Twelve years after he last played the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger was back in London today for the premiere of the third instalment.
The 55-year-old action hero is reprising his role as the killer cyborg in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.
Schwarzenegger and his female co-stars, Kristanna Loken and Claire Danes, were due to appear at the UK premiere in London’s Leicester Square.
With a budget of $175m (€155m), T3 is the most expensive independently financed film of all time.
Schwarzenegger himself picked up a reported $30m (€26m) pay cheque for the movie, which shot straight to the top of the US box office.
In the film, young hero John Connor is now in his 20s and destined to save mankind.
His life is threatened by a new enemy – T-X, or the Terminatrix, the most sophisticated cyborg killer created.
The Terminatrix is played by stunning former model Kristanna Loken and the most talked about scene of the film features her walking naked down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
The 23-year-old underwent six weeks of intensive training in weaponry, weights and martial arts to get in shape for the role.
“In the back of my mind I kept thinking, ‘I’m fighting Arnold and I’ve got to be naked in front of the world’ – that was enough incentive to work out,” said the 5’11” blonde dubbed Skyscraper Legs during her modelling career.
Of her nude scene, she said: “That was the most exhilarating moment of my career. We closed down Rodeo Drive and there was me walking down it nude – one of the few people that’s done it legally. I’d say I definitely arrived with a bang.”
The film took over $44m (€39m) in the US in its opening weekend, the biggest opening for a Schwarzenegger movie.
But it was soon knocked off the top spot by Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, starring Johnny Depp and young British actress Keira Knightley.
Schwarzenegger announced at the Cannes Film Festival in May that he planned to make many more Terminator films despite his advancing years.
“Is this my last Terminator? No. I’ve so many more years left,” he said. “I’m in great shape. I consider this the middle term of my career.”
But his acting may soon take second place to more lofty ambitions – the Austrian-born star has made no secret of wanting a career in politics.
He is likely to run for governor of California, a post once occupied by that other actor-turned-politician, Ronald Reagan.
“I would love to be the governor of California. If the state needs me, and if there’s no-one I think is better, then I will run,” he said recently.
Schwarzenegger, whose wife Maria Shriver is a member of the Kennedy clan, recently flew to Baghdad to entertain US troops.