‘Terminator’ makes third comeback

LOS ANGELES – Following a 12-year absence, one of the silver screen’s most successful heroes is making a comeback – as promised. «I’ll be back,» the Terminator had said, and here he is with the third installment of the movie (local screenings kicked off last night). Taking over James Cameron who directed the first two films, Jonathan Mostow directed «Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.» With prior experience in thrillers and adventures (his film credits include «Breakdown» and «U-571»), Mostow found himself with Arnold Schwarzenegger (before the actor’s leap into the political arena), a highly profitable product and a huge budget of $170 million. «The film’s good or bad reception is my responsibility,» said Mostow to Kathimerini in a recent interview. What was the reason behind yet another «Terminator» movie? It’s quite simple. The public loves him. For years, there had been no promotion of the previous «Terminator» videos or DVDs. The rights were scattered around, since the original company had gone bankrupt. Yet the hero is still very popular. The demand for the third film was not fabricated by a studio; it came from the audience, after many years. Most sequels are based on films which do very well at the box office in the first three days of their release and the producers immediately set a date for shooting the next one, without actually having a script in their hands. This is not the case in this film. What was working with Schwarzenegger like? What can I say? Whatever my answer is you’re bound to say, «yeah, sure.» It was a dream-like collaboration. He is one of the most professional actors I have ever seen; incredibly dedicated, a star who adds to the film. Directors want to work with such actors. In most action movies, the best scene is usually a car chase. What about in «Terminator?» I can only talk about my movie. When I got the script, I saw that I had a good story, characters I cared about, that Arnold had some good and funny lines, as well as one good chase scene, as in the previous films. I was interested in having a sense of realism. Therefore, most of the scene was shot live, without any special effects and it was very expensive. How expensive? More than $20 million. There is nowhere on earth where we would have been allowed to shoot this kind of action scene. So we built an exclusive set for the film. More than anything in the film, I was satisfied that I could walk on my very own road. As we couldn’t build for more than 500 meters, we changed the buildings’ facades on a daily basis. A building that was a slaughter-house one day became a strip club the next. Everybody worked really hard in order to shoot the scenes in the most realistic, and safe, way. Why didn’t you want to use special effects? The «Terminator» has the same amount, if not more, special effects than any other action film this year. When it comes to all other films, my complaint is that the effects look digital, like photorealism. I had to insist so that ILM, the George Lucas company I collaborated with, came up with realistic effects. Did you hesitate at all before undertaking the third adventure of this successful series? No. I had always enjoyed the «Terminator» films, and the one I made was the one I wanted to see. The problem with sequels is that while they are aimed at a huge audience, they must also be appreciated by the fans of the previous films. God forbid if they find something they don’t like. The [web]sites will go on fire. I hope that «Terminator 3» will be enjoyed by the hard-core fans. The interview was translated from the Greek text.