The latest instalment in the Terminator series will be unleashed in May 2009, it has emerged.

Although film bosses have not confirmed if California 'governator' Arnold Schwarzenegger will reprise his role as the monosyllabic machine, Batman BEGINS thespian Christian Bale is lined up to play rebel leader John Connor.

Director McG - of CHARLIE'S ANGELS fame - revealed to reporters that production of TERMINATOR SALVATION: THE FUTURE BEGINS will commence in May this year, with dusty New Mexico set to provide the backdrop for the post-apocalyptic tale.

"This is the story of a man's search for belief in himself and his fellow man. It's a long journey and the landscape plays a critical role," he explained in a statement.

Five years after Arnie graced the big screen for TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES, the fourth flick is expected to be the first in a new trilogy which fleshes out the back story of the first three movies.

Made in 1984 for a frugal $6 million (just over £3 million), the original TERMINATOR was about a murderous robot which travelled through time to kill the mother of its future enemy.

28/02/2008 14:22:48