James Cameron Called Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘A Very Sick Guy’

James Cameron, renowned director and mastermind behind the “Terminator” franchise, made a bold decision that would ultimately lead to one of the most successful sequels of all time. His choice to redefine the character of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s eponymous cyborg in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” turned the iconic villain into an unlikely hero, protecting the very family he was initially programmed to eliminate.



This transformation of the Terminator character resulted in some of Schwarzenegger’s most memorable moments on the big screen. However, the actor himself was initially skeptical about the direction the franchise was taking.

Speaking at a panel discussion held at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures before a screening of “Terminator 2,” Schwarzenegger commended Cameron’s exceptional writing skills while reminiscing about his initial doubts regarding the creative shift.

“The reason why it became a big hit was, number one, Jim Cameron. Jim Cameron is a genius writer. He came up with this brilliant idea, even though at the beginning I was suspicious,” Schwarzenegger shared. “He said, ‘I want to make you a good Terminator.'”

Schwarzenegger admitted that he had attempted to persuade Cameron to amplify the brutality that characterized the first film, partially fueled by his friendly competition with Sylvester Stallone, another action film icon.

“I said, ‘What do you mean a good Terminator? I was killing 68 people in the first one,'” Schwarzenegger recalled. “‘In the second one, I have to kill 150. We go up! Cut their throats and shoot them with a cannon and run them over with a car.’ I had to outdo Stallone. I said that my whole mission was being number one at killing amounts of people on screen.”

However, Cameron remained unfazed by Schwarzenegger’s desire to outdo Stallone and stood by his initial vision. If anything, the actor’s pleas only motivated Cameron to remove even more violence from the script.

“He said, ‘Arnold, stop it. You’re a very sick guy. I am gonna make sure that in ‘Terminator 2,’ you’re not gonna kill a single person,'” Schwarzenegger revealed. “I said, ‘That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. How can this be ‘Terminator 2’ without me killing anyone? At least throw in a few token bodies.'”

Ultimately, Cameron’s conviction prevailed, leading to a groundbreaking sequel that defied expectations. “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” became a massive hit, solidifying its place in cinematic history. Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of the reprogrammed Terminator resonated with audiences worldwide and showcased his versatility as an actor beyond his larger-than-life action persona.

Harrison Carter
Harrison Carter
Harrison Carter has been a huge pro wrestling fan since 2002, and it's been his first love ever since then. He has years of writing experience for all things pro wrestling. His interests outside of wrestling include films, books and soccer.

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