Arnold Schwarzenegger says the threat of artificial intelligence in ‘Terminator 2’ ‘has become a reality’: ‘Today everyone is afraid of it’

Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"  during an event in Los Angeles, California on June 28, 2023.

Arnold Schwarzenegger discusses ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’ at an event in Los Angeles, California on June 28, 2023.Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Paramount Pictures, CBS via Getty Images

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger says the plot of his 1991 film, ‘Terminator 2,’ “has come true.”

  • In the franchise, the machines plot to overthrow humanity in the year 2029.

  • During a sold-out event in Los Angeles, Schwarzenegger praised James Cameron’s “brilliant writing”.

Arnold Schwarzenegger says the futuristic plot of his 1991 hit “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” doesn’t seem so far-fetched anymore.

“At the time, we scratched the surface of artificial intelligence, artificial intelligence. Think about it,” Schwarzenegger told a sold-out audience Wednesday night at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles before a screening of James Cameron’s blockbuster in which the artificial intelligence becomes sentient and plots to eradicate humanity in the not too distant future.

“Today, everyone is scared of where it is going to go,” Schwarzenegger continued, briefly commenting on the current AI discourse as companies consider how, if at all, to use AI.

Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks onstage during An Evening with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on June 28, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks onstage during An Evening with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on June 28, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

“In this movie, in ‘Terminator,’ we’re talking about the machines becoming self-aware and taking over,” Schwarzenegger said of the franchise, praising Cameron’s foresight and “brilliant writing.”

“Now, after all those decades, it’s come true. It’s no longer fantasy or futuristic. It’s here today. And so this is Jim Cameron’s amazing writing,” he said.

When a special 3D screening for “Judgment Day” kicked off later that evening and the words “Los Angeles 2029 AD” appeared on the screen, the crowd in the David Geffen Theater erupted in nervous laughter.

Opening shot of Terminator 2

The opening scene of “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” takes place in 2029.Images of primary importance

The sequel to the 1984 film casts Schwarzenegger not as an assassin, but as a protector of future resistance leader John Connor (Edward Furlong). Another more advanced terminator, the T-1000, played by Robert Patrick, is sent back in time to kill John and ensure victory for the machines.

During the nearly hour-long conversation while promoting his upcoming limited-edition photo book, “Arnold,” Schwarzenegger said the idea initially concerned him.

“At first I was suspicious,” Schwarzenegger said of becoming a lead. “I said, ‘What do you mean a good terminator? I was killing 68 people in the first one. I said, ‘In the second one, I have to kill 150.'”

“I said I had to get over Stallone,” Schwarzenegger jokingly said of his former box office rivalry with Sylvester Stallone. The two “loathed each other immensely” before becoming good friends in their later years.

The film

The film “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”, (alt: T2) directed by James Cameron. Seen here from left, Arnold Schwarzenegger (as T-800 Terminator), Edward Furlong (as John Connor) and Linda Hamilton (as Sarah Connor).Paramount Pictures, CBS via Getty Images

“I said, remember my whole mission is I have to be No. 1 at killing the amount of people,” Schwarzenegger said, before Cameron brought him in. ‘”

Schwarzenegger later learned that he wasn’t just going to play the good guy.

Unlike the first film, Schwarzenegger’s character surprisingly doesn’t kill anyone in “Judgment Day,” something he also objected to when Cameron pitched the sequel idea to him.

“He says, ‘I’m going to make sure that in ‘Terminator 2’ you don’t kill a single person. I said, ‘Well, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” Schwarzenegger said of his reaction to Cameron’s tone. “I said, how can we do ‘Terminator 2’ without me killing anyone?”

Cameron explained that his mission in the sequel was different. They couldn’t make the same movie twice.

The film

In this scene, Schwarzenegger’s terminator makes sure that he only shoots police cars instead of shooting police officers.Paramount Pictures, CBS via Getty Images

In “Judgment Day,” Schwarzenegger’s Terminator vows not to kill innocent people, and if you look closely, his character takes it upon himself to knock out or shoot anyone other than the T-1000 non-lethally.

It became Schwarzenegger’s highest-grossing film, earning $520 million worldwide.

“It’s Jim Cameron’s brilliance,” Schwarzenegger said. “He’s such an amazing writer and he’s such an incredible director. That’s one of those things that I wish I could take credit for on this movie. I can only take credit for the character I played and the way I played him. “.

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