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"I'll be back! Really. I'll only be gone a few minutes."

- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator

TERMINATOR

The Terminator series is a science fiction franchise encompassing a series of films and other media concerning battles between Skynet's artificially intelligent machine network, and John Connor's Resistance forces and the rest of the human race.

Skynet's most well-known products in its genocidal goals are the various terminator models, such as the original "Terminator" character, portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first film. Schwarzenegger also portrayed other Terminator characters; however, it is made clear that these are different units.

The central theme of the franchise is the battle for survival between the human race and the self-aware artificial intelligence that is Skynet. Skynet is positioned in the first film as a US defense computer system by Cyberdyne Systems which becomes self-aware and, on perceiving all humans as a threat, seeks to wipe out humanity itself. It initiates a nuclear first strike against Russia, ensuring a devastating counter strike and a nuclear holocaust, wiping out much of humanity instantly. In the post-apocalyptic aftermath, Skynet builds up its own autonomous machine-based military capability, which includes the Terminators used against individual human targets, and proceeds to fight a war against the surviving elements of humanity, some of whom have organized militarily into the Resistance. At some point in this future, Skynet develops the ability of time travel, and both it and the Resistance seek to use it to win the war by preventing or forestalling their present timeline.

In the franchise, 'Judgment Day' is referred to as the date on which Skynet becomes self-aware, decides to exterminate humankind, and launches the attack on Russia. Due to the element of time travel and the consequent ability to change the future, several dates are given for Judgment Day during the franchise. In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah states that Judgment Day will occur on August 29, 1997. However, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines shows that the Judgment Day holocaust has been postponed to July 25, 2004. In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the day of judgment was delayed to April 21, 2011, due to the attack on Cyberdyne Systems in T2.

The Terminator

The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction action film directed by James Cameron, co-written by Cameron and William Wisher Jr. and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, and Linda Hamilton. The film was produced by Hemdale Film Corporation and distributed by Orion Pictures, and filmed in Los Angeles. Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a cyborg assassin sent back in time from the year 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor, played by Hamilton. Biehn plays Kyle Reese, a soldier from the future sent back in time to protect Sarah.

Though not expected to be either a commercial or critical success, The Terminator topped the American box office for two weeks and helped launch the film career of James Cameron and consolidate that of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Three sequels have been produced: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), and Terminator Salvation (2009). In 2008, The Terminator was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

In Rome, during the release of Piranha II: The Spawning director James Cameron grew ill and had a dream about a metallic torso dragging itself from an explosion while holding kitchen knives. When Cameron returned to Pomona, California, he stayed at Randall Frakes' home where he wrote a draft for The Terminator. Cameron later stated that his influences while writing the script were 1950s science fiction films and episodes of The Outer Limits as well as contemporary films including The Driver and The Road Warrior. Cameron's agent hated the idea for The Terminator and told him to work on something else. After this, Cameron fired his agent. The initial outline of the script involved two Terminators sent to the past. The first was similar to the Terminator in the film, while the second was a liquid metal cyborg that could not be destroyed with conventional weaponry. Cameron could not think of a good way to depict this robot, stating that he "was seeing things in his head that couldn't be done with existing technology." The story of the cyborgs in the film was cut down to a single robot idea. The liquid metal Terminator would be revisited with the T-1000 character in the 1991 sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

One of Cameron's first tasks was to find someone to play Kyle Reese. Orion Pictures wanted Arnold Schwarzenegger for the role. Cameron was dubious about casting Schwarzenegger as Reese as he felt he would need someone even bigger to play the Terminator. The studio had suggested O. J. Simpson for the role of the Terminator, but Cameron did not feel that Simpson would be believable as a killer. Cameron still agreed to meet with Schwarzenegger about the film and devised a plan to avoid casting him. Cameron planned to pick a fight with him and return to Hemdale and find him unfit for the role. Upon meeting with Schwarzenegger, Cameron was entertained by Schwarzenegger who would talk about how the villain should be played. Cameron began sketching his face on a notepad and asked Schwarzenegger to stop talking and remain still. After the meeting, Cameron returned to Daly saying Schwarzenegger would not play Reese but that "he'd make a hell of a Terminator". Schwarzenegger was not as excited by the film; during an interview on the set of Conan the Barbarian, an interviewer asked him about a pair of shoes he had (which were for The Terminator). Schwarzenegger responded, "Oh some shit movie I'm doing, take a couple weeks." In preparation for the role, Schwarzenegger spent three months training with weapons to be able to use them and feel comfortable around them.

