The Terminator Was Almost Completely Different and Had a Totally Lame Ending
Thank the UAMC gods that we got the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator!
The Terminator is a bona fide 1980s classic and one of the films that helped make Arnold Schwarzenegger the action movie legend he is today. But it all could have been very different for Arnie and Co. if the studio bosses behind the project had had their way.
Producer and co-writer Gale Anne Hurd recently revealed to fans at Screamfast that they originally wanted the film’s downbeat ending, which teased a possible sequel, scrapped.
The Terminator We Almost Knew
In quotes published by Slash Film, Hurd explained how the bittersweet ending, where Michael Biehn’s resistance fighter Kyle Reese sacrifices himself to destroy Schwarzenegger’s T-800 nearly didn’t make the cut.
Not only that, but studio bosses were against setting up the idea Reese was future Resistance leader John Connor’s dad and even wanted to do away with the sequence where part of the T-800’s exo-skeleton survives the robot’s demise.
“We got notes to end the film before the end of the film,” she explained. “Not even have The Terminator rise out as the endoskeleton, but just end with Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor hugging.”
Roger Corman to the Rescue
Ultimately it took the intervention of independent film legend Roger Corman to prevent the film from being given a vanilla happy ending as Hurd and co-writer and director James Cameron were too new to the business to cause a fuss.
“I mean, your first movie and you’re telling people, ‘No, you’re wrong’. It’s not an easy thing to do,” Hurd said. “There are also more unsung heroes which is that one of our strongest supporters was the head of the completion bond company, Film Finances here in Los Angeles. The late [producer] Lindsley Parsons Sr. knew what The Terminator was going to be. Roger [Corman] knew what The Terminator was going to be and not a lot of people did.
“You absolutely need people to believe in you. You also need people to tell you when you’re screwing up that you can listen to. Lindsley was all of that. Roger has always been all of that, but we could have bowed to the pressure. Or, we could have been wrong and not listened to the things that made the film better. Luckily we had each other’s backs.“
The Terminator’s Legacy Continues
It proved to be the best move all round, with Schwarzenegger and co-star Linda Hamilton returning for Terminator 2: Judgment Day, arguably one of the best sequels of all-time and a film that made Arnie unquestionably the biggest star on the planet at the time.
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