At $4.5 million Maggie, the upcoming Arnold Schwarzenegger film, is probably the lowest-budget movie the former bodybuilder has made since he was a current bodybuilder. The low budget means that sets, locations and costume changes were kept to a minimum ... as were the special effects. And it seems that Schwartzenegger loves special effects -- with one caveat.
Schwarzenegger told IndieWire, " I think visual effects are great, but ... you have to get back down to acting and developing the characters." For the Governator, special effects are secondary to character, and in many action movies, characterization is secondary to effects. And character development may suffer because of it. Schwarzenegger said, "I've seen it myself firsthand on action movies, how directors and producers don't pay as much attention to the development of the characters because they focus so much on the big stuff."
But he also knows that good effects can help tell a story: "There's one scene [in Terminator: Genisys] where he grabs me and throws me up against the wall, 15 feet up, to show the power these machines have. So it's a different type of fight scene. The only way that's possible is with visual effects. So it shouldn't take anything away. If you use it wisely, I think it's great."
In fact, special effects could have improved the 1982 classic Conan the Barbarian. Schwarzenegger related:
"Oliver Stone wrote a scene with the Tree of Woe. We had to take that scene out because that scene alone cost $20 million. His script was budgeted at $78 million — in 1980! Only because it was impossible to be done in those days as a visual effects. Today you can do it just like that. You can create a scene that is so spectacular, to show what this tree does, why everyone is so frightened of it that they couldn't get through. It was a really well-written scene, but you couldn't shoot it in those days."
And the one director who uses special effects and doesn't skimp on character? According to Ahnold, that would be James Cameron.
What do you think? Are you interested in a low-budget Arnold effort in Maggie?