Terminator’s Edward Furlong Laments Losing Terminator 3 Gig, Explains What Went Wrong

 Edward Furlong in T2's Arcade scene.
Edward Furlong in T2's Arcade scene.

James Cameron is a filmmaker known for his innovation, and creating projects that stand the test of time. Case in point: Terminator 2: Judgement Day, which is widely considered one of the best sci-fi movies of all time. The movie featured child actor Edward Furlong as John Connor, a role he eventually reprised in Dark Fate. It turns out he could have had the leading role in Terminator 3, recently revealing why he lost that gig. Let's break it all down.

Furlong will likely always be synonymous with his performance in T2, which is why fans will be disappointed to learn that he could have played John in the threequel as well. While appearing on the podcast Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum, the 46 year-old actor spoke about his issues with addiction led him to lose the job for Terminator 3. In his words:

The big one...when I lost Terminator 3. Oh my God, dude. So much drugs in my life. That was the contract, they were like we want you to not do any drugs. Whatever, just sign a clause in the contract – no drugs...And it was a sweet deal. It was the best deal that I had ever gotten in my life. For T3, it was like a lot of money, like millions. And I had never made that kind of money, so I called my friends and I'm like, 'Guys, I just signed this fucking awesome contract, we're going to go to the club, we're going to get a bunch of blow, and we're going to... that's it. This is the end, man, we're going to fucking do it.

What a disappointment. It sounds like Furlong regrets how things went down, and losing the chance to star in the third Terminator film. And I wonder if the ranking of the Terminator movies might have been different if the threequel featured that connection to T2.

But that's how things went down, so Terminator 2 (which can be streamed with a Paramount+ subscription) would be his only starring role in the sci-fi property. Although as previously mentioned, he cameoed in Dark Fate thanks to de-aging technology, a role that Furlong admits he had mixed feelings about.

Unfortunately, the studio seemingly got word of Edward Furlong's night out to celebrate his Terminator 3 gig, resulting in him being dropped from the movie. In the end, actor Nick Stahl  would eventually play John Connor in the third movie, opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger and Clare Danes. Later in his same interview, Furlong explained his memory of being fired, saying:

And the news caught wind and, of course, they're like, 'Yeah, you know, you lost the movie. We're not going to do it with you.' That was it. And I was like, 'I'm so sorry, Oh my God,' but it didn't matter. I had just signed a contract saying that. I don't know what that was. That was the worst luck or maybe the best luck... I was already on a downward trajectory in a lot of ways, so maybe if I had had that it would've been worse

Fair point. It sounds like Edward Furlong has a unique perspective of how things ultimately worked out for him. Because while his career would have improved by starring in Terminator 3, his substance abuse issues could have boiled over in a worse way. So he's not sure if it would have actually been a good thing to play John Connor at that time.

We'll just have to wait and see what comes next for the Terminator franchise. Dark World failed to perform at the box office, and Linda Hamilton has said she's not interested in playing Sarah Connor again. While we wait, check out the 2024 movie release dates.