Read Cameron's original, 17,000-word treatment for The Terminator

Contributed by
May 28, 2013

Ever wonder how a young James Cameron pitched what would become one of the biggest sci-fi films of all time, and launch Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career? Well, wonder no more: Here’s the 1982 pitch document for The Terminator.

Cameron’s original, 17,000-word screenplay treatment has surfaced online — giving a glimpse into the raw ideas and complicated world that would eventually spawn a half-dozen films and a critically acclaimed (albeit short-lived) television series.

The broad strokes are there, but it seems it wasn't until the script that Cameron gave the story some heart. The hard sci-fi stuff and action are fun, but the bare-bones treatment is missing that certain ... something.

Dated July 1982, the treatment shows which ideas were there from the beginning, and what Cameron came up with along the way. So check out the scanned PDF document and travel back in time for some classic sci-fi fun.

(Phenomenaut Aerospace via Cinephilia and Beyond)

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