Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't want to say iconic Terminator line

terminator poster, arnold schwarzenegger in the shades with the gun
Arnie didn't want to say Terminator lineOrion Pictures

The Terminator is possibly Arnold Schwarzenegger's most famous role, where he delivers one of his most famous lines, but he didn't want to say "I'll be back".

Thankfully, the film's writer and director, James Cameron, was insistent and an iconic catchphrase was born, with the star going on to repeat it.

In the Netflix documentary Arnold, Cameron explained: "We're doing this police station scene. The line is, 'I'll come back.' It wasn't meant to be like a big moment at all.

terminator poster, arnold schwarzenegger in the shades with the gun
Orion Pictures

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"It was literally meant to be, on its face, 'No problem, I'll come back.' For some reason, Arnold didn't say, 'I'll come back.' I said, 'Well, just say "I'll be back." Keep it simple.'"

Things didn't stay simple, as Schwarzenegger refused to say the line that way, thinking it sounded "funny" and suggesting that "I will be back" sounded more machine-like.

Cameron disagreed.

governor arnold schwarzenegger and director james cameron attend the walk of fame presentation for james cameron on december 18, 2009 in hollywood, california
Barry King/FilmMagic - Getty Images

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Schwarzenegger recalled: "He says, 'Are you the writer?' And I said, 'No,' and he said, 'Well, don't tell me how to f**king write.'"

"It became the most quoted movie line, I think, in the history of motion pictures," the actor-turned-governor continued. "So this just shows to you who was right and who was wrong."

Cameron - who went on to win an Oscar for 1998's Titanic and Avatar 12 years later - also directed Terminator 2: Judgement Day and returned to the franchise as producer.

Despite both 2015's Terminator: Genisys and 2019's Terminator: Dark Fate underperforming at the box office, Cameron is still confident about making another one.

Arnold is currently streaming now on Netflix, as is his TV series debut FUBAR. You can read our review here.

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