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James Cameron Rejected Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Gruesome Terminator 2 Pitch

Fortunately, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone’s legendary feud ended when they became business partners in the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain that was established in 1991. Schwarzenegger recalled for British TV talker Graham Norton (via NME) that he and Stallone became close friends when they flew around the world together to promote the business venture.

Whether James Cameron’s talk with Schwarzenegger over his thirst for cinematic blood in “Terminator 2” had anything to do with the actor turning the other cheek in his battle with Stallone is up for debate, but it is certainly food for thought. “[Cameron] said ‘Arnold, stop it. You’re a very sick guy. I am gonna make sure that in ‘Terminator 2,’ you’re not gonna kill one single person,'” the star recalled of the director’s brutal assessment of his ideas for the movie during the AMPAS panel. “I said that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. How can this be ‘Terminator 2’ without me killing anyone? At least throw a few token bodies in there.”

Cameron, as it turns out, was right, considering “Terminator 2” was a blockbuster hit worldwide, pulling in more than $515 million at the global box office against a $100 million budget. In the film, of course, Schwarzenegger’s iconic robot comes to the aid of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her young son and future leader of the rebellion against Skynet, John Connor (Edward Furlong), instead of trying to kill them.

Schwarzenegger and Stallone, by the way, remain close friends. In fact, they appeared in each other’s documentary projects, “Arnold” and “Sly,” which both premiered on Netflix in 2023.

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