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Hamilton, Schwarzenegger explore R-rated ‘Terminator’ sequel

SAN DIEGO — Leave the kids at home, “Terminator: Dark Fate” is getting an R-rating.

Director Tim Miller told the audience at San Diego Comic-Con that it wasn’t always going to be the plan, but the fans demanded it. The panel that kicked off the fan convention Thursday morning may also have gotten the same rating with the number of expletives thrown around by Miller.

Arnold Schwarzenegger even won $20 because Miller said one particular word more than 5 times.

“It was 10,” Schwarzenegger said. “I counted.”

Would you expect any less from the director of “Deadpool”?

Miller and Schwarzenegger were joined by Linda Hamilton, who is reprising her role as Sarah Connor, franchise newcomer Mackenzie Davis and other cast members on the Hall H stage.

This latest film fully ignores the events of the last Terminator movie, “Terminator: Genisys,” with Emilia Clarke which bombed with audiences and critics in 2015. Instead “Dark Fate” picks up where James Cameron left off with “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” in 1991.

Producer David Ellison even told Miller that he didn’t do Terminator as well as he’d wished the first time around with “Genisys” and wanted to try again.

Part of the strategy to “get it right” involved bringing Cameron back to produce.

Cameron chimed in via a live broadcast from the set of the “Avatar” sequels. He said he would have liked to have been in San Diego to kick off the 50th Comic-Con , but that he had to keep working.

“Everybody’s always whining about how long it’s taking ‘Avatar’ to get done,” Cameron said.

His requirements for a new “Terminator” film started and stopped with wanting to make sure Schwarzenegger came back. It wasn’t a problem, since Schwarzenegger himself said he’s addicted to these films.

“‘Terminator’ was the movie that really launched my action movie career,” Schwarzenegger said.

Then there was the Sarah Connor question. For Cameron and many fans, Hamilton is the one true Sarah. He sent her a “long rambling email with a lot of reasons why she should do it and a lot of reasons why she shouldn’t.”

The main point in the “pro column,” Cameron said, is that people love her as this character.

“The character is the same but time changes everything,” Hamilton said. “I felt there was a world of richness I could explore and then rock it as a woman of a certain age.”

Although the 62-year-old actress is in full fighting shape in the footage and trailers, Hamilton said she didn’t worry too much about getting back to her “T2” self.

“One day I woke up and realized I can no longer worry about being what I was because I am so much more than what I was,” she said. “The richness of my life experience is only going to enrich the character I play.”

But her 32-year-old co-star Davis still conceded that Hamilton would definitely win in a fight. Hamilton agreed.

“Mackenzie is stronger and younger, but I’m meaner,” Hamilton said with a smile.

Edward Furlong is also returning to play John Connor again.

The audience greeted the action-packed footage with enthusiasm, which reached a crescendo when Sarah Connor debuted on screen.

“Terminator: Dark Fate” opens in theaters Nov. 1 and Comic-Con runs through Sunday.

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