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After being fired from Piranha 2, James Cameron wrote the screenplay for The Terminator. Gale Ann Hurd, the former assistant to B-movie legend Roger Corman, helped get the ball rolling, and the film soon became a sci-fi juggernaut which spawned an entire franchise. But the series could have been much different if other actors had taken the key parts…
1. A football player as Terminator?
When pitching the movie to a financial backer, James Cameron had Lance Henriksen dress up as the Terminator and make a big entrance. His menacing presence before the meeting helped secure the funding. Afterward, Cameron thought about casting his friend in the part but ultimately decided to go with Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to Schwarzenegger, O.J. Simpson was originally going to be cast as the Terminator, and Arnold would have played Reese.
2. Sting could have saved the world!
Police frontman Sting was asked to take the part of Kyle Reese, but he declined because he was going on tour. Others considered included Sylvester Stallone, Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, and Tommy Lee Jones. Eventually, Michel Biehn got the part, and he was impressed with Cameron’s vision.
3. Hamilton was tough.
Jennifer Jason-Leigh was considered for Sarah Connor as was Rosanna Arquette, who actually read lines with Michael Biehn when she auditioned. Linda Hamilton eventually won the role and proved she could handle the action. When she broke a bone in her foot during the shoot, she continued to perform!