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THE RIDE STUFF
WHEN WE LAST SAW THE TERMINATOR, the steely-eyed cyborg played by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1991's sci-fi blockbuster Terminator 2: Judgment Day, he was reduced to a mass of molten metal, unable even to utter his ominous catchphrase, "I'll be back." But at last, Schwarzenegger is back, as are costars Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong and Robert Patrick, and director James Cameron, in a new film, Terminator 2 3D: Battle Across Time.
The catch: This sequel can be seen only at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando, where, since April 28, an estimated 100,000 visitors have donned 3-D glasses to ogle a 12-minute spectacle that took nearly three years—and more than $60 million—to make. In it, a rebuilt Terminator teams with Hamilton and Furlong to destroy their evil android foes, including Patrick and the new, hideously spiderlike T-1,000,000. The show features live-action doubles of Schwarzenegger and Furlong roaring across the stage on a Harley and into one of three 23-by-50-foot screens. But the neatest trick was getting the hotshot T2 stars to participate. "I told them that I thought it was a stepping stone to another film and a way to keep their characters alive in the public consciousness," says Cameron, who hopes to start writing T3 as soon as he completes Titanic (a disaster epic due out next summer).
For Schwarzenegger, who collected $1 million for 14 days of work, making the new Terminator was a refresher course on Cameron's exhausting perfectionism. "After the last movie, everyone walked away saying, 'Never again!' " Schwarzenegger recalled, chuckling, during the T2 3D shoot. "But the scars have healed, and now they're all saying, 'I love working with Cameron.' "
There is one big difference this time out. Mindful that Universal draws family audiences, Cameron (whose hyper-violent T2 got an R rating) downplayed the mayhem. For T2 3D, he explains, "I said, 'Let's not shoot Arnold's face Off.' "