Here's what Cameron told Deadline Hollywood regarding Terminator:Genisys;
They also explained to the crowd before the screening how hard it would be to get a film like Terminator made today,
"Original ideas are rare in mainstream filmmaking,” lamented Cameron to the American Cinematheque crowd. It’s no coincidence he’s in early prep on multiple sequels to Avatar, the biggest and most successful gamble of his career. “There has to be some underlying IP in order to gather enough momentum for studio executives to make decisions the way they make decisions, which is fear-based,” he said, drawing cheers from the SRO audience. “They have to fear making the movie less than not making it. The moment they’re afraid the guy across the street will make the movie and they’ll look stupid – that’s when they’ll make the film. There’s no sense of ‘I want to make this movie, I believe in this movie.
Cameron’s lean and mean Terminator fought its share of uphill battles before and after filming. “Ninety-nine people rejected The Terminator,” said Hurd. “All you need is the 100th to say yes.” Even when Orion Pictures and Hemdale Pictures said yes, Cameron and Hurd had to stand their ground, like when Orion head Mike Medavoy insisted they cast two guys he’d met at a party: O.J. Simpson as the T-800 opposite Schwarzenegger as Kyle Reese. “I think I was on my knees retching,” Cameron recalled. He met with Arnold anyway and cast him after a meeting when the cash-strapped filmmaker forgot his wallet (“I didn’t have any money, so why would I need an ATM card?”) and the Conan star paid for lunch.
The rest was history – kinda. “The head of marketing for Orion Pictures at the time told us it’s not a science fiction film – it’s a down and dirty action exploitation film that’ll come and go in one week,” said Cameron. The studio was scared to show it to critics lest it not make it to a second weekend. After a single press screening, The Terminator opened at #1 with $4 million in 1984 dollars.
“If The Terminator were made now, it would be very difficult to get made,” Hurd told me. “What great films share is that they’re character-driven. The plot revolves around choices the characters make, and the characters propel us into the story. Audiences respond to that. Studios, unfortunately, are not taking the same kinds of risks. If something doesn’t already exist as a successful book or comic book or game, it’s very hard to get original films made.”
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