For a man who’s starred in “Junior” and “Batman & Robin,” Arnold Schwarzenegger has some surprisingly discerning taste when it comes to picking his films. Despite appearing in a multitude of sequels throughout his decades-long career, the former Mr. Olympia has maintained a healthy distrust of the sequel as a concept.
As recently as 2015, he could be found saying as much publicly, during a Q&A for “Terminator Genisys”:
“The sad story is that sometimes studios do a great job at creating sequels, and sometimes they really screw it up bad. And it all has to do with greed. They sometimes want to do it really cheap and make as much money as possible, so they don’t hire the right cast, or the right director because it maybe costs them an extra billion dollars, so they want to do it really cheap. And other times they want to rush it, because they want to have it come out next spring, even though now it’s already fall.”
Fortunately, none of that was the case with James Cameron’s early ’90s “Terminator” follow-up. Almost a legacy sequel itself, coming out a full six years after 1984’s “Terminator,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is, I think, the finest sequel ever made. Cameron was given all the money he needed to make his behemoth of a blockbuster, with “T2” seemingly benefitting from an ever-expanding budget, the total of which remains a point of contention even to this day — though likely ending up in the $100 million range. Luckily for its director, there were no issues securing Schwarzenegger’s return, who willingly went against his own aversion to sequels so he could reprise his role as the titular cyborg.