The Terminator franchise is being reborn once again, but this time another major actor crucial to the series is back: Linda Hamilton. We learned this past January that James Cameron, who directed the groundbreaking 1984 sci-fi film The Terminator and its equally groundbreaking sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day, was returning to the franchise as a producer when the rights to the series reverted back to him in 2018. At that time, Deadpool director Tim Miller also became attached to take the helm, and it appears the two have been quietly putting together Terminator 6 all year.
They’re now ready to move forward, as Cameron announced at a private event (via THR) that Hamilton will be reprising her role as Sarah Connor in the untitled new film for Skydance and Paramount:
“As meaningful as she was to gender and action stars everywhere back then, it’s going to make a huge statement to have that seasoned warrior that she’s become return… There are 50-year-old, 60-year-old guys out there killing bad guys, but there isn’t an example of that for women.”
Cameron crafted the story for this new film, and he and Miller are planning a new trilogy of Terminator movies that can serve as standalones or create an overarching story. The duo assembled a writers room to hash out this new trilogy, with David S. Goyer (Man of Steel), Charles Eglee (Dark Angel), and Josh Friedman (The Sarah Connor Chronicles) taking part. Of course, Paramount and Skydance tried to launch a new Terminator trilogy with Terminator: Genisys, but this is the first time Cameron has been directly involved in a new Terminator movie since Judgment Day, so this is a big deal.
Hamilton will be joined by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the new film, which will be a direct sequel to Judgment Day, but Cameron and Miller also plan to introduce a new ensemble of younger characters to continue on with the franchise:
“We’re starting a search for an 18-something woman to be the new centerpiece of the new story,” Cameron said. “We still fold time. We will have characters from the future and the present. There will be mostly new characters but we’ll have Arnold and Linda’s characters to anchor it.”
This is similar to how Lucasfilm approached relaunching the Star Wars franchise, with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill returning for The Force Awakens while the film also introduced new characters. Whether Hamilton’s Sarah Connor will be the lead character in Terminator 6 is unknown, but it sure is exciting to know she’ll be back—especially with Cameron involved in the story and Miller steering the ship as director.
No release date is set for this untitled new Terminator film, but production will likely begin in 2018 for a potential 2019 or 2020 release date. Cameron, meanwhile, finally begins filming his Avatar sequels on Monday, so he’ll likely be a bit more hands off once production on Terminator actually begins.