This was the movie that almost didn't get made.
No major studios would touch it.
Gale Ann Hurd who previously worked at New World pictures as Roger Corman's assistant knew James Cameron from when he worked on Piranha II: The Spawning in 1981.
Cameron sold the rights for The Terminator to Hurd for one dollar with the promise that she would produce it only if Cameron was to direct it.
Hurd was instrumental in bringing in friends of Corman who were at Orion Pictures at the time:
they agreed to distribute the film if it ever got made.
As a result of this distribution deal, Hemdale Film Corporation, Pacific Western Production and Cinema '84 signed on to produce it with an original budget of $4 million which was later raised it to $6.5 million.
Schwarzenegger was not even the first choice to play the Terminator.
Cameron was casting for the role of Kyle Reese and at the same time he wanted either Sylvester Stallone or Mel Gibson for the role of the Terminator but both of them turned down the role.
O.J. Simpson (yes, that guy) was considered for the role of the Terminator but Cameron felt Simpson would not be believable as a killer (Oh, the irony! )
Orion co-founder Mike Medavoy suggested Schwarzenegger for the role of Kyle Reese but Cameron didn't want him.
https://margolapierre.com/movies/adventure/108-terminator-2-judgement-day-1991.html - Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
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The Terminator (1984) trailer
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