Arnold Schwarzenegger in a scene from Terminator Genisys.
Arnold Schwarzenegger in a scene from Terminator Genisys. Photos Melinda Sue Gordon

Arnie's back and better than ever in Terminator franchise

SAY the name Arnold and only one man comes to mind.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is not a juggernaut of Hollywood - he is the juggernaut of Hollywood.

A rare man equally loved for his action blockbusters and comedies, Schwarzenegger overcame many odds on his road to film stardom.

As a bodybuilder keen to make the transition into acting, he was told he would never make a true leading man in Hollywood because of his tongue twister of a surname and his thick accent.

But the ambitious Austrian went on to prove the naysayers wrong, demonstrating he was a muscle man with a keen understanding of characters and great comedic timing.

After two successful terms as the governor of California, ending in 2011, Schwarzenegger was welcomed with open arms by audiences when he returned to the big screen.

What they were really waiting for, however, was his return to the Terminator franchise.

Schwarzenegger had such a clear vision for the Terminator that director James Cameron went against his original plan to cast him as Kyle Reese in the original 1984 film.

The choice was an excellent one, propelling both Schwarzenegger and Cameron to new heights.

In the Terminator franchise reboot Genisys, Schwarzenegger comes face to face with his 1984 self thanks to a fight scene - enhanced by computer-generated imagery - between his outwardly aging T-800 "body" and another Terminator sent to kill Sarah Connor.

"It's totally strange," Schwarzenegger told Weekend.

"When I read it in the script, I said to myself right off the top, 'Who am I rooting for? Is it the 1984 character who is sided with the machines or is it the character now who I play at this age, the T-800 who is protecting the human race?'"

Returning to the role of the Terminator was no easy task. Schwarzenegger still had to be strong enough to carry off the look of a machine, even if its outer organic skin was showing signs of wear and tear, and playing a machine required him to override many of his natural instincts.

"It's very challenging because every single move you make and everything you say cannot be said like a regular human being," he said.

"Even when it comes down to the details of when you shoot a weapon, the Terminator is a machine and it doesn't blink when a shot goes off.

"When you shoot a gun, boom, this fire comes out and your hand jerks back and your eyes blink - it's just a natural thing.

"But (as the Terminator) you can't. You have to go out and train yourself and shoot guns over and over and try to teach yourself to keep your eyes not moving."

There are reports Genisys is the first instalment of a new Terminator trilogy planned by Universal Pictures before the rights to the franchise revert back to James Cameron in 2019.

Schwarzenegger is hesitant to commit to any future movies just yet.

"I don't really feel comfortable kind of calculating like that… I want this one to be successful," he said.

Terminator Genisys opens nationally on Wednesday.


Terminator Genisys

Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke

Director: Alan Taylor

Rating: M

Reviewer's last word: Arnie is back in top form for his beloved role as the Terminator in this reboot of the franchise.

Star profile: Emilia Clarke

Quirky fact: Was working three to six different jobs to get by before being cast in Game of Thrones, including bartending and working at a restaurant and a call centre.

Best known for: Game of Thrones, Dom Hemingway, Spike Island.

If you like this movie you'll like these: Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Jurassic World, Fantastic Four.

Quote: "One of the many things I love about Daenerys (from Game of Thrones) is she's given me an opportunity to fly the flag for young girls and women, to be more than just somebody's wife and somebody's girlfriend."