‘I refused:’ James Cameron says his Arnold Schwarzenegger demand was ‘problem’ with Terminator 6
James Cameron has reflected on the “problem” with Terminator: Dark Fate after “butting heads” with the director.
The filmmaker behind the first two Terminator films returned to produce the sixth installment in the franchise, which was directed by Tim Miller and released in 2019.
Months after its premiere, Miller vowed to never work with Cameron again, stating: “It has nothing to do with whatever trauma I have from the experience; it’s more that I just don’t want to be in a situation again where I don’t have the control to do what I think is right.”
While Cameron has said in a new interview he is “actually reasonably happy with the film”, the Avatar: The Way of Water director said of Miller: “I liked him before the movie, didn’t like him very much during the movie, and I like him now, and I think he feels the same way.”
However, the filmmaker said he thinks he knows why the film didn’t work, and it came down to a demand he made about Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“I think the problem, and I’m going to wear this one, is that I refused to do it without Arnold,” Cameron admitted to Deadline. “Tim didn’t want Arnold, but I said, ‘Look, I don’t want that. Arnold and I have been friends for 40 years, and I could hear it, and it would go like this: ‘Jim, I can’t believe you’re making a Terminator movie without me.’”
He continued: “It just didn’t mean that much to me to do it, but I said, ‘If you guys could see your way clear to bringing Arnold back and then, you know, I’d be happy to be involved.’
Adding fuel to the fire, Cameron believes, is that Miller then wanted Linda Hamilton, who played Sarah Connor.
“I think what happened is I think the movie could have survived having Linda in it. I think it could have survived having Arnold in it. But when you put Linda and Arnold in it and then, you know, she’s 60-something, he’s 70-something, all of a sudden it wasn’t your Terminator movie. It wasn’t even your dad’s Terminator movie – it was your granddad’s Terminator movie,” he said, adding: “And we didn’t see that.”
Cameron said: “We loved it, we thought it was cool, you know, that we were making this sort of direct sequel to a movie that came out in 1991. So, it was just our own myopia. We kind of got a little high on our own supply, and I think that’s the lesson there.”
Miller previously claimed that, after they fell out on the film, Cameron cleared the air with an email that read: “I know we clashed a little bit. I put it all down to two strong, creative people with differences of opinion and I think it made the movie better. I’ll be back in LA in December. Let’s go get a beer.”
Cameron has said that him and Miller are still friends, “which is weird” following their tumultuous experience.
Avatar: The Way of Water is out on 16 December – find The Independent’s review of the film here.