Terminator: Dark Fate's Arnold Schwarzenegger Didn't Know "I'll Be Back" Would Become Such An Iconic Line

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton return to The Terminator universe this week with Terminator: Dark Fate. The most critically-acclaimed installment of the franchise since Terminator 2: Judgment Day brings a lot of questions with it. One of the biggest ones lingering in the air is how many callbacks to the first two films are waiting for fans in this newest entry. Both actors sat down with Comicbook.com to talk about those iconic lines in the franchise and how they came about. Schwarzenegger answered questions about his readings very casually and both of the stars seemed very happy to be back in the world of this franchise. It may come as a surprise for fans of the series that some of the biggest lines in the series came about pretty randomly. Nobody really planned for some of the catchphrases to become massive pieces of the cultural mosaic in this way.

“I’ve learned very quickly with the I’ll be back line. We never thought that this would ever be repeated,” Schwarzenegger explained. “No one even thought twice about that line. All of a sudden, when the movie comes out, people come up to me and say, ‘Can you say this line? I’ll be back. Oh my God, it’s such a great line.’ So, I don’t know, like when I said I’ll stick around and put the knife through someone’s chest… Or like, it’s another tumor, it’s not a tumor at all. It’s the way I pronounce words that makes these iconic lines because people have fun repeating it with that accent.”

Sarah Conner and the T-800 have both aged in more or less real-time by the time viewers meet them in Dark Fate. The series is no stranger to playing with the timeline and that leads to more or less the same familiar refrain we have seen over and over again in these movies. Repeat along if you know the words, somebody has been sent back in time to kill one of the Connor clan, and somebody else has come to lend the mother of the future messiah a hand.

But, how hard was it to get both of these stars back into the fold? Schwarzenegger is the easier sell, it seems, having had minor appearances in previous sequels. He’s gotten to reinvent the character a couple of times now as time-travel circumstances changed. But, Hamilton’s presence draws a lot more curiosity from fans. She was a part of the first two films but had not appeared as Sarah Connor again since 1991.

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She gave a silent shrug and a mischievous look when asked about her choice to appear in Dark Fate.

“You know, it’s not up to me,” Hamilton said to ComicBook.com. “I choose my work based on story and character, so if it’s there and it’s good enough, I would want to do it.”