SAN DIEGO: Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back for “Terminator: Dark Fate” because he is “addicted” to the killer cyborg franchise that launched his career – but it was the return of Linda Hamilton that stole the show at Comic-Con Thursday.
Hamilton, 62, reprises her famous role as Sarah Connor – who she first depicted in the 1984 original, but left after 1991 blockbuster “Terminator 2” – and age does not appear to have slowed her down one bit.
Exclusive footage from the upcoming sequel showed an athletic Hamilton leaping from a vehicle to confront two super-powered, shape-shifting robots with an array of weapons including a gun, a bazooka and a grenade.
“My name is Sarah Connor. I hunt Terminators,” she announces.
Schwarzenegger and Hamilton discussed their decisions to return for “Dark Fate,” out Nov 1, in a panel with director Tim Miller and cast newcomers at the world’s largest pop culture convention in San Diego.
“It’s absolutely incorrect to say that I don’t need to come back. Of course I needed to come back … I’m addicted to Terminator,” said Schwarzenegger, who has featured in four of the five “Terminator” movies to date.
“Terminator was the movie that really launched my action movie career.”
James Cameron, who also returns to the franchise as a producer for the first time since “Terminator 2,” appeared via videolink from the futuristic set of the “Avatar” sequels.
He told a whooping audience that his “only caveat” for producing was that Schwarzenegger must return too.
He confirmed that Eddie Furlong, who portrayed John Connor as a teenager in “Terminator 2,” will also reprise his role.
But Hamilton, who received calls and emails from Cameron imploring her to return, said she “really gave it careful consideration” because the first two films felt “very intact.”
She ultimately decided that due to the passage of time – both for her character, and her own real-life experiences – she would come back to “rock it as a woman of a certain age.”
“One day I woke up and I was like, you know what I can no longer worry about trying to be what I was, because I am so much more than I was,” she said.
“And that was the moment that I realised I really wanted to be on board with this, that the richness of my life experience is only going to enrich the character that I play.”
“Deadpool” director Miller said the new “Terminator” would be adult-themed following fan demand for a darker, grittier sequel.
“The DNA of Terminator is an R-rated movie so not do it feels disingenuous to the source material,” he explained.
In terms of plot, Miller said the story follows “Terminator 2” and sees Sarah Connor dealing decades later with the consequences of destroying the shadowy – which in the future would give rise to nuclear holocaust — at the end of that film.
“Dark Fate” is set to ignore the multiple alternate timelines created in the three “Terminator” films that have been released since that movie.