That Time Arnold Schwarzenegger Tried To Rewrite Terminator’s ‘I’ll Be Back’ Line And Got Shot Down

Arnold in the original Terminator

The Terminator franchise has been in theaters for decades, with Dark Fate marking the whopping fifth sequel, not counting the short-lived TV series. But it all started with James Cameron's original 1984 movie aptly titled The Terminator. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton made their debuts at T-800 and Sarah Connor respectively, with plenty of iconic lines in the beloved sci-fi blockbuster. Chief among them is Arnold's line "I'll be back", which has been quoted in every single sequel, including Tim Miller's Dark Fate. But it turns out that Schwarzenegger originally tried to change it, before being shut down.

It's hard to imagine The Terminator without "I'll be back" which has remained a quotable line in the pop culture lexicon for the decades since the movie hit theaters. More catch phrases came in the sequel thanks to T-800's relationship with John Connor, but the original is a classic. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently revealed that he tried to rewrite the line, as he put it:

When I read the ‘I’ll be back line,’ I said to Jim Cameron, I said, ‘To me it sounds weird when I say I’ll be back.’ He says, ‘Well, how would you say it?’ And I said, ‘I will be back.’ And he says… ‘No.'

Well, he tried. It looks like the iconic line of dialogue didn't originally sit right with Arnold Schwarzenegger, possibly due to to the language barrier. So while he tried to change it, James Cameron quickly shot him down. Bummer.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's comments to GQ might surprise the generations of Terminator fans, who grew up quoting the 72 year-old actor's dialogue from the original two films. "I'll Be Back" is a simple line, one that originally put fear into the hearts of moviegoers. When the villainous original Terminator said he'd be back, you knew the cyborg would be back... with a vengeance. And that's just what happened, as he drove his car into a police building and killing the officer behind the desk.

Related: Terminator: Dark Fate’s Linda Hamilton Admits She Had A Hard Time Saying ‘I’ll Be Back’

While Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to give the T-800 better English by saying "I Will" instead of "I'll", his version of the line simply doesn't have the same swagger to it. James Cameron made the right call by rejecting the rewrite. And for the next installment in the franchise, Linda Hamilton will get the honor of saying "I'll be back."

You can see Arnold Schwarzenegger talk about his experience, as well as his long career in film, below.

Arnold Schwarzenegger will make his fifth Terminator appearance with Tim Miller's Dark Fate. In this new version, he'll be playing an aged version of T-800 named Carl. He'll be involved in the new battle against machines, and will have to team up with a very angry Sarah Connor in the process. The trailers teased plenty of thrilling action, and luckily the movie is finally arriving in theaters.

Terminator: Dark Fate will hit theaters on November 1st. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.