James Cameron: T-1000 Was Supposed to Be in First Terminator Film
James Cameron recently spoke to his fans at the Hero Complex Film Festival in Los Angeles, and revealed just how much of the story of the original "Terminator was inspired by budget constraints. For example, the events of the first two films were essentially supposed to occur in the first film, with the T-1000 featured as the primary villain. But he ultimately streamlined the plot of the movie for budgetary reasons and brought in the T-1000 for the sequel. Even more significantly, he decided to use the time travel as the primary plot device because he couldn't afford to make a movie set in space. He clearly thinks that this is cynical, but it doesn't have to be, necessity being the mother of invention and all.
Here are some choice quotations from Cameron on the writing process for "The Terminator":
"I sat down to write the Terminator... And I was sleeping on a friend's couch hoping my car hadn't been repossessed... I was being very mercenary about it."
"So I knew there were other filmmakers who could just do the down and dirty production thing, probably better than me even or at least as well. What was my competitive edge? Science fiction."
"So now let's think about what kind of science fiction story can you tell in the streets of the present day. It's obviously not going to be a space story that takes place on another planet. So space was out. So then it was time travel. And it got really simple. See what I mean? So it was all this kind of reductive logic."
"I wrote a story in which they send this endo-skeletal terminator, which was their warrior, and he gets destroyed by the Kyle Reese character halfway through the story. Then the guys in the future - the machines, the bad guys – send another robot, although its this liquid metal robotic character... Then I realized there's no way we can make that for, whatever, $4 million, so I cut the whole back half off the story and expanded the front half and that's Terminator 1."
For the science behind the T-1000, click here.