In many cases, the sequels are usually not as good as the original film and, in fact, there are second parts that completely ruin a story. However, in the case of Terminator – 100%, Terminator 2: The Last Judgment – 92% was a worthy successor and is considered one of the best second installments in the history of cinema. In this way, to celebrate the film, which this day turns 30 years after its release, its director, James Cameron (Titanic – 88%, Avatar – 83%), met with The Ringer to discuss some trivia (via IndieWire).
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One of the most important revelations the filmmaker made had to do with the origin of Sarah Connor’s 10-year-old son, John Connor, because, according to Cameron, the idea for the character came to him while he was high on ecstasy. So, although it is already known that many artists use drugs for inspiration, in the case of the director of Terminator, one of his trips was very enriching for the franchise.
On Terminator 2: The Last Judgment, Sarah Connor, the single mother of the rebel John Connor, is admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Some years before, a time traveler had revealed to him that his son would be the savior of humanity in a future dominated by machines. From these events, the protagonist became a kind of warrior and educated her son in survival tactics. For this reason she was confined in a madhouse. When a new improved android, a T-1000, comes from the future to assassinate John, an old model T-800 is sent to protect him.
Cameron recounted the entire thought process that led him to create the character of John Connor during one of his ecstatic journeys.
I remember sitting there once, on top of E, writing notes for Terminator, and I was struck by Sting’s song, from ‘I hope the Russians love their children too’. And I thought, ‘You know what? The idea of a nuclear war is so antithetical to life itself. ‘ That’s where the boy came from.
No one could have imagined that one of the fundamental characters of The Terminator franchise was born from a drug trip and it is strange to think that the idea of John Connor came after that of the T-1000 himself, played by Robert Patrick, because Cameron He was clear about that character since Fox contacted him to make a sequel:
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I spoke with Dennis Muren from ILM. I said, ‘I have an idea. If we take the water character from The Abyss, but make him metallic so he wouldn’t have the translucency issues, but he would have all the surface reflectivity issues and make him a full human figure that can run and do things, and he could transform back into a human, and then turn into the liquid metal version of himself, and we spread that through the movie, can we do that? He said, ‘I’ll call you back tomorrow.’ Tom Sherak ran all of Fox’s distribution for years, and he said, ‘Who would have known we made a $ 60 million movie that was just a test run for Terminator 2?’ from the fact that The Abyss broke even, barely.
The director also explained that the idea of putting Sarah Connor in an asylum came from Linda Hamilton herself, because when she called her to confirm her return in the sequel, the actress said yes, but that she wanted her character to be crazy.
I called her and said, ‘Look, they want to pay us a lot of money to do a sequel. Are you in or are you out? But just between you and me, I really don’t want to if Sarah doesn’t come back and I don’t want to change Sarah, so you have to say you’re in. ‘ And then she said: ‘Yes, in principle, I’m inside, but I want to be crazy.’ I said, ‘Well, what do you mean crazy? How crazy? ‘ She said, ‘Crazy, like I’ve gone crazy.’ I said: ‘As if you were in a madhouse, as if you were hospitalized?’ She said, ‘Yeah sure. Let me pretend to be crazy. Let me go crazy. ‘ I said, ‘Okay. Well, you’ll get my version of that, ‘and she said,’ Okay. I’m in’.
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