12th May is an important day for Terminator Fans across the globe, as many of us attempt to do our best Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) impersonation and utter those immortal lines from one of the many iconic (and franchise-launching) scenes, in which a damaged and world-weary future war Resistance soldier, Kyle Reese (DN38416), arrives butt-slappingly naked back through time from a post-apocalyptic Earth to land in a Los Angeles alleyway in 1984, and (following some pants theft and a pursuit) demands the date from a confused cop.
“What day is it? The Date?”Kyle Reese
“12th… May… Thursday… “Cop in Alley
“WHAT YEAR?!”Kyle Reese
Fans of the franchise will also be keenly aware that the day that 12th May fell upon in 1984 wasn’t actually a Thursday at all.
It was a Saturday.
Okay, maybe the days got mixed up. Maybe nobody checked to make sure the dates matched correctly. Maybe that specific detail wasn’t at the top of James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd and William Wisher‘s to do list – given that The Terminator (1984) was a scrappily low budget, science fiction horror B-movie.
Or, maybe it was all down to Conan the Destroyer and Dino De Laurentiis; as the Italian-American movie producer applied an option in Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s contract which would keep the Austrian bodybuilder and actor busy for the next nine months whilst he worked on the Conan the Barbarian sequel – thus delaying the production of the first Terminator movie.
The Terminator writer and producer, Gale Anne Hurd, stated:
“Initially we were supposed to film in the summer of 1983 and we were going to film in Toronto, Canada. Unfortunately Dino De Laurentiis decided to pre-empt Arnold to star in the sequel to Conan the Barbarian.”Gale Anne Hurd
James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger previously spoke about the situation, stating:
“And Dino wouldn’t let you out to do Terminator first… “James Cameron
“Well, because he read the script, and he said to himself ‘wait a minute, they’re trying to steal my star away’, he knew it was a great script – he told me that,”Arnold Schwarzenegger
Which caused the movie’s production to move to the following year…
“We had to shift our shooting schedule to spring, March, 1984 in Los Angeles.”Gale Anne Hurd
Gale Anne Hurd explained why the production so willingly accommodated the interruption, she said:
“Arnold was so essential to making this film that everyone was willing, and quite happy, to put the film on hold until March. If it had been another cast person, who wasn’t as essential to the identity of the film; I don’t think we would have waited. ”Gale Anne Hurd
12th May 1983 was a Thursday. So if the movie had indeed started filming in summer 1983, and released at any point before 12th May the following year… then (had the story been set in 1983) that would have made the date correct.
What day is it? The Date? Well, not only is today 12th May (2022) but it’s also a Thursday!
Happy Terminator Day, Terminator Fans!
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