It turns out that one of the best action movies of all time, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, has recreational drugs, and a British singer-songwriter to thank for its monumental success. Famed filmmaker, James Cameron, revealed that while working on the script for the beloved sequel to his film The Terminator (1984), he was high on ecstasy, and jamming out to Sting.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is arguably the best entry in The Terminator franchise. The 1991 science fiction movie was an instant smash hit when it first released, and managed to win four Academy Awards. Following on from the events of the previous film, it centres around Sarah Connor, and her child John who, with the help of a reprogrammed Arnold Schwarzenegger, must survive a new deadly time-travelling robot, who is determined to kill the future leader of the human resistance, John.
To this day, the film is still one of the best human vs machine stories you can watch, and it is shocking that the award-winning filmmaker seemingly put this masterpiece together during a drug-fuelled trip.
In preparation for the film’s 30th anniversary later this year, Cameron told The Ringer that while in the early stages of the writing process for Terminator 2: Judgement Day, music and ecstasy inspired his direction for the character of John Connor. “I remember sitting there once, high on E, writing notes for Terminator, and I was struck by Sting’s song, that ‘I hope the Russians love their children too’,” he said. “And I thought, ‘You know what? The idea of a nuclear war is just so antithetical to life itself.’ That’s where the kid came from.”
Cameron is not the first to turn to mind-altering substances in the creative process but hearing the casual admission from the man behind some of the world’s biggest blockbusters is still strange. However, looking back at his past films, like Avatar, full of blue aliens who ‘bond’ with each other and the world around them via their hair, recreational drug use doesn’t seem like a far stretch.
With Avatar 2 just around the corner, Cameron probably doesn’t have much spare time on his hands for mind-altering activities, but with his track record, high or not, we can still expect his upcoming films to be a box office hit.
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