- A crucial scene from The Terminator was cut because of poor acting.
- The scene would have given the T-800 the ability to learn and change.
- The omitted scene changed the direction of the franchise.
A scene from The Terminator, which could have drastically altered the direction of the franchise, was reportedly removed due to subpar acting performance. According to the film’s producer, Gale Anne Hurd, the scene gave the T-800 (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) the ability to learn and change, an element that was later incorporated into the sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Hurd was speaking on the podcast Let’s Get Into It, where she revealed the omitted scene: “The scene … involved giving Sarah and Reese the ability to take a chip out [of the T-800] that allowed the terminator to learn…The problem was not the effects. The problem was the acting and we couldn’t lift it all up to the same level. So we didn’t think it was appropriate to have something that was not at the same level.” She further noted that this scene could have significantly changed the franchise’s direction, as the T-800 learning and changing capabilities would have been introduced earlier.
Despite the deletion of this scene from the first movie, the idea of the T-800 learning to become more empathetic and human was eventually incorporated into the sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. In that film, Schwarzenegger’s character developed human-like qualities as he worked closely with Linda Hamilton’s character, Sarah Connor, and her son, John Connor.
This change in the character’s trajectory has had a lasting impact on the franchise, as the T-800’s ability to learn and change has become integral to subsequent films. However, it is fascinating to consider what might have happened if the omitted scene had been included in the original movie and how it would have shaped the franchise’s future.