Schwarzenegger Making Return to Defining Role

terminator-genesis-arnold-schwarzeneggerArnold Schwarzenegger is returning to the franchise that made him a star as Terminator: Genesis kicked off filming in New Orleans in April. The former governor will once again be playing the titular role, a character he first portrayed thirty years ago in 1984.

Schwarzenegger, 66, has appeared in one way or another in every one of the four Terminator films released in the past. He played a T-800 model Terminator in each of the first three films, but could not be on set for the filming of 2009’s Terminator Salvation because he was the sitting governor of California at the time. His image was digitally lent to that film, however.

Arnie has been very busy since leaving public office in 2011, already completing six films in that time while also signing on for sequels to the Conan franchise and his 1988 comedy Twins. That is a loaded schedule for a man nearing 70, particularly a man that has made his bones in the film industry as an action star.

Arnold’s age and profile has led to speculation as to how much longer he will continue to make movies, something that is particularly relevant when considering that Terminator: Genesis is supposed to be the first in a new trilogy. Schwarzenegger has already explained why his character will look older in the new films, which would allow him to keep playing the robot for as long as he would like without having to let CGI do the heavy lifting.

Although that question has been answered, the very fact that it needed to has led to speculation as to Arnold’s future with a franchise that is almost assured to continue for years to come. It has gotten so intense that bookmakers listed on are taking bets on how many more Terminator films Schwarzenegger stars in. As it stands, the books seem pretty confident this is his last go-round.

Listening to the man himself, however, one would be forgiven for flying in the face of those odds and betting on his continued presence. In an interview earlier this month, Schwarzenegger dismissed the idea that he may be nearing retirement.

I don’t even consider retirement because I haven’t heard of any good experiences of people who have done that,” he said. “I have seen people who retired at the age of 60, being the head of a studio, or people who have retired from politics at the age of 65, and they are lost. For myself, I would get bored, I always like to have a challenge.

If that challenge includes more Terminator movies is yet to be seen, but it sure sounds like taking it easy is the furthest thing from his mind. Whether it turns out to be his last run with the franchise or not, seeing Arnold back in such an iconic role should thrill fans old.

Terminator: Genesis is scheduled for release July 1, 2015.

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