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‘The Terminator’ Producer Reveals Key Scene Cut From Film, Says It ‘Ruined It For Us’

Photo Credit: anduska / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / MovieStillsDB
Photo Credit: anduska / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / MovieStillsDB

Gale Anne Hurd, ex-wife to director James Cameron and producer of 1984’s The Terminator, revealed on X/Twitter that a crucial scene was cut from the film’s final edit. The reason? The financier wanted his friends to be included in the feature.

While Hurd claims this “ruined it for us,” the movie went on to become a major success, paving the way for five sequels and a television series, and turning The Terminator into a massive sci-fi franchise.

Casting the financier’s friends, instead of trained actors

Still from 'The Terminator'
The Terminator, 1984. (Photo Credit: seppuku / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / MovieStillsDB)

In a thread posted to X/Twitter, Gale Anne Heard explained how a key scene in The Terminator consisted of chosen friends of the financier, rather than paid actors.

She wrote, “#TheTerminator financier John Daly’s #HemdaleFilms had an output deal with #OrionPictures but hadn’t yet made a hit (that changed with our film and #Platoon). They insisted we use financier friends not actors in this scene, which ruined it for us.”

Hurd has her own theories as to why financier John Daly requested they do this, explaining, “I think he insisted they be in the film because the financiers were promised a return on their investment and had yet to receive one.” She added that Daly “never believed the film would be a success.”

The scene in question was ultimately cut from the final edit

Still from 'The Terminator'
The Terminator, 1984. (Photo Credit: otherhigh / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / MovieStillsDB)

In the end, the decision was made to cut the scene in question from the film’s final edit, which is a shame, as it was an important one. It provides context as to how the tech corporation responsible for creating SkyNet, Cyberdyne Systems, got their hands on the technological chip that was placed within the Terminators.

While the overall film still made sense, this particular scene surely would have granted audiences a deeper understanding as to how the dystopian world came to be.

Such a scene wouldn’t have been cut easily. When asked by a fan if James Cameron removed it because the financier’s friends weren’t great actors, Gale Anne Hurd responded, “Jim (thankfully) was never satisfied with ‘just ok’, even back then!”

How The Terminator (1984) plays into AI conversations

James Cameron standing beside a statue of his Terminator character
James Cameron, 2014. (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images)

In recent times, the influence and growth of AI has dominated news cycles. James Cameron himself has made headlines, saying that he tried to warn the world of the dangers of AI through The Terminator franchise.

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The lead actor in the series, Arnold Schwarzenegger, agrees with this notion, saying:

“Today, everyone is frightened of it, of where this is gonna go. And in this movie, in Terminator, we talk about the machines becoming self-aware and they take over… Now over the course of decades, it has become a reality. So it’s not any more fantasy or kind of futuristic. It is here today. And so this is the extraordinary writing of Jim Cameron.”

Samantha Franco

Samantha Franco is a Freelance Content Writer who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Guelph, and her Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Western Ontario. Her research focused on Victorian, medical, and epidemiological history with a focus on childhood diseases. Stepping away from her academic career, Samantha previously worked as a Heritage Researcher and now writes content for multiple sites covering an array of historical topics.

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging out with her dog, Chowder!