For the role of Reese, various other suggestions were made for the role including rock musician Sting. Cameron chose Michael Biehn for the role. Biehn was originally skeptical about the part, feeling that the film was silly. After meeting with Cameron, Biehn stated his "feelings about the project changed". For the role of Sarah Connor Cameron chose Linda Hamilton, who had just finished filming Children of the Corn. Rosanna Arquette had previously auditioned. For the special effects shots in the film, Cameron wanted Dick Smith who had previously worked on The Godfather and Taxi Driver. Smith did not take Cameron's offer and suggested his friend Stan Winston for the job.

There was limited interference from Orion Pictures. Two suggestions Orion put forward included the addition of a canine cyborg for Reese which Cameron turned down and the second was to strengthen the love interest between Sarah and Reese which Cameron accepted.

Orion Pictures did not have faith in The Terminator performing well at the box office but in its opening week, The Terminator grossed $4,020,663 making it number one in the box office.

Writer Harlan Ellison stated that he "loved the movie, was just blown away by it", but believed that the screenplay was based on an episode of The Outer Limits he had written, titled "Soldier". Orion gave Ellison an undisclosed amount of money and an acknowledgment credit in later prints of the film. Some accounts of the settlement state that "Demon with a Glass Hand", another Outer Limits episode written by Ellison, was also claimed to have been plagiarized by the film, but Ellison has explicitly stated that The Terminator "was a ripoff" of "Soldier" rather than "Demon with a Glass Hand". Cameron was against Orion's decision and was told that if he did not agree with the settlement, they would have Cameron pay for any damages if Orion lost Ellison's suit. Cameron replied that he "had no choice but to agree with the settlement. Of course there was a gag order as well, so I couldn't tell this story, but now I frankly don't care. It's the truth. Harlan Ellison is a parasite who can kiss my ass."

The success of The Terminator established James Cameron as a master of action, special effects, and quasi-mythic narrative intrigue, while turning Arnold Schwarzenegger into the hard-body star of the 1980s whose catch phrase "I'll be back" was voted the 37th greatest movie quote by the AFI.

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 science fiction action film, the second installment of the Terminator franchise and the sequel to The Terminator (1984). Directed by James Cameron and written by Cameron and William Wisher, Jr., it stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong. Terminator 2 follows Sarah Connor (Hamilton) and her son John (Furlong) as they are pursued by a new, more advanced Terminator, the liquid metal, shapeshifting T-1000 (Patrick), sent back in time to kill John to stop him from becoming leader of the human Resistance. An older, less advanced Terminator (Schwarzenegger) is also sent back in time to protect John.

After a troubled pre-production characterized by legal disputes, Mario Kassar of Carolco Pictures emerged with the franchise's property rights in early 1990. This paved the way for the completion of the screenplay by the Cameron-led production team, and the subsequent accelerated 186-day filming schedule starting in October 1990. The production of Terminator 2 required an unprecedented budget of more than $94 million (1991 dollars), much of which was spent on filming and special effects. The film was released on July 3, 1991, in time for the U.S. Fourth of July weekend.

Terminator 2 was a significant box office and critical success. It had an impact on popular culture, and is considered hugely influential in the genres of action and science fiction. The film's visual effects included many breakthroughs in computer-generated imagery, marking the first use of natural human motion for a computer-generated character and the first partially computer-generated main character. It received many accolades, including four Academy Awards for makeup, sound mixing, sound editing, and visual effects.

The film is set in 1995, eleven years after the events of The Terminator, John Connor (Edward Furlong) is ten years old and living in Los Angeles with foster parents. His mother Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) had been preparing him throughout his childhood for his future role as the leader of the human Resistance against Skynet, but was arrested after attempting to bomb a computer factory and remanded to a hospital for the criminally insane under the supervision of Dr. Silberman (Earl Boen). Skynet sends a new Terminator, a T-1000 (Robert Patrick), back in time to kill John. A more advanced prototype than the Terminator sent after Sarah, the T-1000 is composed of a "mimetic poly-alloy", a liquid metal that allows it to take the shape and appearance of anyone or anything it touches. Though it cannot mimic complex machines such as guns or bombs, it can shape parts of itself into knives and stabbing weapons and can mimic the voice and appearance of humans. It assumes the identity of a police officer and goes in pursuit of John. Meanwhile, the future John Connor has sent back a reprogrammed T-800 Terminator (Schwarzenegger), similar to the one that attacked Sarah, to protect his younger self.

