James Cameron says that Arnold Schwarzenegger will play the human basis for the T-800 in Terminator 6. It's no wonder why he'd be chosen for that honor, as there is obviously no actor more closely identified with the Terminator franchise than the hulking Austrian. In fact, it was arguably Arnold's portrayal of the titular villain in Cameron's original 1984 Terminator film that cemented his rise to the A-list of Hollywood. Subsequent action efforts like 1985's Commando and 1987's Predator would only further his ascent.
Schwarzenegger can definitely give an entertaining performance when presented with the right material, and perhaps no role has ever fit Arnold better than that of the reprogrammed T-800 sent back to protect future human resistance leader John Connor in Cameron's 1991 sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Despite the film's detractors, it's hard to argue that 2003's flawed Terminator 3 would be as fun as it sometimes can be without Arnold in the lead either.
In recent years, though, the Terminator franchise has fallen on hard times creatively, with both 2009's future-set Terminator: Salvation and 2015's time-warping Terminator: Genisys failing to engender much good will from fans. Following the disappointing Genisys, franchise creator Cameron has opted to come back, and will produce a sixth Terminator film to be directed by Deadpool's Tim Miller. Arnold will also return for Terminator 6, as he confirmed earlier today. Cameron told website The Arnold Fans during a recent Q&A that Schwarzenegger will likely play the human character that serves as the basis for the appearance of the T-800. Here's his full quote:
"Yeah, you got to ask yourself, ‘Why did they make these characters look and sound like Arnold? There has to be a reason. So yeah, it has flashed through my mind that there has to have been a prototype.
There has to have been a guy who’s DNA was harvested from - that they grew the organic outter layer that they grew the Terminator from...and that presumibly was a real person at some point.
Now, the question is, did that person have some sort of meaning to Skynet on WHY they chose that one (Arnold)? Or was it like a whole rack of Terminators and the one that happened to be the Arnold model just happened to be closest to the door going out to the time displacement center and all the others looked different?
I’ve asked myself these questions but it’s never been resolved...so stay tuned!"
The idea of Schwarzenegger serving as the human basis for the T-800's appearance was actually first toyed with in a scene originally intended to be part of Terminator 3, albeit in a joking way. The scene cast Arnold as Sgt. William Candy, the man selected to be the physical basis for the T-800. The character's voice and southern accent was clearly not Arnold's though, and a different off-screen character -- voiced by Arnold -- is heard saying that the voice can be fixed. The scene was ultimately cut from the film, but was an extra on the DVD release.
Cameron of course had no involvement with Terminator 3, so it's doubtful that he cares one way or another about a proposed plot element from that film. It remains to be seen what creative direction Cameron will take to explain why the T-800 was fashioned to look like Arnold, but one can bet it won't have anything to do with anyone named Candy. Terminator 6 begins filming in 2018.
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