Arnold Schwarzenegger originally read for the part of the good guy in 'The Terminator'

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most recognisable role is the T-800 machine in “The Terminator” franchise.

July, Schwarzenegger will reprise his role as the fan-favourite cyborg in “Terminator Genisys.”

However it could have been a lot different if financers who backed the original 1984 film had their way.

While re-watching James Cameron’s 1984 “The Terminator,” one of the Blu-Ray features I stumbled upon was “Making of The Terminator: A Retrospective,” which included an old interview between Cameron and Schwarzenegger.

In it, the two discuss that Schwarzenegger originally read for the role of Kyle Reese, the hero sent back in time to protect Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) from the Terminator.

You know, this guy:

“They wanted you to read for the other guy, right? So you read it thinking about the other guy, about Reese? Do you remember what you were thinking when you read it?” asked Cameron.

“The more I read the script, the more I remembered I got fascinated by the Terminator — the bad guy — which I thought was the real cool guy,” responded Schwarzenegger. “We were talking along the lines of me playing the heroic character.”

Cameron said he thought Schwarzenegger was also coming in to read for the part of Reese, but then when they both went to a lunch meeting they both were thinking that it would be great if Schwarzenegger played the Terminator.

“When I went to that lunch … in the back of my mind I was thinking the Terminator, you were thinking the Terminator, but we sit and we had this polite lunch because we’d never met each other and neither one of us mentions it,” recalled Cameron. “And then we both go back to our guys and say, ‘Terminator.'”

Schwarzenegger says Cameron then had a painting sent over to his office of Schwarzenegger as the Terminator. 

“I looked at this painting and I said, ‘I am the Terminator,'” Schwarzenegger recalled.

Schwarzenegger says right after that he called both his agent and Cameron to tell them he wanted to be the Terminator.

It’s something that’s also noted in the new making of book “Terminator Genisys: Resetting the Future” from Insight Editions out June 30:

Though The Terminator is now a genre classic, it began as a low-budget science-fiction action picture from a young, unknown husband-and-wife team, James Cameron and Gale Ann Hurd ….

They found their man in Arnold Schwarzenegger … They let it be known that Schwarzenegger was to play the hero, a soldier from the future. That satisfied potential financiers, but Cameron Hurd, and Schwarzenegger secretly had other plans. Eventually, in a canny bit of subterfuge, they let it be known that Schwarzenegger had asked to change parts and play the eponymous role, a lethal cyborg from the future known as a terminator.

Could you have seen Schwarzenegger as Kyle Reese, the man sent back in time to save Sarah Connor from the Terminator?

You can watch the featurette with Cameron and Schwarzenegger below:


NOW WATCH: Here’s the ‘Terminator’ trailer that just aired during the Super Bowl

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