Arnold Schwarzenegger almost said “hasta la vista, baby” to his iconic Terminator catchphrase.
In Arnold, his eponymous Netflix docuseries which hit the platform earlier this week, Schwarzenegger and director James Cameron shared the tense story behind the cyborg assassin’s famed “I’ll Be Back,” a phrase that wouldn’t have made the film if the actor had his way.
Arnold Schwarznegger says he suggested to change “I’ll be back” to “I will be back” in ‘THE TERMINATOR’ because he thought it sounded more “machine-like.”— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) June 7, 2023
James Cameron responded with “Are you the writer? Don’t tell me how to fucking write.”
(Source: https://t.co/RrdMRweiwr) pic.twitter.com/dsPqsKZIii
"Sometime in the middle of the shoot, 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," Cameron recalled, reiterating that the character’s remark “was literally meant to be, on its face, 'No problem, I'll come back.’”
Even with this inconsequentiality, Schwarzenegger was less-than-sold on the line’s phrasing, telling the director that he wanted to alter the line to the more "machine-like" “I Will Be Back.”
Naturally, Cameron had none of this.
"'And he says, 'Are you the writer?'" the actor said of the filmmaker’s reaction. "And I said, 'No,' and he said, 'Well, don't tell me how to fucking write.'"
Despite these tense words, the former California governor admitted Cameron was “absolutely right” in his decision.
"It became the most quoted movie line, I think, in the history of motion pictures,” he said. “So this just shows to you who was right and who was wrong.”
James Cameron: he’ll be back to prove you wrong.