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Trivia: The Terminator
  • Author Phobia: Cameron originally based the movie on a nightmare he had of a robot skeleton emerging from a fiery explosion and coming after him.
  • Breakthrough Hit: James Cameron became one of the most successful filmmakers of all time after The Terminator was released.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • Angel of Death (Sweden)
    • The Exterminator (Peru)
    • Electronic Killer (Poland)
  • Dawson Casting:
    • 28-year-old Linda Hamilton playing 19-year-old Sarah Connor.
    • Also, 27-year-old Michael Biehn playing 21-year-old Kyle Reese.
  • Defictionalization: The British Ministry of Defence launched a network of communication satellites to coordinate between NATO, EU and British forces... called Skynet.
  • Deleted Scene:
    • One of Reese, who only knows the world as a ruined wasteland, breaking down over being unable to handle simply standing in some grass once he gets the chance to slow down and notice all the normal things he was never meant to see.
    • Several short deleted scenes show a subplot where Lt. Traxler, realizing that something is off about the entire situation, gradually comes to believe that Reese is telling the truth. In the final scene, now fully convinced after seeing the Terminator's unstoppable rampage at the police station, he survives his bullet wounds long enough to give Reese and Sarah his gun as they leave.
  • Dueling Movies: Runaway, a film also about robots and starring Tom Selleck and Gene Simmons (and written/directed by Michael Crichton), was projected to be the big sci-fi film of 1984. Who would have thought that it would be overshadowed by a low-budget film, with B-list actors, written and directed by an unknown who got the idea while having a fever? Not to mention one actor was mostly a theater actor (Biehn), the other one was a body builder with a thick accent who had more bad movies than good ones then (Arnold), and Cameron only had one directorial credit to boot before doing The Terminator: the film Piranha Part Two: The Spawning.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Private Hudson and the Alien Bounty Hunter are two of the punks the Terminator kills in the film's opening.
  • Playing Against Type: Arnold Schwarzenegger as the ruthless, terrifying villain of the title.
  • What Could Have Been
    • OJ Simpson was originally considered for the role of the Terminator. The studio did not go with this casting choice because they could not see a nice guy like OJ playing a killer.
    • German actor Jürgen Prochnow, known for his role as the Captain in Das Boot, was also considered for the part. Hilarious in Hindsight, as he ended up playing Arnold in See Arnold Run (a film about Arnold's run for governor of California).
    • Lance Henriksen (Bishop from Aliens) was considered for the part of the terminator, back when the role was concieved as someone who could blend in. Instead he ended up playing Detective Vukovich.
    • One of the concept art showed a T-800 skeleton crawling after Sarah with a butcher knife.
    • The film was actually meant to end with the tanker explosion and Reese living through the movie. But Cameron found this too anti-climatic and rallied for the factory ending. He won out leading to the much more Bittersweet Ending.
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger himself was originally considered for the role of Kyle Reese (the hero) while Lance Henriksen was the original choice for the Terminator as Cameron originally envisioned the killing machine as having a more ordinary appearance in order to blend in with the rest of society, but changed his mind when he met Arnold and felt that he was in the presence of "a living machine".

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