Can you imagine the Terminator being played by anyone other than Arnold Schwarzenegger? It’s hard to imagine now, but the first choice for the character was actually someone else entirely.
The story of the Terminator’s casting journey is just one of many fascinating stories behind the making of the iconic sci-fi movie.
The Terminator franchise has become a beloved cultural touchstone, but if things had gone differently during casting, the films might have turned out completely differently. The key element that could have changed everything was the choice of actor for the role of Kyle Reese.
Michael Biehn was perfect as Kyle Reese, the time-traveling freedom fighter and father of John Connor. However, the original casting plans would have made for a very different movie. In fact, Arnold Schwarzenegger was not even planned for the role of the Terminator.
One of the heads of Orion Pictures had pushed for Schwarzenegger to play Kyle Reese, but James Cameron was against the idea. Cameron eventually met with Schwarzenegger to discuss the role of the Terminator, and the rest is history.
The Terminator’s casting journey didn’t end there, though. Many actors were considered for the role of Kyle Reese before Michael Biehn was ultimately chosen. Sting was one of the first actors approached for the role, but he had to drop out due to prior commitments.
Christopher Reeve was also considered, but he was too expensive for the project. Other names like Kurt Russell, Mel Gibson, Tommy Lee Jones, Scott Glenn, and Matt Dillon also came up during the search for the perfect Kyle Reese. Even Bruce Springsteen was considered, but he was too busy touring.
The casting of the Terminator and Kyle Reese is just one of the many fascinating stories behind the making of the film franchise.
It’s interesting to speculate about what might have been if different actors had been cast in these iconic roles, but it’s clear that the final cast was the perfect choice. Thanks to their performances, the Terminator franchise has become an enduring part of pop culture, and we can’t imagine it any other way.