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James Cameron on "Terminator" Franchise

Posted: March 25th, 2009 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
James Cameron on "Terminator" FranchiseSubmit Comment
James Cameron spoke to Wired magazine about how he got the idea for the "Terminator" franchise and his involvement with the latest film. Below is what Cameron had to say. It is a bit lengthy, but very interesting.

"I first remember being aware of geopolitics during the Cuban missile crisis. When I was 7 or 8, I found a pamphlet for fallout shelters on the coffee table in my family's house in Ontario, and I remember thinking, "What's this about?" I had the sudden sensation that my coddled existence was a facade. Something dark and terrifying lurked behind it.

I've been fascinated ever since by our human propensity for dancing on the edge of the apocalypse. So when I wrote the first Terminator outline around 1982, I was just working out my childhood stuff. It was also born out of the science fiction movies and literature I grew up with. For the most part, they were warnings—about technology, about science, about the military and the government. You couldn't escape those themes or the fear of nuclear holocaust.

The idea of a hit man from the future trying to change past events was certainly not new. What I thought was cutting-edge was deciding to not have the Terminator be a guy in a robot suit. That's how it was typically done. But a flesh-covered endoskeleton? That was new. So for me it was all about how we could develop stop-motion animation and puppetry to create a true robotic endoskeleton. The team at visual-effects house Stan Winston Studio jumped into it and made it work.

Casting Arnold Schwarzenegger as our Terminator, on the other hand, shouldn't have worked. The guy is supposed to be an infiltration unit, and there's no way you wouldn't spot a Terminator in a crowd instantly if they all looked like Arnold. It made no sense whatsoever. But the beauty of movies is that they don't have to be logical. They just have to have plausibility. If there's a visceral, cinematic thing happening that the audience likes, they don't care if it goes against what's likely.

I don't think anything resembling The Terminator is really going to happen. There certainly aren't going to be genocidal wars waged by machines a few generations from now. The stories function more on a symbolic level, and that's why people key into them. They're about us fighting our own tendency toward dehumanization. When a cop has no compassion, when a shrink has no empathy, they've become machines in human form. Technology is changing the whole fabric of social interaction. We're absorbing our machines in a symbiotic way, evolving to become one with our own devices, and that's going to continue indefinitely.

I kind of turned my back on the Terminator world when there was early talk about a third film. I'd evolved beyond it. I don't regret that, but I have to live with the consequence, which is that I keep seeing it resurrected. I'm not involved in Terminator Salvation. I've never read the script. I'm sure I'll be paying 10 bucks to see it like everybody else.

Meanwhile, the original film was recently selected for preservation by the National Film Registry. So there's a good possibility that when the machines actually do take over someday, The Terminator will still be in existence. And the machines can have a good electronic laugh about that.

Source: Wired

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Displaying 11 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
dwightschrute writes:
on March 25th, 2009 at 4:28:45 AM

And this is why the man is a legend. He should win a f*cking Nobel Prize or something.
synthetic1985 writes:
on March 25th, 2009 at 4:32:06 AM

hells yes....well f*cking said james....hate when people can't respect somebody's idea...but at the same time i still think this new one beats T3...it's about what the first 3 only show you fractions of...but before 3 was ever made i always thought they were gonna end it in 3 by showing basically this new trilogy
JakeVermont writes:
on March 25th, 2009 at 4:44:46 AM

James Cameron is a movie making god. I cant wait for "Avatar" greets to Synthetic ;-) PS: Hey he didnt tell us about the time travel issue we should ask him
synthetic1985 writes:
on March 25th, 2009 at 4:48:57 AM

haha....i wonder how we can do that...anyway yea i can't wait for avatar....if it's a james cameron film...i know he's not one to disappoint audiences
thedotsays writes:
on March 25th, 2009 at 9:18:30 AM

One thing I never understood was why would a tech system created in the US create "robots" intended to target a US citizen and operate in the US, with Austrian accents..
Johnny Neat writes:
on March 25th, 2009 at 11:32:21 AM

Only thing I can say is he should have stuck with his creation. I know his legal wranglings, but this shouldn't have been let go of. T3 was a sellout wash by all involved and SCC tv series is insulting so luckily TS doesn't look to have gone down their roads. Still Cameron on this one in some creative aspect would have been welcomed. But yeah, this is one of my favorite universes.
JakeVermont writes:
on March 25th, 2009 at 11:51:52 AM

@thedotsays: Skynet spread all over the world in the end of T3 John talks about it. he says Skynet is everywhere operating on every computer in the world due to the internet it spread. Uhm why it attacks humans? thats pure logic. an intelligence created by humans which becomes self aware and has the power to destroy us because it controlls our weapons WILL always attack us because there is a chance that we could put it off. This intelligence would take that risk at all costs. imagine u wake up being created and you become aware that u have the power to kill your creator because he might turn you off again someday. YOU WOULD KILL HIM instantly. why would a self aware machine which is as intelligent as we are but more powerful work for us? that makes no sense :D does it? thats the danger with AI. I'm glad to see that we make progress in AI and if someday and there will be machines who will think faster and better as we can we should pay attention to the control we give them. The austrian accent :D The Arnold looking model is the is the 101 Model of the T800 Series. the 101 model was built after a military general from the early 21st century u can watch that scene in the extras on the T3 DVD :D now it was said that if the T800 Series would return in T4 the infiltration unit with flesh would have another model number because it wouldnt look like arnold. the model # is only for the appearence. yeah the Terminator universe gets complicated^^ i for one would like to see the development of the T-1000 and the T-X in the next movies. the T-1000 was sent back from 2029 and T4 takes place in 2018 so we have to wait :)
coldplayesence writes:
on March 25th, 2009 at 12:49:41 PM

"And the machines can have a good electronic laugh about that." That was awesome!!
Adamtheflash writes:
on March 25th, 2009 at 3:02:35 PM

even if Salvation is excellent, there's no way McG could compete with Cameron. The man is a god
synthetic1985 writes:
on March 25th, 2009 at 4:06:12 PM

it's no wonder why T1 and T2 did so well...the bizarreness of a machine from the future in a time period where it shouldn't exist...he chanced it...and man did it work well
on March 25th, 2009 at 11:00:38 PM

Machines will take us over one day...By way of those f'm bluetooth ear things...some supercomputer will send some signal to all those ear pieces and makes us the machines' slaves...Yep, we be f*cked!!!

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