Schwarzenegger talks Terminator Salvation and Expendables
Arnold Schwarzenegger has been talking about his cameos in the two films Terminator Salvation and Expendables, and his differing answers to the two films reveal something very interesting about his attitude to both films, particularly his attitude to the continuation of the Terminator franchise.
His reluctance to appear in Terminator Salvation doesn't seem to be echoed in his appearance in The Expendables, although he does sound as though he'd rather get off the subject quickly.
“So I... naturally when he asked me if I would do a cameo, which will just be something quick, like I walk out of a hotel or out of a office building and he will walk up and we will bump into each other and there will be some mumbling and then we will walk off (crowd laughs). So it will be something very simple, that will be again, just a cameo, so that's what we're going to do. I promised him I'd do that and I'm looking forward to that. Ok? Good.”
Sounds like he wanted to get out of that interview rather quickly, of course those last couple of words could have been in any context, but sounding them out in my head they seem like someone who wants to move on quickly.
Still he's positive about the cameo and it does sound like he wants to do it and that he knows fans will love the two bumping into each other in a film. After all it's probably the only time we'll see these two legends on screen together.
However he also knows that The Expendables won't be marketing his appearance as a big thing in the film, whereas Terminator Salvation will be, and that bothers him.
“But you know as I said to the director when they began that I wish them the best of luck, that I'm happy that they move forward with the franchise, I am very happy with where I am with my profession as the governor and they should try to find a way of doing a story that does not include me at all, not even one single shot in it. I don't believe in that. To kind of have them go out and promote the movie and say you know Arnold is in the movie and everyone thinks that I'm the Terminator and in fact you only see one second of me in there and so I don't think that's the right thing to do. And you know that's the danger of that, and that's why I feel reluctant to be part of the movie in the first place. So it doesn't get promoted that way.”
Now to me that's really funny, because I'm a big Arnie fan and I'm a big original Terminator series fan, but what I am not is a fan of is ripping off the Terminator franchise, audience or mythology. Yet saying that I can see the benefit of tying in this new, future storyline with the old films by seeing them create the Terminators from the last films, kind of like trying to tie in the films without remaking and re-editing the first ones to match – hello George Lucas.
However Arnie is dead set against the idea of them using his image to promote the film, and I can understand that too. No one wants to go and see a film thinking they're going to see Arnie and then only see a ten second shot of him. I do get that, and I fully believe that the marketing machine would try and do that, especially since we know so much about the move to try and use him in the film.
Yet I can't help but feeling this is a good luck message, and I publicly give you all my respect, but privately, I don't want anything to do with the series now that it's going down this route. I do believe that this choice isn't out of being concerned his character will be marketing the film to the wrong audience, otherwise why do The Expendables role? I think this is more a public move to allow him to privately distance himself from the film without saying he doesn't want his likeness associated with the film. Something similar to the tactical retreat that James Cameron has made on the subject.