“I can’t believe you’re making a Terminator movie without me”: James Cameron Feels He Made a Mistake With Arnold Schwarzenegger

"I can’t believe you’re making a Terminator movie without me": James Cameron Feels He Made a Mistake With Arnold Schwarzenegger
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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film Terminator is one of the biggest hits of the actor and established his career as an action star. The first film of the franchise was directed by the reputed director James Cameron, and it received an overwhelming response from the audience. It led to the creation of numerous sequels to the film. In the film, Schwarzenegger was a cyborg assassin sent back in time from 2029 to kill Sarah Connor.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Despite the success of the first few Terminator film, the franchise failed to pull the crowd. James Cameron felt the involvement of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his film was a mistake.

Also read-Arnold Schwarzenegger’s $78 Million Terminator Role Almost Didn’t Happen as James Cameron Wanted Him to Play Another Character


James Cameron on casting Arnold Schwarzenegger as Terminator 

Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger was part of the franchise for all the films, even after James Cameron left the project. The actor did movies like Terminator 3 and Genesys. He was also part of Terminator: Dark Fate which was produced by James Cameron. Avatar director was also the writer of the movie script.

However, despite Cameron’s association, the film was not as successful as the first one. The box office performance of the film was unimpressive.  

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator
The Terminator

In an interview with Deadline, Cameron opened up on the reason for the failure of the film. He felt that bringing back Schwarzenegger in the lead role might have been the reason for the low turnover of the film. Cameron said,


“I think the problem, and I’m going to wear this one, is that I refused to do it without Arnold. [Director Tim Miller] didn’t want Arnold, but I said, ‘Look, I don’t want that. Arnold and I have been friends for 40 years, and I could hear it, and it would go like this: ‘Jim, I can’t believe you’re making a Terminator movie without me.’ It just didn’t mean that much to me to do it, but I said, ‘If you guys could see your way clear to bringing Arnold back and then, you know, I’d be happy to be involved.’”

Terminator: Dark Fate grossed $261.1 million worldwide, making it one of the biggest failures of Hollywood.

Also read-Arnold Schwarzenegger Begged James Cameron to Not Cast Him as Terminator: “I don’t want the regrets in my career”

James Cameron on audience perception of Terminator as a hero

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s casting as the cybernetic killing machine was the best decision for the film as it turned out to be an iconic character of Hollywood. However, Cameron was worried when he saw that the audience was perceiving him as a hero instead of a villain.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in a still from Terminator 3: Rise of The Machines
Arnold Schwarzenegger in a still from Terminator 3: Rise of The Machines

He shared with the Los Angeles Times,

“He was written as a villain, a chaotic force for death. Subsequently, Arnold did several films where he did the same thing as a hero, [and] there was this strange revisionist sense that the Terminator was a good guy. That bothered me a lot and I felt strongly it must be addressed in [the sequel].”

Hence Cameron changed the purpose of Schwarzenegger’s Terminator for good to maintain his hero image among viewers. He said,

“I figured why not take that Terminator neo-myth and channel it correctly,” Cameron said. “I’m also tickled by the idea that, yes, he has good imposed on him, but he’s really a kind of anti-hero. The Terminator still has to do things his way.”

Terminator: Dark Fate can be rented on Apple TV. 


Also read-“Jim…I don’t kill anybody”: Arnold Schwarzenegger Despised James Cameron Movie That Revolutionized CGI



Written by Arushi

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Arushi is a keen follower of Hollywood movies and TV shows. She has an experience of 5+ years in content writing and loves to write on everything around Hollywood and fan fiction. An ardent Hollywood buff, Arushi loves to tell stories through her writing and has contributed to several posts. You will find her following celebrities and enjoying classics in her free time.