.”
The footage (which has yet to be publicly released) followed Davis’ new Terminator as she arrives naked in Mexico City, falling from a bridge and taking out a whole crew of police officers. A later clip centered on Davis and Reyes’ characters as they were cornered by Luna’s other new T-1000-style Terminator, who Miller explained has the ability to split into two people. As Davis and Reyes prepare to fight for their lives, Hamilton’s Sarah Connor rolls up in a car, taking down the twin Terminators with a massive machine gun and a bazooka. As she walks away from a stunned Davis and Reyes, she tells them, “I’ll be back.”
Hamilton echoed Schwarzenegger’s comments about how the franchise has impacted their lives and shaped their careers.
“It has been nearly 30 years since I last stepped into the shoes of Sarah Connor, a character who definitely changed my life,” she said. “And only a script, a story, a director like this could bring me back into this world — a perfect confluence of events. Once in a lifetime, or maybe twice, an event comes along that you cannot turn away from. And for me, this is that moment.”
Miller got emotional while introducing the footage, telling the audience about how he’s been a lifelong fan of the Terminator series.
“To say that working on this movie was a labor of love for me is an enormous f—ing understatement,” Miller said. “I’m sure all of you can imagine what a responsibility it is to take over this franchise and tell the next chapter of this film.”
Terminator: Dark Fate hits theaters Nov. 1.