It is hard to imagine that the 1984 release of ‘The Terminator‘ could have had a happy ending but while the film was being produced that almost happened. Thankfully, writer Gale Anne Hurd (‘The Walking Dead’) was able to put that idea to rest through sheer force of will.
We all know that the film ended with Michael Biehn’s Kyle Reese having to sacrifice himself in order to stop Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s Terminator from killing Linda Hamilton‘s Sarah Connor and thus potentially save the future of humanity. However, the film almost ended quite differently. In the end, John Connor lived to help lead the rebellion against Skynet, but originally Reese almost stuck around as well!
The news came during a Q&A during this year’s Screamfest before Hurd was given a Lifetime Achievement Award. As Hurd explained, the original ending would be quite disappointing to audiences:
“We got notes to end the film before the end of the film. Not even have The Terminator rise out as the endoskeleton but just end with Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor hugging.”
I couldn’t even imagine the lack of that iconic Terminator look let alone Sarah not already being so placed at the ready for the future she knows to be coming. However, Hurd fought for the film that she and James Cameron had put together even though it was a fight many might not have chanced:
“I mean, your first movie and you’re telling people, ‘No, you’re wrong.’ It’s not an easy thing to do.”
Hurd won’t take all the credit for this though and shares that quite a few of those behind the movie were pushing for what had originally been envisioned:
“There are also more unsung heroes which is that one of our strongest supporters was the head of the completion bond company, Film Finances here in Los Angeles. The late Lindsley Parsons Sr. knew what The Terminator was going to be. Roger [Corman] knew what The Terminator was going to be and not a lot of people did. You absolutely need people to believe in you. You also need people to tell you when you’re screwing up that you can listen to. Lindsley was all of that. Roger has always been all of that, but we could have bowed to the pressure. Or, we could have been wrong and not listened to the things that made the film better. Luckily we had each other’s backs.”
Thankfully, they were able to bring to life one of the greatest ends of humanity as we know it of all time, all by ruining the potential happiness of Sarah Connor.
Do you think ‘The Terminator’ would have resonated even slightly as well with audiences if it had a happy ending? Would the potential of a sequel have lured fans in had things worked out differently? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Source: Slash Film