When it comes to exceptionally talented brains in Hollywood, director James Cameron tops the chart. The  Canadian director has been nominated for the Academy Awards seven times. His action-adventure series, Terminator is one of the best franchises actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been associated with.

James Cameron
James Cameron

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Arnold Schwarzenegger went on to construct a great acting career with the humongous success of the Terminator series.  In James Cameron’s directed series, the Escape Plan actor plays the character of a programmed cyborg, who has been sent from 2029 to the planet Earth for a mission.

How Arnold Schwarzenegger Saved James Cameron From A Major Embarrassment?

Arnold Schwarzenegger has been the face of the James Cameron-directed Terminator series ever since its inception. The movie was a critical and commercial hit back then and even made Arnold Schwarzenegger, one of the best action actors of all time. During an interview with a reputed media outlet, James Cameron spoke about Terminator and even pointed out how Arnold Schwarzenegger got involved in his highly esteemed project. He said-

“Initially, I didn’t really want him. Orion had proposed to him to play the other guy because he was the hero. I’ll never forget walking out of my apartment and telling my roommate, “I’ve got to go have lunch with Conan and pick a fight with him.” That was my agenda because I didn’t want him to do the movie. So I had to get into an argument and come back and say he was an asshole. But that’s not what happened.”

James Cameron
James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger on the sets of The Terminator

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The Titanic director further added-

“I had lunch with Arnold and he was so charming and so into the script and so amusing and entertaining that I totally forgot my agenda. I had a great time, even though he made me smoke a cigar that made me sick for six hours. The funny thing was, he even had to pay for lunch because I was there with this loser from Hemdale who didn’t have any money. And I didn’t have any money.”

However, not many people know that Arnold Schwarzenegger was not the original choice for the character of the cyborg in Terminator. Sports personality O.J. Simpson was the official choice in accordance with the studio. James Cameron went against the studio in order to cast Arnold Schwarzenegger in the sci-fi action drama.

Why Arnold Schwarzenegger Was Skeptical About The Plot Twist In James Cameron’s Terminator 2?

The character of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s programmed cyborg had a negative shade to it as he was sent from 2029 to 1984 by Skynet to kill Sarah Conor, the mother of John Connor, who was significant with respect to defeating Skynet in 2029. The True Lies actor was skeptical about his role when the plot was changed to 360 degrees by James Cameron.

During an interview with the reputed media outlet Emplire Online, the Avatar directed explained how the character changes in the second installment of Terminator impacted the marketing strategy of the movie as the biggest spoiler was already shown in the trailer of the movie. He said-

“All of us have had our battles with the Suits, but the case you mention was not a battle. The Carolco guys, Mario Kassar, and Andy Vajna were good partners with me on T2, and I led the charge on marketing, including showing Arnold as the good guy. It wasn’t a Sixth Sense kind of twist that’s revealed only at the end of the film. He’s revealed as the Protector at the end of Act One. And I always feel you lead with your strongest story element in selling a movie.”

James Cameron
Arnold Schwarzenegger with James Cameron

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He further continued as-

“I believed our potential audience would be more attracted to seeing how the most badass killing machine could become a hero than they would be to just another kill-fest in the same vein as the first film. Sequels have to strike a delicate balance between honoring the most loved elements from the first film, but also promising to really shake things up and turn them upside down. Our marketing campaign for T2 was exactly that promise, and it worked.”

According to the reports, Arnold Schwarzenegger was skeptical about playing the altered character in the magnum opus of James Cameron. He was apprehensive about the audience reception roo. With an IMDb rating of 8.6 out of 10, Terminator: Judgement Day went on to gross a collection of $520.9 million against a budget of $94-$120 million.

The Terminator is available on Max.


Source: Terminator Files

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