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Arnold Schwarzenegger really wanted to change his most iconic line

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a man of few words in his many action movies, but this one line in particular has stood the test of time, though he didn't want it to.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop

Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t exactly known for his long-winded monologues in movies. But he is known for delivering some of the greatest one-liners in the best action movies ever made.

In his new movie, a Netflix documentary titled Arnold, Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron reflected on the making of the first Terminator movie, and the process behind finding that line.

“The line is, ‘I’ll come back.’ It wasn’t meant to be like a big moment at all,” said Cameron. “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.’”

In the documentary, Schwarzenegger confessed that he thought the iconic line “I’ll be back” sounded strange. Given that he was playing a cyborg, he thought that the sounded-out, stoic line of “I will be back” would have fitted the mechanical nature of his character better.

But when he said such to Cameron, the director was quick to come back with a snarky remark.

“And he says, ‘Are you the writer?’” Schwarzenegger recalled. “And I said, ‘No,’ and he said, ‘Well, don’t tell me how to f*cking write.’”

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A harsh response, but perhaps justified when we consider how quoted that line has become over time. In fact, it almost always appears on every Best Movie Lines list, and with good reason. It’s cool as hell.

And it seems like Schwarzenegger came to terms with the wording of the line, too, because he would later revisit it in one of the movies he would go on to direct — the made-for-TV Christmas movie, Christmas In Connecticut.

In the ‘90s movie, one of the characters leaves the room, quoting the famous Terminator line. (You can see this moment in the trailer below.) If you listen closely, it sounds an awful lot like the Terminator himself from behind the camera dubbing it over…

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For more explosive action, check out everything we know about the Expendables 4 release date, the Meg 2 release date, and all the best thriller movies you should watch now.

And if you like James Cameron, check out our Aliens review and everything you need to know about the Avatar cast.