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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Takes Over the Role of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Terminator”

dwayne johnson as the terminator
Credit: Universal/Skydance/Canva

Dwayne Johnson is taking over the lead role in a major multi-billion-dollar film franchise–one that fits him well, and the former wrestler-turned-actor seems nearly made for the role.

actor dwayne johnson hollywood sign

Credit: Outkick/Canva

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If there’s one thing actor Dwayne Johnson has proved time and time again, it’s that the eight-time WWE champion is a jack of all trades and–quite literally–a master of most of them. The former wrestler-turned-Hollywood star has a long list of accolades to his credit in both his wrestling and acting careers. In addition to winning the World Wrestling Entertainment championship eight times, The Rock is also a two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion and a five-time WWE Tag Team Champion with various wrestling partners.

In Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson is a very accomplished actor, having received more than 70 nominations and having won more than 70 awards. Additionally, Johnson won the Special Achievement Award at the Webby Awards in 2021, and he was named among the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME in 2016 and again in 2019.

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dwayne the rock johnson time magazine cover and spread

Credit: TIME/Canva

There’s no doubt that The Rock is in high demand in Hollywood. In 2022, Johnson was the fifth-highest-paid actor in the film industry, and he’s currently one of the most sought-after male actors in the industry. And now it appears that the former wrestler is being sought-after for a role in a multi-billion-dollar film franchise that began with the release of its first installment in the mid-1980s.

The Terminator film franchise was created by James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar, Avatar: The Way of Water) and Gale Anne Hurd and includes a series of science fiction action films. The franchise tells the story of a war between Skynet’s synthetic intelligence, which is a self-aware military machine network, and the Resistance forces made up of the survivors of the human race. The most prominent parts of Skynet’s network are the Terminator models, like the T-800, which is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the debut film of the franchise, Terminator (1984).

The Terminator' Review: Movie (1984) – The Hollywood Reporter

“The Terminator” (1984)/Credit: Skydance Media

The Terminator franchise focused on synthetic intelligence in the form of self-aware military-style “robots,” and now, artificial intelligence has placed actor Dwayne Johnson in the digital shoes of the T-800 model.

In AI-generated fan art by Paul Chadwick, Johnson embodies Schwarzenegger’s character from the Terminator franchise in some of the most memorable and iconic scenes from the series, giving the appearance that the former wrestler is embracing his cyborg side as the deadly T-800.

dwayne johnson as the terminator fan AI art

Credit: Paul Chadwick/AI

Digital artist Paul Chadwick had a hand in the AI-generated fan art as he attempted to give The Terminator an updated look. In the artwork, Chadwick reimagines Dwayne Johnson as the synthetically-intelligent T-800 and T-101 from the famous film series using the popular AI art generator Midjourney.

dwayne johnson as the terminator fan AI art

Credit: Paul Chadwick/AI

The images are so realistic that it’s nearly impossible to tell that the likeness of The Rock is only an AI-generated image and not the real thing. But Chadwick didn’t stop with the lead character in the films. He went on to give other characters an updated look as well. He reimagined Michael Beign’s Kyle Reese with Keanu Reeves in the role.

Keanu Reeves as Kyle Reese by Paul Chadwick

Credit: Paul Chadwick/AI

Sarah Connor, played by Linda Hamilton and Emilia Clarke in the Terminator franchise, but Chadwick used Midjourney’s AI-generator to cast Jennifer Lawrence in the role.

Jennifer Lawrence as Sarah Connor in The Terminator

Credit: Paul Chadwick/AI

Chadwick then reimagined the T-1000, who first appeared in Terminator 2 (1991) and was played by actor Robert Patrick. But the digital artist instead put actor Tom Hiddleston (Loki) in the role of the T-1000.

To Hiddleston as T-1000 by Paul Chadwick

Credit: Paul Chadwick/AI

And last but not least, Chadwick reimagined the role of John Connor in the sci-fi film series, who was played by several different actors over the years, and chose to cast Tom Holland for the part.

Tom Holland as John Connor by Paul Chadwick

Credit: Paul Chadwick/AI

The images are striking but also a bit scary, as they are nearly indistinguishable from actual footage and screenshots from The Terminator film series. It will be interesting to see what AI is able to accomplish over the next few years–interesting and perhaps a bit intimidating as well.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!