The next Terminator has been cast; major star set to play the role

The Terminator is returning to screens in a new series destined to bring the franchise into new territory, and now we know who will be playing the iconic cyborg.
Exhibition at Science Museum
Exhibition at Science Museum / Anadolu/GettyImages

The Terminator franchise is one of the biggest to ever grace the silver screen. Its certainly one of the most revolutionary, as James Cameron's original sci-fi classic was way ahead of its time in 1984, showcasing the dangers of technology in a plot far more complex than you'd expect from your typical '80s thriller. Its 1991 sequel was a major step forward for cinema, too, as the action blockbuster was a major advancement for CGI, special effects, and sequels, going down in history as one of the greatest movies of all time.

The saga had many highs and lows since then, but it will now be returning to offer us a new adventure as Netflix delivers animated series Terminator Zero. Yes, the machines will rise again, but it won't be Arnold Schwarzenegger bringing the cyborg to life this time, as a new - but very recognizable - actor will be playing the murderous Terminator.

Timothy Olyphant will voice The Terminator in Netflix series

It has been revealed that Timothy Olyphant will voice The Terminator in upcoming Netflix series Terminator Zero. The announcement was made by the streamer via its official social media account, confirming that the veteran actor will take on the role of the killer robot.

Olyphant is one of the most recognizable actors in Hollywood today, with a career that spans three decades across film, television, and theater. He's also no stranger to playing villains, having appeared in the likes of Scream 2, Gone In 60 Seconds, and The Girl Next Door all in antagonistic roles. Needless to say he'll have no problem voicing the mighty Terminator.

Terminator Zero
Terminator Zero (courtesy of Netflix) /

On that note, it sounds like the Terminator himself will be the villain of the piece; marking the first time that a Terminator project's primary cyborg has been an antagonist since the original 1984 classic when Schwarzenegger originated the role. There have, of course, been Terminator villains since, but its usually advanced upgrades that the legendary T-800 would have to battle while protecting the person he has been assigned to protect.

On that note, Netflix describes the series as taking place in two timelines. The first of those would be the future war of 2022 when the human resistance is attempting to fight back against the machines which have taken over, and the second is in 1997 (the year that Judgment Day begins) as a human warrior is sent back to protect a scientist named Malcolm Lee as he plans to launch a new AI program to compete with Skynet.

The redemption the Terminator saga needs

As great as it was to see Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the third, fifth, and sixth Terminator movies, the franchise itself needed a bit of a reset. There was value in some of those movies (Dark Fate even brought back Linda Hamilton!), but they weren't offering much outside of solid action and epic one-liners. It was a sad continuation of one of the most revolutionary sagas of all time, and none of those films could come close to the strength of writing, characters, and grit showcased in the first two.

This was likely just a case of going to the well one (or maybe three) too many times. The franchise was successful at the box office until it wasn't; and now looking back, a lot of those underperforming movies didn't add to the franchise as much as they took away from them (looking at some of the creative choices that you made, Dark Fate!).

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures' "TERMINATOR: DARK FATE." /

The anime series offers the franchise a shot at redemption, which it deserves, Honestly, in this modern era of technological advancements and AI, the Terminator story is more relevant than ever, so it doesn't feel right that it isn't as popular as it once was. Should the Netflix series get it right, it could introduce a whole new audience to the incredible story.

There is more to the Terminator story than the Connors. While John and Sarah Connor are important parts of that story, the saga itself has limitless potential for telling other stories. And it can be done in unique ways or timelines that don't have to reference the iconic characters we know and love so that it doesn't disrespect them either (Dark Fate made a major misstep by killing John off).

Terminator Zero isn't the first time that the franchise has come to the small screen. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ran for two seasons between 2009 and 2011, and it was critically-acclaimed for trying something different. Perhaps that was a sign that the future of this iconic film series is actually on television, because the scope for adventures outside of the story we know is endless and TV is often a good medium to explore potential like that on.

James Cameron has an idea for Terminator 7 but we'll have to wait and see if it comes to fruition. In the meantime, Terminator Zero could be the continuation that the film series needs.

Terminator Zero premieres on Netflix on August 29, 2024.

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