James Cameron Asteroid Mining Company
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Inspired by John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) and other science fiction work, in 1982 Cameron wrote the script for The Terminator (1984), which is a thriller about a cyborg sent from the future to carry out a lethal mission. Cameron wanted to sell the script so that he could direct the movie. Whilst some film studios expressed interest in the project, many executives were unwilling to let a new and unfamiliar director make the movie. Gale Anne Hurd, a colleague and founder of Pacific Western Productions, to whom Cameron was married from 1984–89, agreed to buy Cameron's script for one dollar, on the condition that Cameron direct the film. He convinced the president of Hemdale Pictures to make the film, with Cameron as director and Hurd as a producer. Lance Henriksen, who starred in Piranha II: The Spawning, was considered for the lead role, but Cameron decided that Arnold Schwarzenegger was more suitable as the cyborg villain due to his bodybuilder appearance. Henriksen was given a smaller role instead. Michael Biehn and Cameron's future wife, Linda Hamilton also joined the cast. The Terminator was a box office success, exceeding expectations set by Orion Pictures. The film proved popular with audiences and earned over $78 million worldwide. George Perry of the BBC praised Cameron's direction, writing "Cameron laces the action with ironic jokes, but never lets up on hinting that the terror may strike at any moment". In 2008, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".