Terminator 2 made extensive use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) to vivify the main two Terminators. The use of such technology was the most ambitious since the 1982 science fiction film Tron, and would be integral to the critical success of the film. CGI was required particularly for the T-1000, a "mimetic poly-alloy" (liquid metal) structure, since the shapeshifting character can morph into almost anything it touches. Most of the key Terminator effects were provided by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) for computer graphics and Stan Winston for practical effects. Creation of the visual effects took 35 people, including animators, computer scientists, technicians and artists, ten months to produce, for a total of 25 man-years. Despite the large amount of time spent, the CGI sequence only totals five minutes of running time. Enlisted to produce articulated puppets and prosthetic effects was Stan Winston's studio, who was also responsible for the metal skeleton effects of the T-800. The visual-effects team was awarded the 1992 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (commonly abbreviated as T3) is a 2003 science fiction action film directed by Jonathan Mostow and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Stahl, Claire Danes and Kristanna Loken. It is the second sequel to The Terminator (1984).

Following the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, John Connor (Nick Stahl) has been living off-the-grid in Los Angeles. Although Judgment Day did not occur on August 29, 1997, the date given by the Terminator in the previous film, John does not believe that the prophesied war between humans and Skynet has been averted. Unable to locate John, Skynet sends a new model of Terminator, the T-X (Kristanna Loken), back in time to July 24, 2004 to kill his future lieutenants in the human Resistance. A more advanced model than previous Terminators, the T-X has an endoskeleton with built-in weaponry, a liquid metal exterior similar to the T-1000, and the ability to control other machines. The Resistance sends a reprogrammed T-850 model 101 Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in time to protect the T-X's targets, including John Connor's future wife Kate Brewster (Claire Danes).

James Cameron announced T3 many times during the 1990s, but without coming out with any finished script. Tedi Sarafian wrote an early draft, and eventually earned a shared "story by" credit with screenwriters John Brancato and Michael Ferris, who wrote the screenplay.

The studios had long wanted to make a sequel to the Terminator films. However, they were unsure whether Arnold Schwarzenegger would appear in it. Schwarzenegger initially refused to star in Terminator 3 because Cameron, who created the character and helmed the first two films, would not be directing the third installment. Schwarzenegger tried to persuade Cameron to produce the third film. Cameron declined, however, as he felt that he had already finished telling the story upon the conclusion of T2. But feeling that the Terminator character was as much Schwarzenegger's as it was his own, he advised Schwarzenegger to just do the third film and ask for "nothing less than $30 million." Schwarzenegger received a salary of $29.25 million, plus 20 percent of the profits, for his role in the film.

The film's production budget was initially set at $170 million, making it the most expensive film ever to be greenlit at the time, and with final production costs possibly as high as $200 million. Other estimates put the initial budget at $169.3 million and the final cost of the film at $187.3 million. Schwarzenegger agreed to defer part of his salary in order to prevent the relocation of the set to Vancouver, British Columbia, from Los Angeles. Many pundits saw this as preparation to his campaign for California governor, in which he emphasized giving incentives to have movie productions stay in California, rather than film in less-expensive places elsewhere. A scene filmed during production gives a possible explanation as to why one particular model of Terminators all look like Schwarzenegger. A character named Chief Master Sergeant William Candy (played by Schwarzenegger) explains in a Cyber Research Systems (CRS) promotional video that he was chosen to be the model for the Terminator project. Schwarzenegger's character has a Southern accent (dubbed by an uncredited actor); when Lieutenant General Brewster questions the appropriateness of Candy's Southern accent for the Terminator's voice, another scientist replies, "We can fix it" in Schwarzenegger's (overdubbed) voice. This scene is available as a special feature on the DVD release.


