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Arnold Schwarzenegger criticises recent ‘Terminator’ sequels: “They were not well written”

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Arnold Schwarzenegger has criticised Terminator sequels Genisys and Dark Fate, saying they were “not well written”.

The actor, who has starred in every Terminator film except 2009’s Terminator Salvation where his facial likeness was shown using CGI, said he was “done” with the franchise during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

“The franchise is not done. I’m done,” Schwarzenegger said. “I got the message loud and clear that the world wants to move on with a different theme when it comes to The Terminator.


“Someone has to come up with a great idea. The Terminator was largely responsible for my success, so I always would look at it very fondly.”

While Schwarzenegger is a fan of the first three movies, he has less affection for the most recent sequels: Terminator Genisys and Terminator: Dark Fate.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger. CREDIT: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

“The first three movies were great,” the actor added. “Number four [Salvation] I was not in because I was governor. Then five [Genisys] and six [Dark Fate] didn’t close the deal as far as I’m concerned. We knew that ahead of time because they were just not well written.”

Terminator Genisys was widely panned by critics when it was released in 2015. The film, which also stars Emilia Clarke, holds a 26 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

After the poor reception of Genisys, 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate attempted to course correct by serving as a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The film, written by David Goyer, Justin Rhodes and Billy Ray from a story by original director James Cameron, saw Linda Hamilton reprise her role as Sarah Connor.


While the film was better received by critics, the film bombed at the box office and resulted in a financial loss of over $120million (£100million).

Last year, Cameron said he believed the film flopped because the decision to bring back Schwarzenegger and Hamilton meant it only appealed to older viewers.

“I think the problem, and I’m going to wear this one, is that I refused to do it without Arnold,” Cameron told Deadline. “[Director] Tim [Miller] didn’t want Arnold, but I said, ‘Look, I don’t want that. Arnold and I have been friends for 40 years, I could hear it, and it would go like this: ‘Jim, I can’t believe you’re making a Terminator movie without me.’”

He added: “I think what happened is I think the movie could have survived having Linda in it, I think it could have survived having Arnold in it, but when you put Linda and Arnold in it and then, you know, she’s 60-something, he’s 70-something, all of a sudden it wasn’t your Terminator movie, it wasn’t even your dad’s Terminator movie, it was your granddad’s Terminator movie. And we didn’t see that.”

In a four-star review of Terminator: Dark Fate, NME described it as a “surprising and rousing return to form”.

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