Lance Henriksen and Billy Idol were almost given Terminator roles in James Cameron’s first two films. We get this humorous history lesson from our friends at MTV:
“They were thinking of Lance Henriksen for the Terminator, and they wanted Arnold for the Michael Biehn part of Kyle Reese,” revealed “Terminator” stunt coordinator Joel Kramer. “And Robert Patrick wasn’t James Cameron’s first pick – Billy Idol was.”
Back when Cameron was figuring out what he wanted for the first “Terminator” sequel, Kramer walked into his office to look at the storyboards. “I was like, ‘Jim, these storyboards look just like Billy Idol!’” Kramer recalled. “And he was like, ‘Yeah, he was my first pick.’ But Billy had gotten into a motorcycle accident and broke his leg, so it didn’t work out, because he would have to be in lean running shape.”
Lance Henriksen has a very intimidating look about him, and I certainly think he would have made an excellent Terminator. I am glad Arnold got the job, but Lance would have been acceptable.
Billy Idol on the other hand…. makes me wonder what they were thinking. He’s a great rock performer, but why they would trust him for the role of T-1000 is beyond my understanding. Luckily, Billy broke his leg and Robert Patrick got the job. I really liked Patrick’s performance in T2 and stress to think of anyone that could fill his shoes in that one. It was a signature role for him, that is for sure.