Personal project – illustrating the Fourth Draft of the ” T E R M I N A T O R ”
The initial screenplay draft, written sometime in 1983 by James Cameron, went through a few minor rewrites. The original idea for the titular robotic killer was to cast someone of average physique, anonymous face in the crowd who could blend in, hence the ‘infiltrator’ aspect mentioned in the film. The characterization was left up to the actor.
According to a number of documentaries and interviews, Lance Henriksen was cast in the role initially. Cast and crew anecdotes relay that he spooked quite a few people with his antics while getting into character, such as climbing around the building fire escapes in Venice Beach, and staring wordlessly at the onlookers. Henriksen envisioned the Terminator behaving akin to a praying mantis, silently stalking with an unnerving eerie presence and insect-like patience. Ultimately it would have been a portrayal with less raw brawn and more creep factor – until he would get up after being shot, shrug off being stabbed, and casually overpower bigger men who look like they should be the ones doing the damage. Sounds pretty groovy, doesn’t it?
Here I attempt to travel back in time so to speak, and conjure up some imagery of what that film may have looked like.
The draft in its entirety can be found here:
EXT. SCHOOLYARD - NIGHT Silence. Gradually the sound of distant traffic becomes audible. A LOW ANGLE bounded on one side by a chain-link fence and on the other by the one-story public school buildings. Spray-can hieroglyphics and distant streetlight shadows. This is a Los Angeles public school in a blue collar neighborhood.
Project is in progress, stay tuned for more!
Below are various designs, logos, poster and book cover mockups – click on the images to view fullsize: