“Cameron Disgusted: Schwarzenegger’s ‘Terminator’ Attitude”

By / July 24, 2023

Collaboration between James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger

The beginning of James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fruitful partnership was their work together on the movie Terminator. See the “Cameron Disgusted: Schwarzenegger’s ‘Terminator‘ Attitude.” Cameron contributed his distinctive vision and directing skills to the project, while Schwarzenegger, well-known for his physique and action-packed film, was cast as the legendary Terminator. They collaborated to create a pioneering movie that would become a cult favorite.

"Cameron Disgusted: Schwarzenegger's 'Terminator' Attitude"
Via Instagram of Arnold Schwarzenegger

Terminator 2: Schwarzenegger’s Request for Increased Violence

Schwarzenegger made clear throughout the writing of Terminator 2: Judgment Day that he wanted the sequel’s violence to be more intense. He tried to produce even more drastic action sequences and increase the number of deaths from the first movie. In Schwarzenegger’s opinion, pushing the limits of violence would enhance the film’s drama and impact.

James Cameron’s Refusal and Sequel Vision

However, James Cameron had a different idea for the follow-up. He wants to dig further into storytelling and explore new facets of the Terminator persona. Cameron believed too much violence might obscure the story’s themes and character growth. He tried to balance action and narrative, emphasizing the characters’ emotional journeys rather than merely the spectacle.

Schwarzenegger and Stallone’s rivalry

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were two of the biggest action stars of their era, and their careers frequently crossed paths, resulting in a cordial rivalry. The most wanted parts and box office success were continuously in competition for both actors. Their rivalry motivated them to surpass one another and establish themselves as the best action heroes.

Schwarzenegger’s Radical Plans for More Violence

schwarzenegger's radical plans speech
Via Instagram of Arnold Schwarzenegger

James Cameron received audacious suggestions from Schwarzenegger to increase the bloodshed in Terminator 2. He suggested violent action scenes with gory killings, such as slitting necks, firing cannons, and running over characters with vehicles. With his recommendations, Schwarzenegger hoped to push the envelope of action filmmaking and establish new benchmarks for on-screen violence.

James Cameron’s opposition and choice to reduce violence

James Cameron was surprised and unimpressed by Schwarzenegger’s proposals. In his opinion, excessive violence would diminish the movie’s overall effect and limit its capacity for narrative.

Cameron deliberately chose to tone down the violence, choosing instead a more complex strategy that prioritized character development and thematic depth.

Response from Schwarzenegger and Search for a Middle Ground

At first, Schwarzenegger objected to Cameron’s choice to tone down the bloodshed in Terminator 2. He saw it as a break from the thrilling action that had carried the earlier movie.

However, through honest discussion and compromise, Schwarzenegger and Cameron reached a settlement that preserved the emotional core of the narrative while still allowing for impactful action sequences.

I beg you, Terminator 2, use “Token Bodies.”

Despite the compromise, Schwarzenegger appealed to Cameron to add at least a little violence in the movie. He suggested outlawing violence altogether would dilute the Terminator character’s core values. Schwarzenegger tried to balance displaying the Terminator’s might and upholding the narrative’s truth.

terminator 2 full movie
Via Instagram of Arnold Schwarzenegger

Finding an agreement and a resolution

After several meetings and imaginative brainstorming sessions, Schwarzenegger and Cameron devised a solution that satisfied their artistic views. They created effective and exciting action moments while staying faithful to Cameron’s aim for a more restrained use of violence. The compromise allowed Terminator 2 to balance action and narrative delicately.


Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron’s revolutionary working relationship in the Terminator movies led to their commercial success. Cameron had a different vision for Terminator 2 than Schwarzenegger, emphasizing plot and character development more.

Through negotiations and compromise, they reached an agreement that preserved the core of the Terminator character while still producing a complex and powerful movie. Critical acclaim for Terminator 2: Judgment Day enhanced Arnold Schwarzenegger’s reputation as an action hero. The partnership between these two industry titans is still praised for its positive effects on sci-fi and action movies.


What was the Relationship Between Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron?

Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the Terminator films, and James Cameron directed them. They had a working relationship and collaborated on creating memorable characters and iconic scenes.

What was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Request for Terminator 2: Judgment Day?

Arnold Schwarzenegger asked that the violence in Terminator 2 be increased and that his character, the Terminator, kill at least 150 people, exceeding the number of deaths in the original movie.

How did James Cameron Respond to Schwarzenegger’s Request?

James Cameron was initially disgusted by the idea of escalating violence and competing over the number of on-screen kills. He decided that the Terminator character would not kill anyone in the sequel.

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