Terminator: Dark Fate Director Explains Why He Didn’t De-Age Arnold Schwarzenegger

Terminator Arnie

Digital technology has come an awful long way since Arnold Schwarzenegger’s CGI cameo in Terminator Salvation – hell, Martin Scorsese and the Powers That Be have even committed to an entire feature film based around digitally de-aged actors. Its name? The Irishman.

Circling back to the realm of science fiction, though, and we know Schwarzenegger is due to reprise his role as the world-famous T-800 in Dark Fate. No CG, no computer wizardry – just the 72-year-old Austrian Oak in all his glory. Turns out that was a conscious decision on the part of director Tim Miller, who outright refused to de-age Arnold Schwarzenegger in any way, shape, or form.

Chatting to Men’s Health, the filmmaker confirmed that Dark Fate “embraces reality” in that the likes of Schwarzenegger and co-star Linda Hamilton – the two genuine stalwarts of the Terminator franchise – will appear without any smoke or mirrors.

I didn’t want to do a digital Arnold, that’s for f–k sure. We’re [embracing] the reality of what it means to be a person of a certain age who is called upon to be heroic. I love that. I always liked stories like Rooster Cogburn and True Grit, things like that – flawed heroes are so much more interesting than young, perfect ones to me.

In many ways, they were flawed heroes who bear the scars – physical and indeed emotional – of Judgment Day and Skynet’s reign, which, as Miller explains, ensures both Schwarzenegger and Hamilton’s characters are much more intriguing as a result. They’re certainly better realized than the lifeless CGI Arnie that appeared during the finale of Salvation.

Miller continued:

And he looks great. There were so many women on the set who were like, ‘Oh my God, this is the best Arnold ever looked.’ It’s different from Mr. Olympia – he was a god, but there’s something about him at this age. He has this regalness.

Promising to usher in a new trilogy of its own, Terminator: Dark Fate boots online on November 1st. It’s the first entry in the franchise to boast Hamilton, Schwarzenegger and James Cameron’s names on the masthead and that, my friends, is exciting in and of itself.

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