Terminator Movies

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Terminator Origin

Some aspects of the story were sufficiently similar to two episodes of the TV series The Outer Limits — both episodes written by Harlan Ellison — that Ellison pursued legal action against Cameron. Cameron settled out of court and acknowledged Ellison's work in the film's credits. However, some time later, the credits were mysteriously taken out (rumored to have been removed by Cameron himself) . Another lawsuit was filed until the credit was reinserted.
The episodes in question were called "Soldier" (which involves a specially-trained man accidentally sent back in time) and "Demon with a Glass Hand" (concerning a time traveler who suffers memory loss and relies on a computer chip implanted in his artificial hand to give him information about his mission while assassins sent from the future attempt to kill him). There is also some similarity between the concept of Skynet and the evil intelligence featured in Ellison's short story, "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream".
Despite settling out of court, Cameron still maintains to this day that the Terminator was his original concept. He claims that the concept of the Terminator came to him in a dream; furthermore, he states that in his original vision, the Terminator was a small, unremarkable man (as opposed to the large, muscular appearance of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger). This would allow the Terminator even greater ability to conceal itself among the human population. Only when Schwarzenegger, who had originally auditioned for the role of Reese, was cast as the Terminator instead did this concept begin to change.
The story also bears strong resemblance to two short stories by Philip K. Dick: "Second Variety" (1953) and "Jon's World" (1954). These stories feature a post-apocalyptic world where robots (originally designed to fight on behalf of one human faction against another) develop newer models which disguise themselves as humans to infiltrate human bunkers belonging to both factions.
Another potential inspiration is the well-regarded 1962 French film, La Jetée, a short black and white film by director Chris Marker. Told entirely in still images and narration, the film concerns a man in an underground post-nuclear future sent back into the pre-apocalyptic past to obtain resources necessary to continue humanity. The man is selected for his mission because his fixation on a memory from that period, in which he sees a beautiful woman and a man dying. The film concludes, as The Terminator does, with a predestination paradox; while in the past, the man falls in love with a woman who bears a striking resemblance to the woman in his memory, and then fulfills his own destiny by becoming the very man he witnessed dying, thus enabling him to travel back into the past. That story was later adapted by Terry Gilliam in his film, 12 Monkeys.
A similar plot of a killer machine (A. Balcers) sent back in time to change history was seen in a fairly obscure film from 1966 entitled Cyborg 2087
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