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Feature: T3: The Rise of the Machines

Arnie’s Back!

Arnie's back, most of him…

Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed never to return as the cyborg from the future unless James Cameron was on board as director. So how did U-571 director Jonathan Mostow persuade him to return?

Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “I’ll be back” and he wasn’t kidding: Arnie is reprising his signature role as the Terminator in the highly-anticipated third instalment of the franchise, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

“It’s a visual feast, this movie, from the beginning to the end,” boasts Arnold of the Jonathan Mostow film. “It ties together the other movies, an ongoing saga of the machines wanting to take over: the rise of the machines.”

Arnie’s promotional style is to describe his efforts with a choice of superlatives. From hits like Terminator to flops like Last Action Hero, he has the exact same enthusiasm using “extraordinary” “fantastic” and “spectacular” to pepper his speech. Talking of his latest ‘come-back film’, there is no surprise from the attendant journalists when he promises “extraordinary visual effects”, “fantastic story”, “spectacular action” and “several great motorcycle scenes”. He goes further: “The script was written in a very grand way, because it’s not based in reality. It’s a totally made-up story; so therefore, we can go much further, broader and bigger.”

As for the chance of making a successful sequel, Schwarzenegger says: “The key thing is the second movie had to outdo the first one, and T2 did, and the third has to outdo the second – and that’s what T3 does.”

Director Mostow, best known for the controversially revisionist submarine thriller U-571, has taken over the directing job from Terminator director James Cameron, who abandoned Machines when Carolco Pictures capsized and half of the film rights changed hands. The other half Cameron had already sold to his ex-wife, producer Gale Anne Hurd, for a dollar before they wed! Schwarzenegger, who only a few years ago claimed he would never return as the Terminator without Cameron at the helm, now enthuses of Jonathan Mostow “He paid an extraordinary amount of attention to story. It’s a tough act to follow Jim Cameron and Mostow was obviously someone comfortable with visual effects and stunts. It was important that he not feel intimidated.”

While the first Terminator cost a mere $6.4 million in 1984, T2 was made for $113 million in 1991 and became the most expensive movie made to that date. At $172 million, Machines is the most expensive movie to ever have received a green light, and Arnold received a whopping $30 million for his efforts. “By the time my wife gets through with it, trust me, it won’t be that much,” he laughs.

Quite a few Hollywood insiders consider Arnold’s fee unrealistically high for an action star without a solid hit since 1996’s Eraser. Many also believe he has stayed too long at the party. His contemporaries, Stallone, for instance, has fallen and a new Everyman action movement is headed by Keanu Reeves, Toby Maguire and Elijah Wood.

by Roald Rynning

get the full interview in
Film Review (Jul)

Photo © Warner Bros
Feature © Visual Imagination 2004. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Film Review (Jul), see below for ordering options
Film Review (Jul)
#633, July 2003
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