Top five Terminator facts

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator

Combining time travel, cyborgs and memorable action sequences, James Cameron’s The Terminator not only spawned a series of sequels but it ensured Arnold Schwarzenegger would forever be remembered for his catchphrase, “I’ll be back.”

One of the most popular films in our catalogue, booked more than Rocky and Robocop combined, The Terminator comes to London’s Prince Charles Cinema on Monday 29 August, giving us the perfect excuse to list five (or thereabouts) facts about the sci-fi classic. Come with us if you want to read them…

1. Though today it’s hard to imagine anybody else in the iconic role of the T-800, James Cameron originally had a very different actor in mind for the part: O.J. Simpson. Cameron subsequently claimed that nobody would believe Simpson could be a ruthless killer as he was “too nice”. Lance Henrikson was also nearly the film’s lead while Tom Selleck and Michael Douglas were rumoured for the part.

2. The studio behind The Terminator, Orion, requested that a cyborg dog be added to the script, which Cameron ignored. The director also toyed with including another Terminator, this time made of liquid metal, an idea which he couldn’t realise with the technology of the era – he’d wait until Terminator 2: Judgment Day to implement that one.

3. James Cameron admitted that his inspiration for the film came from old 1950s sci-fi films and TV series such as The Outer Limits. This latter influence led to Harlan Ellison, the writer of the classic episode, Soldier, taking Cameron to court for ‘ripping off’ his story. Cameron settled out of court and Ellison’s name now appears in the end credits of every copy of the film.

4. The film’s best known line may be “I’ll be back”, but as originally scripted it was “I’ll come back”.

5. In 2008, The Library of Congress chose The Terminator for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, calling it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

To find out if The Terminator is screening at a cinema near you, visit


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