Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Edward Furlong
Director: James Cameron
Running Time: 144 minutes
Synopsis: In celebration of the 25th anniversary, three-time Academy Award® winning director James Cameron has taken his epic action/sci-fi masterpiece, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in his most iconic role, to the next level by restoring the film to 4K and converting it into immersive 3D.
It has been 10 years since the events of TERMINATOR…
Sarah Connor's ordeal is only just beginning as she struggles to protect her son, John, the future leader of the human resistance against the machines, from a new Terminator sent back in time to eliminate John Connor while he's still a child. Sarah and John don't have to face this terrifying threat alone, however. The human resistance has managed to send them an ally, a warrior from the future ordered to protect John Connor at any cost.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 3D
Release Date: August 24th, 2017 for one week, only
Question: You mentioned turning your attention to Terminator2 around the time of Titanic's 3D re-release was that something you were already thinking about?
James Cameron: It was an idea. Artistically, I had already thought that it should be the next one. Because I think it's a film that people remember, it's very iconic even though it was a quarter of a century ago, but also stylistically, the way the camera moves, the way the shots are composed and soon, I felt that it would convert very well. Some films don't. My style tends to be shorter lenses anyway; some people use more 3 - 400 mm lenses and that never looks as good on a 3D conversion. But the Terminator 2 style, I felt would work well. And I thought it would be fun to see it and fun to get it back into cinemas 25 years later, because you've got a whole audience that only knows the film from video, Blu-ray and DVD, and I thought, -why not have the whole experience?' As a filmmaker, there's nothing better than to get it onto the big screen.
Question: And then it'll be on home entertainment after cinema run?
James Cameron: Yes, exactly, because the quality of the new scan is so good then why not remaster it for Blu-ray, for the 25th anniversary. That to me is less interesting, because it's had its life on video, but it'll still be a good thing for people to collect.
Question: Going back and looking at it, was this the first time in a while that you'd sat down and watched the movie and thought about it?
James Cameron: Probably in about four or five years, I would say. And I've been periodically surprised by this movie in how well it holds up. I look at the first Terminator and it feels very thread bare to me because it was done on a low budget and the high-speed negative wasn't as good, it was grainy in those days. The movie's still good, I'm proud of it, but it's not like it holds up, as though it could've been made last year. Terminator 2 could've been made last year, if you set aside the fact that Arnold looks different now, Linda looks different now, and look at it as a movie, as a piece of cinema, it could've been made now. Would we do things a little bit better in the steel mill at the end with the flowing steel and stuff with CG? Yeah, we've got a lot of tools now we didn't have back then. But there's only so many ways you can crash a tow truck into a canal! You basically crash a tow truck into a canal! We could've run a CG helicopter underneath the freeway overpass, but it was so much more fun to do it with the real thing...
Question: On the 'Skynet Edition" release there is mention of a stunt where Arnold's stuntman runs onto the back of the tow truck and fires a gun...
Question: Would you change any of the effects work?
James Cameron: I think it all looks pretty good. Would it be better today? Yes, it would be a little bit better, but it wouldn't be so much better that it would be noticeable to anybody but other effects people, I would think. And it was in that transitional space between full rubber prosthetic make-up and full CG, because we are much closer to full CG today, but we were in that period where we were still mixing and matching. So, Stan Winston did a lot of the gags and wounds opening on the body. Today we'd do all that CG, but then it was actual, practical effects, like the head splitting open, things like that. There are only 42 CG shots in the whole film. It's nothing! On Avatar, there were probably 2800.
Question: You've said in the past that some of the story of T2 grew out of the first film…
James Cameron: In my very first incarnation of The Terminator, the first metal endo skeleton guy gets blown up halfway through the story. And then up in the future, they sense at emporalripple that they've failed and now they go to the black box at the bottom of their whole place, and they get out the thing that they're afraid of. They would've sent it the first time but even they're afraid of what it might do. If they send that back to the past and it just starts wrecking things, who knows what happens to the future? So, then they unleash the demon and the demon was the liquid metal guy. He was the really scary guy. The seed of it was already there, I already knew exactly where to go for the sequel. And the idea that John Connor is this important character in the future. And then I thought, -okay, let's just have him be 10 years old.' What does Jesus think when he's 10 years old and you tell him he's the son of God. Doesn't that mess you up? Doesn't that mess up your mother? That was the thinking there. Once you drop those two elements together, now the last big variable was what do you do with the Terminator? Who is your title character? Was I going to have Arnold play the liquid guy? It did not feel right. What do I needa T-800 for? What do I need Arnold for? Wait a minute! What about if there's more than one of those things up there in a vault some place, what if they reprogrammed one to be a good guy, a protector? And to me that's what unlocked the whole story, because then it quickly flowed that he becomes the surrogate father in this crazy, dysfunctional nuclear family. Nuclear in more than one sense of word...
Question: And you have that represented perfectly with them fixing the vehicle in the desert...
Question: It's always amazing how movies come out quite so coherently when you have this crazy process. But it all filters through you?
James Cameron: Yeah, you must have a single end filter, and typically when I write with a writer, I usually end up doing the last pass so that there is a consistency in the style just on the page. But that's not to say that it's not a 50/50 collaboration, because to me, breaking the story is the hard part and it's really important to resonate with somebody that has a similar sensibility, that likes the same kinds of things in movies that you do; gritty characters, nice twists, things like that. So, Bill and I were always in sync. We haven't worked together since, interestingly enough, he's gone off and had a really good career as a screenwriter, and I think he also needed to come out from underneath me being the last filter. Which is fair enough. But I think it's great to have somebody whose sensibility you trust. And always need that sounding board, even on Avatar for example, I worked with Laeta Kalogridis, just at that early stage.
Question: What for you was the big difference from making the first one, to making the second one? Did you have more respect?
James Cameron: Yeah, I was four films in at that point and I'd already done Aliens and The Abyss and both were well received in terms of the physical cinema of it– The Abyss didn't make as much money, obviously–but it was definitely a different experience as opposed to an unknown director working on a little, low budget, guerilla- style film. This was the big train set. This was lighting up miles of freeway, flying helicopters, big cranes, all the cool toys. But for me, it still always boils down to that little nucleus of people running around the camera. Doesn't matter how many people are in the backfield– to me, it's still the actors, the DP, and the operators. And a funny thing is, it did not really feel any different than any of the other stuff I'd been doing, just bigger and scarier because the budget was bigger, so the pressure was on, but I knew we had a good script, a great cast, from the moment Linda showed up looking ripped and just intense. Eddie was a big wildcard, because the whole thing could've crashed and burned on him, but he did a fantastic job for us. Because he had not done anything before. He had zero acting experience. And Robert was fantastic from the first day we put him on film. So, there was a sense early on that we were making something special.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 3D
Release Date: August 24th, 2017 for one week, only