Terminator Salvation

Terminator Salvation is a 2009 American science fiction action film directed by McG and starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington. It is the fourth installment in the Terminator film series. In a departure from the previous installments, which were set between 1984 and 2004 and used time travel as a key plot element, Salvation is set in 2018 and focuses on the war between Skynet and humanity, with the human Resistance fighting against Skynet's killing machines. Bale portrays John Connor, a Resistance fighter and the franchise's central character, while Worthington portrays cyborg Marcus Wright. Terminator Salvation also features Anton Yelchin as a young Kyle Reese, a character first introduced in The Terminator, and depicts the origin of the T-800 Model 101 Terminator.

In 1999, two years after C2 Pictures purchased the rights to the franchise, two Terminator films' premises were mapped out and were supposed to be developed simultaneously. Tedi Sarafian was hired to write Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which he eventually received shared story credit for, while David C. Wilson was to write Terminator 4. Before any revisions were done, T3 initially took place in 2001 and revolved around the first attacks between Skynet and humans. T4 would follow immediately afterward and centered primarily on the war seen in the first two films. Warner Bros. gave the film the codename "Project Angel".

Following the release of Terminator 3 in 2003, producers Andrew G. Vajna and Mario Kassar contracted Nick Stahl and Claire Danes to return as John Connor and Kate Brewster in another film. Director Jonathan Mostow helped develop the script, written by John Brancato and Michael Ferris, and was set to begin production in 2005 after completing another film. It was known by then Arnold Schwarzenegger's role would be limited, as he had assumed office as Governor of California. The producers sought to have Warner Bros. finance the picture as they did for Terminator 3. In 2005, Stahl said John and Kate would be recast as the story jumped forward in time. By 2006, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, distributor of the original film, was set to distribute the fourth film as part of the new CEO Harry Sloan's scheme to make the studio a viable Hollywood player.

On May 9, 2007, it was announced that production rights to the Terminator series had passed from the feuding Vajna and Kassar to the Halcyon Company. The producers hoped to start a new trilogy based on the franchise. The purchase was financed with a loan by Pacificor, a hedge fund from Santa Monica. By July 19, the project was in legal limbo due to a lawsuit between MGM and Halcyon subsidiary T Asset. MGM had an exclusive window of 30 days to negotiate for distribution of the Terminator films. When negotiating for Terminator 4, Halcyon rejected their initial proposal, and MGM suspended negotiations. After the 30 days were over, MGM claimed that the period during which negotiations were suspended did not count and their exclusive period was still open. Halcyon asked a court for an injunction allowing them to approach other distributors. Later, the lawsuit was settled and MGM got a 30-day right of first refusal to finance and distribute the fifth Terminator film.

Finally, Warner Bros. paid $60 million to acquire the United States distribution rights of Terminator Salvation; Sony Pictures also paid just over $100 million to acquire this film's distribution rights in most international territories.

McG signed on to direct as the first two films were among his favorites, and he felt the post-apocalyptic setting allowed the film to be different enough so as not to be just an inferior sequel. The idea that events in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines altered the future also allowed them to be flexible with their presentation of the futuristic world. McG met with the series' co-creator James Cameron, and, although he neither blessed nor denigrated the project, Cameron told the new director he had faced a similar challenge when following Ridley Scott's Alien with Aliens. He maintained two elements of the previous films; that John is an outsider to the authorities, and someone of future importance is being protected, and in this film it is Kyle Reese.

The first full screenplay for the film was written by Terminator 3 writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris, who received full screenplay credit. Paul Haggis rewrote Brancato and Ferris's script, and Shawn Ryan made another revision three weeks before filming. Jonathan Nolan also wrote on set, which led to McG characterizing his work on the script as the most important; he chose to contribute to the film after Bale signed on and created Connor's arc of becoming a leader. Anthony E. Zuiker contributed to the script as well. So extensive were the rewrites that Alan Dean Foster decided to rewrite the entire novelization after submitting it to his publisher, because the compiled shooting script was very different from the one he was given beforehand.

