THE TERMINATOR/TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY
HCFF‘s Day 2 taught me something: Having Saturday nights off is quite awesome. Alright, so perhaps the event taught me something a little more intriguing than that: Legendary filmmaker James Cameron and yours truly, the Moody Monsignor, both grew up on the moving trucks.
The only difference is– the guy behind this generation’s most important sci-fi films sans Star Wars was a truck driver, and I was a lowly reader of graphic novels sitting bitch. Still, it’s good to know imaginations can run wild on the road again, a highway to hell, or just about from anywhere spouted from Bob Seger’s bearded lips.
“There’s some courage that comes from [being that anonymous/angry/wannabe filmmaker]…until you get encumbered by expectations, business relationships, etc. I was more of a free voice in the wilderness.”
It might have been shocking just how “Candidly Cameron Cool” the great director was on Saturday night, and I’m thinking that blue collar work ethic is a huge part in what got him to where he is today. Yet, that levelheaded groundedness is also what almost got him fired during The Terminator (1984) casting process, when there was no way Cameron wanted to place Ah-nuld in any other role but “the title character” (a funny term the director would used during his initial talks with the former Governator’s agent, who was consequently fired and then rehired).
More importantly to the Terminator saga — at least Cameron’s first two flicks — was the fate of Sarah Connor, the iconic “every woman”. Thankfully, Linda Hamilton’s transformation from T1 to T2 resulted in a performance as highly reflective of the bad-ass you will read about on the next page.
“I wanted to create someone who feels insignificant, feels like their life doesn’t have any kind of greater purpose but [will eventually] be tapped by this great duty — this great burden. She has to step up.”
Cameron did criticize the LA Times for claiming The Abyss (1989) — upon the time of its release — as being “the most expensive film of all time”. He did however admit that 1991’s Terminator 2, which had one of the first digital composites and also one of the first CG characters to have a major part of a film in T1000, was the most expensive film at that time. Believing the 23+year film’s CG holds up today, the T1000 was actually only created with 1/3rd CG while the rest was made up of practical, prosthetic and electrical effects from Stan Winston. “‘Splash-head’, ‘pizza-face’, and ‘cleave-man’ were all clay-sculpted and molded.”
As far as ownership over the Terminator franchise, Cameron definitely pays attention. And after much thought post-Titanic, he debated going over the rights and even admitted that he could have “pursued [ownership] more aggressively”. This, of course, despite feeling better about his own intellectual properties.
But, with all that said, Cameron did mention that he holds a role akin to that of a “court advisor from the 15th century” for the franchise’s forthcoming fifth film. Directed by Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World), Terminator: Genesis is set for release on July 1, 2015.
“I don’t mind standing behind the curtain, trying to make sure [Genesis] stays true to the Terminator character and idea that Arnold [Schwarzenegger] is…front and center. That’s my goal in being ‘loosely attached’…”
- James Cameron always wanted to direct Spider-Man, seeing how he wrote a 90-page treatment that he never pursued because of Titanic. “To me, there was all these other superheroes — and then there was Spider-Man. It’s not like I’m off looking for the next comic book character.” Rebecca Keegan, the event’s moderator that night, quickly nudged in that Ant-Man was available. Cue: Crowd roars and laughter. James: Next subject!
- The director had no problem “Ripleying” into fellow filmmaker David Fincher‘s 3rd — and highly despised — Alien film. “[Rather than his disaster, with Aliens] I was really just thinking like a fan: What do I want to see? The trick to a sequel is that you have to surprise and reinvent, but the surprises have to be positive — not negative surprises, like disappointments — and something that is obvious after the fact. You have to be true to the characters. And you shouldn’t be making a movie if you don’t love the prior films.”
- Killa Cam is definitely open to a wide international 3D re-release of T2 — yet don’t expect to see the gritty original redux. “We’d spend more converting [The Terminator] to 3D than we did on the movie.”
(Flip the page for more from the Hero Complex Film Festival!)—–>>>>>>