Dwayne Johnson and Arnold Schwarzenegger are two of the most well-known actors in the world. Both have starred in beloved films and series, and both are fantastically talented performers capable of playing all kinds of characters. Now, though, an iconic franchise may be trading one for the other, which is never ideal but may be necessary.
Gossip writer Daniel Richtman brings word that Dwayne Johnson is being eyed to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger in the Terminator franchise. This is merely a rumor at this point, but it does raise the question: Where exactly is the Terminator series headed from here?
The most recent film in the Terminator franchise, 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate, underperformed at the box office, signaling to the studio that it may be time for a shake-up. They tried erasing everything post-Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but even the promise of a continuity clean-up couldn’t put butts into theater seats.
Talk of changes to the Terminator franchise has been happening for a while now. The recently announced anime series alone reflects that. But replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger with Dwayne Johnson would be a decision no one saw coming, and it could honestly go either way quality-wise.
Dwayne Johnson can absolutely carry a franchise. His starring role in the Jumanji reboots, coupled with pretty much every other major part he has played, stands as a testament to that. But can he successfully take over the Terminator franchise, a property that has benefitted from and depended on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s involvement since it began in 1984? That remains to be seen.
In addition to his potential role as the new Terminator, Dwayne Johnson can be seen in those aforementioned Jumanji reboots/sequels, as well as in the Fast and the Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw, Baywatch, Rampage, and countless other blockbusters. Coming up, you can catch him in the delayed Jungle Cruise and in the DC Extended Universe film Black Adam in 2022.
The Terminator franchise kicked off in 1984 with the release of The Terminator, a taut sci-fi action-thriller that saw an evil, man-shaped machine (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) chasing a bewildered Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) across the country. From there, a massively successful franchise came into being. Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the first sequel to The Terminator, is arguably the best of the bunch. It marked a high for the franchise that nothing-not even the fantastic Terminator: Dark Fate, has been able to top. The other sequels in the franchise, Terminator: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation, Terminator: Genisys, and of course, Dark Fate. It will be interesting to see if Dwayne Johnson can replicate Schwarzenegger’s success, or if he pivots and takes a completely different approach to the character.
As far as Arnold Schwarzenegger replacements go, Dwayne Johnson may be as close as we get to a good one. He may not be able to capture what Schwarzenegger brought to the role so effortlessly, but it is possible that he will be able to carve out his own unique place in the franchise.
It is unclear which Terminator project the studio would want to use Dwayne Johnson for but we will keep you updated.