When writing the first film of the franchise, James Cameron was living in his car. He had sold the script for $1 USD, under the condition that he got to direct the film himself.
During casting, OJ Simpson was heavily considered for the role of ‘The Terminator’. However, Cameron thought he was ‘too likable’ and ‘too innocent’ to be believable for the role.
In Terminator 2, Arnold Schwarzenegger was paid an average of $21,429 per one word of dialogue.
James Cameron first thought of the idea for The Terminator while he was filming another movie in Rome. He happened to be incredibly sick with a fever, and had been having nightmares. One of these nightmares included seeing a chrome torso crawling out of a fire. This sparked the idea of a robot assassin that would eventually become the seed for the series.
Arnold Schwarzenegger worked with guns everyday for a month to prepare for the role; the first two weeks of filming he practiced weapons stripping and reassembly blindfolded until the motions were automatic, like a machine.
Near the beginning of the first film, there’s a scene in which Linda Hamilton receives a voice mail on her answering machine. This voice was James Cameron’s, who she ultimately married for a while.
Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to avoid Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn as much as possible as he felt that his character shouldn’t form any sort of connection with them.
“I’ll be back” was originally scripted as “I’ll come back.”
Arnold originally wanted to play Kyle Reese. However, Cameron had convinced him to play The Terminator after saying “This movie is not about the hero. It’s about The Terminator.”
In The Terminator, Schwarzenegger has only 14 lines.
The movie was released in the late 1980s in Poland under the title “The Electronic Murderer”
Edward Furlong aged visibly during production of Terminator 2. His voice had to be re-pitched in post-production.
Linda Hamilton learned how to pick a lock with nothing but a paperclip, which is what she does in the film without any special effects.
According to James Cameron, Linda Hamilton suffered hearing damage while filming the elevator scene in the second movie. This is because she didn’t frequently replace her ear buds between takes.
The motorcycle jump in Terminator 2 was done with a stunt driver and enough support cables that when the driver hit the ground, both him and the bike weighed only 180 lbs. The cables were edited out digitally.
The Terminators seen at the beginning of the movie were fully workable animatronic models.
For the scene where the Terminator tells Sarah Connor about Miles Dyson and the history of Skynet, Arnold Schwarzenegger read his lines from a card taped to the car’s windshield.
Pilot Charles A. Tamburro actually flew the helicopter under the overpass in the final chase scene.
T2 is the only “Terminator” film to win or be nominated for an Oscar. It won four out of the six it was nominated for.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was given a slightly used Gulfstream III airplane (worth about US $14 million) by producer Mario Kassar, for accepting the role in T2.