The Terminator is a fascinating science fiction movie that was well ahead of its time. It combines the concept of artificial intelligence and time travel to give us a truly novel action flick. The Terminator is unique because it is the first movie of its kind that pictured a dystopian future marred by AI-powered super robots that have gone out of control.
The novelty of The Terminator was a huge calculative risk that paid off for James Cameron who was still living in his car at the time. The movie went on to make over $78 million against a menial budget of just $6.3 million, putting it on the list of highest-grossing movies of 1984. Here are five things you didn’t know about The Terminator.
It All Started With a Dream
James Cameron was making his debut as a director with 1981’s Piranha II: The Spawning. While in Rome for the movie’s release, James had a nightmare where a metal ‘death figure’ was coming out of a fire. The ghastly nightmare painted a frightening picture as what once paraded around as a human was now stripped off its skin because of the fire. If viewers watch a little closer, this is the entire premise behind the Terminator series.
But Who Did Have The Original Idea?
Ellison says that The Terminator was a blatant rip off of an episode titled “Soldier” from television series “The Outer Limits”. Both Orion Pictures and the angry author sued James Cameron, settling for an undisclosed amount of money out of court. Disturbed by his experience, James is said to have described Ellison as a parasite.
The Script Cost Only $1
In James Camerons, immediate circles they didn’t exactly laud James Carmon’s script for The Terminator. His own agent hated the idea, but Cameron quickly fired him. One production studio did show some mild interest toward the script but didn’t want Cameron to direct it. Instead of taking easy money, Cameron sold the script for a flimsy one dollar to producer Gale Anne Hurd. His only demand was that he would be allowed to direct his movie.
This, of course, paid off for James Cameron, who firmly believed in his vision.
Arnold Wasn’t the First Actor to Dress as a Terminator
Lance Henriksen became the first person to dress as a terminator. During a pitch meeting with James Cameron and Hemdale Film Corporation producers, he entered the door by kicking it open, studded in a leather jacket with gold foil stuck to his teeth. While Lance didn’t get to play the titular character, he was awarded the role of Detective Hal Vukovich.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Was Going to play Kyle Reese
James Cameron had initially cast Arnold to play the character of Kyle Reese but changed his mind after having lunch with Schwarzenegger. He really liked how Arnold envisioned T-800’s mannerisms and style and asked him to play the role instead. Arnold initially hesitated to play the villain because of his recent success with Conan the Barbarian. Long story short, Arnold eventually agreed.