‘The Terminator’: Linda Hamilton Will Be Back

Arnold Schwarzenegger always said “I’ll be back” in all of his Terminator movies. But his female lead, Linda Hamilton, never had – until now. Find out what Hamilton has to say about reprising the role.

Linda Hamilton was in only two ‘Terminator’ films

Hamilton, of course, had been a key figure in the series playing Sarah Connor, the mother of the man who was to lead a resistance against machines in an apocalyptic future. In fact, in the original 1984 film, she was really the lead character: a woman bewildered by this supposed future, not to mention the unstoppable cyborg who was trying to kill her.

It was a whirlwind for Hamilton personally too. The Terminator wasn’t her first film – she had appeared in 1984’s Children of the Corn – but it boosted her career, landing her shows like the 1987 TV series Beauty and the Beast.  

In the even more popular 1991 sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Hamilton had transformed into a muscular fighter, dispatching her foes with almost as much ease as Schwarzenegger. She even married director James Cameron, who had helmed the first two movies.

However, she and Cameron split in 1999, and both of them split from the franchise after that. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, released in 2002, killed off her character. Neither she nor Schwarzenegger appeared in 2009’s Terminator: Salvation, which became more known for Christian Bale’s on-set rant than anything in the movie itself.

Sarah Connor did return in the 2008 TV series The Sarah Connor Chronicles, where the character was played by Lena Headey of Game of Thrones fame, but it lasted only two seasons. Sarah Connor was also in 2015’s Terminator: Genisys reboot, but she was played by yet another Game of Thrones cast member, Emilia Clarke. Despite Schwarzenegger’s reprise of the title role, that film grossed only $89 million at the US box office, seemingly spelling an end to the franchise.

Welcome back, Sarah and Linda

Now, there is a new Terminator film on the way, with both Hamilton and Schwarzenegger on board. And Hamilton’s return surprised no one more than the actress herself.

Asked by Extra if she had ever thought she would be back, Hamilton, who is 62, replied: “Never, never. (It’s been) 27 years. It just felt right to come back, finally. You don’t want to sort of beat the dead horse, but it seemed like there was just such an opportunity to invest all the all the years of experience and riches, that there would be a much deeper story to tell at my age.”

Even presented with that opportunity, Hamilton wasn’t convinced easily. She had gotten used to years of being relatively out of the spotlight.

“It wasn’t so much about performing in the film as sort of returning to the big thing,” she said. “I’m living such a quiet, normal life, and I like it. Do I want another 15 minutes? But here I am,” she said.

What the new ‘Terminator’ movie is about?

The sixth film in the series is called Terminator: Dark Fate, which will be a direct sequel to Terminator 2. Not only do Hamilton and Schwarzenegger return, but so does Cameron. He doesn’t direct, but he co-wrote the film’s story, which features a new character who needs protection from a new liquid metal Terminator who can split into two units. Manning the directing reins is Tim Miller, the director of the original Deadpool.

Hamilton was especially eager to work with Schwarzenegger for a third Terminator go-round. “I have a great affection for him, so it was really nice to see him, and to work with him again. I hugged him non-stop. Who knew I felt like that?” Hamilton told Extra.

Will the new film, coupled with Hamilton’s return, reinvigorate the franchise? We’ll find out when the movie opens on November 1.