'Terminator Zero' Showrunner Reveals New Anime's 'Serial Killer' Edge

Netflix's new series melds future wars with tech rivalries

by Zain ul Abedin
'Terminator Zero' Showrunner Reveals New Anime's 'Serial Killer' Edge
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

It’s only fitting that after four decades of the Terminator franchise and its ever-developing and complicated storylines, the franchise should try its hand at an anime while at the same time returning to cinematic style.

The new eight-part version on Netflix known as "Terminator Zero" would mark the effort to bring back all the fright that was introduced in the 1984 movie. While at the 2024 Anime Expo held in Los Angeles, the show-runner for Terminator Zero, Mattson Tomlin, explained the new show.

He described how the show, acting as a soft reboot, aligns closely with the narrative of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)." The entire movie became an effective sequel and series. Tomlin stated that in this series, the Terminator gets back to its formative of a murderous cybernetic threat.

‘This Terminator reflects the relentless terror told in the original movies and represented by Arnold Schwarzenegger, returning the series to its horror base, different from the subsequent action-oriented,’ he further expanded.

In a lighter moment during the panel, moderator Jacki Jing teased the audience with a spoiler, humorously revealing: "Ok, robot Cat."

Terminator Zero: Dual Timelines

Currently planned to premiere on Netflix on August 29, Terminator Zero exists in two timelines.

The plot shuttles between 2022, in which man continues a desperate fight against the cynanche of machines, and 1997, when Skynet gains consciousness and declares the war on man. At the center of the plot, there is a soldier using performance capture voiced by Sonoya Mizuno who is from the future with the task of changing the course of history.

She arrives in 1997 with the purpose of saving a scientist, Malcolm Lee, played by André Holland, who is a cofounder of a soon-to-be-launched rival stake AI, voiced by Rosario Dawson. This new system is to prevent an attack by Skynet from happening from the movie story.

While wrestling with the moral consequences of inventing powerful firearms that pose a threat to society, a ruthless future assassin starts to hunt Lee and causally changes his family’s future. The changes in the cast have also continued to generate more interest in the show.

The main hero of the T-600 will be voiced by Timothy Olyphant, and Ann Dowd will play The Prophet, an interesting addition to the picture who orients people in the state of resistance. Skydance and Production IG from 'Ghost in the Shell' fame granted the series greenlit in 2021 and recently revealed the new cast that added more zest to an already anticipated series.