THEN & NOW: The cast of the original 'Terminator' movies

Terminator 2 judgment dayTerminator 2 / TriStarT-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) becomes the John Connors (Edward Furlong) unlikely saviour in ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day.’

Nobody expected “The Terminator” to be a hit in 1984.

It came from James Cameron, a then untested director who’s only previous credit was “Piranha Part Two: The Spawning.”

Made on an estimated budget of $US6.4 million, “The Terminator” grossed $US78.4 million worldwide and gave Cameron the clout he needed to eventually go on and direct “Aliens,” “Titanic” and “Avatar.”

Meanwhile, the 1991 sequel “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is considered one of the greatest sequels of all time. With a worldwide gross of $US519.8 million, it was the highest grossing film of the year, and showed that Arnold could play both bad and good guy.

The two films serve as direct inspiration for the next film in the franchise, “Terminator Genisys,” which is expected to kick off a new trilogy.

“The Terminator” might be best known for launching the career of its star Arnold Schwarzenegger while also giving him a catchphrase (“I’ll be back”) that would follow him around for the rest of his career.

But he wasn’t the only one who’s star power greatly rose after its release.

With the next series in the franchise in theatres July 1, let’s take a look back at the stars of the franchise.

THEN: Austrian bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger took one of his first major film roles as the murderous cyborg T-800. The rest, as they say, is cinematic history.

NOW: Besides being the governor of California, Schwarzenegger has had more iconic performances than you can count ranging from 'Kindergarten Cop' to 'Predator.' He'll be back in his most famous role once more for 'Terminator Genisys.'

THEN: Linda Hamilton played Sarah Connor, mother to a child who was destined to save the world.

She reprised Sarah Connor in 1991's 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day.' This time, she didn't need anyone to defend her honour. She could do it alone.

NOW: Hamilton hasn't wandered too far from science fiction, she could be seen for a few episodes on SyFy's 'Defiance.'

THEN: Michael Biehn played Kyle Reese, who came from the future to protect Sarah and her unborn child.

NOW: Biehn was cast in Cameron's 1986 movie 'Aliens.' He is set to return for Neill Blomkamp's upcoming 'Alien' sequel.

THEN: Paul Winfield played Lieutenant Ed Traxler, one of the LAPD officers who tried to keep Sarah safe from Schwarzenegger's T-800.

NOW: Winfield passed away in 2004. His last role was in the TV series 'Touched by an Angel,' which ended in 2003.

THEN: Recognise the blue haired punk who unwittingly picked on the wrong cyborg? That's Bill Paxton.

NOW: Paxton got a more substantial role in a James Cameron film in 1986's 'Aliens.' He can now be seen in the History's mini-series 'Texas Rising.'

THEN: Edward Furlong played the young John Connor in 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day' long before he became leader of The Resistance.

NOW: Furlong starred in movies such as 'American History X' and 'Pecker' throughout the 1990s. In 2011, he was featured in 'The Green Hornet.'

In recent years, Furlong has battled alcoholism and drug addiction. He has been in and out of jail several times for charges of domestic violence. He most recently starred in the drama 'Awakened.'

(Source: E! Online)

THEN: Robert Patrick played T-1000, the villain of 'Judgment Day' who was tasked with trying to kill John Connor.

NOW: Patrick can be seen all over TV. He had a recurring role in HBO's 'True Blood.' He can currently be seen in CBS's 'Scorpion.'

He also races in his spare time.

THEN: Joe Morton played Miles Dyson, a Cyberdyne employee who inadvertently created Skynet.

NOW: Morton can be seen as Dr. Charles Russell in the TNT medical drama 'Proof.'

BONUS: Back in 1984, director James Cameron was a young, untested Canadian director with an ambitious idea for a sci-fi movie.

NOW: He's king of the movie world. Cameron won three Oscars for 'Titanic.' He is also responsible for 'Aliens' and 'Avatar,' which is the highest-grossing film of all time.

In 2019, the rights to the 'Terminator' franchise will go back to Cameron. Maybe one day we will get yet another Cameron-helmed 'Terminator' film.

Now check out the cast of another great '90s film.

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