In the early script drafts, John was a secondary character. Producer James Middleton explained "Ben-Hur was influenced by Jesus Christ, but it was his story. Much in that way, this [new main] character will be influenced by John Connor." The original ending was to have John killed, and his image kept alive by the resistance by grafting his skin onto Marcus' cybernetic body. However, after the ending was leaked on the Internet, Warner Bros. decided to completely change the entire third act of the film. McG and Nolan did continue the Christ element of John's character though, in which he has some followers who believe what he knows about Skynet, and others who do not.

McG described the film's theme as "where you draw the line between machines and humans". The friendship between Marcus — who was executed (for murder) when humanity still ruled the world — and Kyle Reese illustrates how war and suffering can bring out the best in people, such as when they worked together to survive during the Blitz. The title was derived from this second chance given to humanity and to Marcus, in addition to John's efforts to save humanity from the machines. The film's original title was Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, but this was dropped during filming.

Throughout writing, the cast and crew would watch scenes from the three films to pick moments to reference or tribute, including "Come with me if you want to live" and "I'll be back", which is uttered by John in this film. McG found himself having to decide which ideas for references would be included and which would not. An opening scene has John fighting a Terminator on a crashed helicopter, which was storyboarded as a homage to the climax of the original film, where his mother Sarah, having broken her leg, is chased by a crippled Terminator. McG did this to reflect the skills John learned from her.

The majority of the special effects were done by Industrial Light & Magic. Salvation was one of the last films that Stan Winston, the visual effects supervisor on the first three films, worked on. He died on June 15, 2008 from multiple myeloma, and McG dedicated the film to him in the end credits.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is an American science fiction television series that aired on Fox. It is a spin-off from the Terminator series of films and revolves around the lives of the fictional characters Sarah and John Connor, following the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. , on the U.S. television network Fox. Production for the series was provided by Terminator 2 and Terminator 3 producers and C2 Pictures Sony Pictures Entertainment (International) co-presidents, Mario Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna, C2 Senior Vice President James Middleton, David Nutter, and Josh Friedman, who not only served as Executive Producer but also wrote the script for the first two episodes.

The series premiered on Sunday, January 13, 2008 with a shortened mid-season run of nine episodes, through March 2008. It was the highest-rated new scripted series of the 2007–08 television season and was renewed for a second season, which began on September 8, 2008, and ended April 10, 2009. On May 18, 2009, despite fan efforts, Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly announced Fox would not renew the show for a third season.

The pilot episode is set in 1999 and introduces Sarah (Lena Headey), her son John (Thomas Dekker), and Cameron (Summer Glau), a Terminator that has been re-programmed to protect John. They are being pursued by a Terminator, Cromartie, sent back through time to assassinate John and also by FBI Special Agent James Ellison, who initially believes Sarah is an insane criminal (based on the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day). Sarah is romantically involved with a paramedic named Charley Dixon, but ends her relationship with him to stay on the run.

During the pilot, Sarah, John, and Cameron make a temporal leap to 2007. Cromartie suffers extensive damage while trying to kill them, but begins repairing his endoskeleton and artificial flesh and continues his search for John in 2007. Because John is frustrated with their life of running, Sarah resolves to go on the offensive against Skynet. Yet the world in 2007 proves complex: they find Skynet has sent additional Terminators back in time to support its own creation, and the resistance movement has sent back its own fighters to interfere. As they seek out an intuitive chess computer called The Turk (named after the 19th-century hoax using that name), which they suspect may be a precursor to Skynet, they forge an alliance with Derek Reese, resistance fighter and John's uncle. As the series progresses, the Connors are confronted with the reality that they will find more enemies, either at the present or from the future, bent to reshape the future for their own goals.

Summer Glau played Cameron, a Terminator whom John Connor sent back from 2027 to protect his earlier self. Her model and exact capabilities are not known, but she can mimic human mannerisms better than the T-800 model could, and she can also consume small amounts of food, a first for Terminators. Her name is a homage to Terminator film franchise creator James Cameron. Glau had not seen the Terminator films prior to being cast as Cameron Phillips, whose role in the series was initially kept concealed but was later revealed to be a Terminator sent from the future to protect John. Glau almost did not audition for the role because of her preconceptions of the character and she felt that she did not have "that Terminator look". On playing Cameron, Glau said she was "intimidated" by the role because it was a challenge for her to balance the human and robot characteristics. Later in the series it is revealed that Cameron assumed the identity of a resistance fighter, Allison Young, before being reprogrammed.

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