When Arnold said he would be back, he might as well have been referring to the entire Terminator franchise that keeps coming back with new interpretations of the same old idea of time travelling humans and robots at war with each other. While a lot of us might know this basic storyline, there are few secrets from behind the scenes.
1. Man Of Few Words
Arnold Schwarzenegger has built his entire career on being a man of few words. It’s just that most of us don’t realise just how few those words really are. In the first Terminator movie, he had exactly 18 lines which added up to a little under 100 words.
This worked extremely well financially for Arnold. With a low salary of $750,000 for The Terminator, he still brought in $7,500 per word. For Terminator 2 his word count increased to 700 words as did his salary to $15 million. This means his iconic like “hasta la vista, baby” was worth exactly $85,716. Think that is mind boggling? One of his comments to John Connor in the movie Go was worth $21,429.
2. More Bale, More Problems
As a fan when you think of Terminator: Salvation and Christian Bale, you probably think of the unfortunate event when one of the crew was yelled at by Bale. However, it is you who will start yelling when you realise the incoherent script for the movie can be linked directly to Bale.
In the original script, Bale was to play the role of Marcus Wright, the executed convict who wakes up a confused cyborg in post-apocalyptic America. John Conner would have been close to Michael Ironside’s character who would have been onscreen for a short time and well away from the frontline. However, Bale insisted on playing John Conner and having a major role in the movie. So overnight the movie went from having one lead character to two. With the writer’s already on strike, the script had to be awkwardly modified to put Bale into scenes that did not require him.
Think that is confusing? In an interview with io9, even Bale doesn’t seem to remember why he wanted the role of John and not Marcus.
3. O.J Simpson Was Considered For The Terminator
The character of the Terminator is associated with the iconic ’80’s horror monster it was created to be. Just like Jason Voorhees and Romero’s zombies, the machine did not need to run to seem scary, just the idea of it never stopping was scary enough.
The chief of Orion Pictures – Mike Medavoy, thought the actor for the Terminator was required to be athletic with the ability to jump over counters, etc. Medavoy wanted someone who was already doing that in a series of commercials – O.J Simpson. He was so sure he wanted Medavoy to play the Terminator, Arnold was cast as the human soldier from the future – Kyle Reese.
Ironically enough, O.J Simpson lost out on the role because James Cameron thought he seemed too nice.
4. Extensive Toys For Rated-R T2
The Terminator movies come from a time when the R rating was not considered a huge block to the movie’s chances of becoming a blockbuster. In order to increase these changes, they introduced a line of action figures from the toy giant Kenner.
These toys were aimed at preteens and had the same Batman toy trend of 90% of the line being simple variations with titles like “Power Arm Terminator” and “Secret Weapon Terminator”.
The weirdest of these toys for kids was the “Bio-Flesh Regenerator Playlet”. It consisted of a substance that was similar to that of Play-Doh in order to create flesh around the endoskeletons of the terminator. This could be blown or torn off and it represented humanity’s fight for survival in an apocalypse.
5. The Terminator Movies, The Abyss And True Lies All Share A Universe
Our world is dominated by comic book movies so it is easy to understand the idea of a shared movie universe. Like for example no-one bats an eye when Spiderman swings into a Captain America movie. However, the creator of the Terminator gets bonus points for doing it way before it became popular.
This happened when Cameron used the same actor to reprise his role as a news anchor while covering events at The Abyss. The actor appeared in the 1984’s Terminator. Additionally, the Abyss protagonists work for a company called Benthic Petroleum whose company logo was seen on a gas station in Terminator 2.
Cameron’s liking for reusing actors shows up again when he reused the actor who played a reported in The Abyss in the exact same role in True Lies.