12 Things Might Not Have Known About The Terminator Films

By James O Malley on at

The latest instalment in the Terminator franchise hits cinemas today. Terminator Genisys has received, umm, mixed reviews, but it has also given everyone an excuse to get a little nostalgic and cast their minds back to the earlier films in the series. (Yep, it wasn’t a nightmare: Terminator 3 and 4 were really made.)

So here’s some things that you might not know about the Terminator franchinse.


Vin Diesel Could Have Played the TX in Terminator 3

Vin Diesel, the Fast and Furious actor who sounds like he was named after a car was apparently up for the role that later went to Kristanna Loken. Other actors who were considered included basketball player Shaquille O’Neil, Famke Janssen (Jean Grey in X-Men) and WWE Wrestler Joanie “Chyna” Laurer. The latter was suggested by Arnie himself.

According to a different source, Carrie Anne Moss (Trinity in The Matrix), Peta Wilson (who was in Superman Returns, apparently) and Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) were also considered. [Terminator Fans]


John Connor Was an Unknown Actor

Edward Furlong, who played John Connor in Terminator 2 was a particular challenge for producers. In a behind-the-scenes documentary it is revealed that the production tried out stage school kids, but they were unable to act angry and aggressive convincingly.

To find someone more real, producers looked at different boys’ clubs in California, and in Pasadena, Furlong caught the eye of producers. It wasn’t easy for him though: apparently in the audition director James Cameron worried he would struggle to remember his lines, and during the production he received coaching for his acting.


OJ Simpson was nearly the Terminator

Before Arnie, producers apparently considered American-football player OJ Simpson for the role but amusingly, he was rejected for fears that he was “too nice” to be a killer. [Terminator Fans]

Picture Credit: Flickr


T2 Was the First Film to Reach $300m at the "International” Box Office

At the time, Terminator 2 was the third biggest film of all time, following Star Wars Episode IV and E.T., and made more money than the first film within two days of release.

Thanks to the power of inflation though, the numbers might not seems so impressive today, with the biggest films now regularly breaking $1bn (Jurassic World and the first Avengers film managed to hit the billion mark in their opening weekends).

The two highest-grossing films of all time are now Avatar and Titanic, which were also directed by James Cameron. [IMDB]


Arnie Runs on an Apple II Processor

When you see the view from the Terminator’s point of view in the original film, the code laid over the top is actually ROM assembler code from the Apple II (which were first introduced in 1977). Apparently if you still have an Apple II you can access the same code as the T-800 by entering the command “] call -151 * p” (without the quotes). [Terminator Fans]


The T-800 Doesn’t Speak Much

In the original Terminator, Arnie speaks only 137 words. In the sequel he speaks a positively verbose 700. [Terminator Files]


There Was a T2: 3D Ride

After Terminator 2 came out, Universal Theme Parks developed a ride that combined 3D film with live special effects to create Terminator 2: 3D. The most difficult part of the whole operation was the animation.

Apparently it was rendered to run over three interlocking screens and the help of NASA was needed to make everything sync up correctly. The production also required 47 graphic artists and eight compositors working full-time on the project for six months get it done.

The ride opened on May 6th 1999, and was closed on New Year's Eve, 2012. [Terminator Files]


Seven Actors Have Now Played John Connor

In T2, Connor is played by Edward Furlong, with infant Connor in a dream sequence played by Dalton Abbott.

In T3 he is played by Nick Stahl.

In T4, he is played by Christian Bale.

In the Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series he is played by Thomas Dekker, with John DeVito playing the role in flashbacks.

And in today’s release, Terminator Genisys, he is played by Jason Clarke. Phew. [Terminator Files]


Terminator 2 Had an Alternative Happy Ending

Check out the above video that shows a postscript that was left on the cutting room floor. In it, Sarah Connor appears to receive a peaceful ending and John appears to have become a Senator, warning against the machines. If only this ending had been included, perhaps the latter films could have been avoided.

Less relevantly, there’s also this deleted scene showing the T-1000 looking around John’s house:


Fans Have Re-Edited Terminator 3

Terminator 3 was not well received. With that in mind, in the years intervening fans have worked to re-edit the film into something slightly more watchable.

The “T-3 Hope” edition describes its changes as the following:

“This fan edition runs 4 minutes shorter than the original movie. What is left is a darker movie, following the style of the first Terminator movie. No more cheesy one-liners or ridiculous scenes. The Terminator focuses completely on the mission. The T-X is faster, more intelligent and more powerful. No more romance between John and Kate. A complete new opening, plus a reference to T2's Cyberdyne Systems.”

Sounds good to us. Though sadly watching the fan edit is going to be a tricky task, as obviously it will never get an official release. So if you want it, you’ll have to look hard for a DVD. [Hope of the Future]


Wayne’s World Contained an Homage to Terminator

The 1992 classic Wayne’s World contained a fun scene which saw T-1000 Robert Patrick sort-of reprise his role, as a steely cop pulls over Wayne and eventually chases after his car on foot. [Hope of the Future]


Money Talks

Apparently studios wanted to make a sequel to T2 for a long time, but Schwarzenegger refused unless James Cameron was going to direct it. But Cameron told Arnie he should “do it and ask for a shit-load of money” as he owned the character as much as Cameron. So he did. And then they made Terminator 3 and 5 with him.

Yeah. [Terminator Fans]

Picture Credit: Here.


Animated Terminator Planned?

For several years a 3D animated Terminator film has been mooted. While not much is known about Terminator 3000, the rights have been shuttled around various production companies and there has been vague speculation that James Cameron will return to direct.

It remains to be seen exactly what will happen with it, especially as Terminator: Genisys appears to reboot the franchise to ready it for more live action films.