To kill or not to kill.
Arnold originally met with the team behind The Terminator about the role of Kyle Reese. Arnold was looking for heroic leading man roles, not villainous killing machines, but James Cameron coaxed him into playing the T-800 by assuring him that The Terminator would be such a cool character, audiences would root for him. In a fun twist of fate, by the time the sequel rolled around, Arnold had the opposite concern: he was afraid that audiences might reject a Terminator who doesn't kill. This is where the idea that John Connor had to order him not to kill originated.
T2 used ideas that had been scrapped from the original.
The first Terminator movie was at one point going to feature an evil Terminator and a good Terminator duking it out, both of them played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, the original movie's budget didn't allow for the kind of special effects trickery that would have been necessary to convincingly pull that off. There also wasn't enough to realize another of Cameron's earlier concepts: the idea of liquid metal.
Billy Idol was the first choice for the T-1000.
In a 2017 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Robert Patrick revealed that he actually saw rock star Billy Idol's image when he first went to Stan Winston's studio. Apparently, Billy Idol was all set to play the new Terminator, but was sidelined by a 1990 motorcycle accident, which messed up his leg. In Billy's 1990 video for "L.A. Woman," the punk legend that once fronted Generation X walks with a cane. "L.A. Woman" is a cover of the classic song by The Doors. The injury didn't prevent Idol from playing Jim Morrison's injured drinking buddy, Cat, in The Doors movie.
'Hey man, nice shot.'
Speaking of rock n' roll, Patrick also told the The Hollywood Reporter that his agent sold him to the production as Idol's replacement by describing him as a mix of James Dean and David Bowie. He made sure to have an intense presence for the casting director, giving her that now well known T-1000 stare. Robert Patrick, who went on to star in later episodes of The X-Files, is the older brother of Richard Patrick, frontman for Filter, whose hits include "Take a Picture" and "Hey Man, Nice Shot."
The lengths the T2 team went to come up with sound effects for Arnold's liquid metal adversary were experimental even by hard rock standards. The sound of the T-1000 transforming, for example, was a recording of dog food coming out of a can. Another sound effect was reportedly achieved by wrapping a microphone in a latex condom and then sinking it into a mixture of water and flour brought to a boil.
'Digital willy removal.'
In behind the scenes photos, Arnold can be seen wearing shorts in those now iconic barroom scenes where the T-800 struts around just as Skynet made him. Richard Patrick, however, was definitely naked in Terminator 2. The groundbreaking effects team had to digitally remove his man parts, 'though his nether regions could still be glimpsed in later home video releases. In the director's commentary, Cameron jokes that he'd like to get a refund for the poorly executed "digital willy removal."
Literal Guns N' Roses.
There's a great Guns N' Roses joke in Terminator 2, when Arnold pulls a literal gun from a literal box of roses. Elsewhere in the film, one of John Connor's pals is wearing an L.A. Guns shirt. Fans of the Hollywood Sunset Strip scene know that Guns N' Roses was originally a combination of sorts of L.A. Guns and Hollywood Rose, two earlier bands that featured guitarist Tracii Guns and singer Axl Rose, respectively. T2 helped launch another long awaited sequel, namely the Use Your Illusion albums that followed Guns N' Roses diamond selling debut, Appetite for Destruction. Arnold even appeared in the T2 themed video for "You Could Be Mine."
T2 features 2 Sarah Connors.
Linda Hamilton's twin sister, Leslie, makes an appearance in Judgment Day during the brief scene where the T-1000 takes on Sarah Connor's form. There's an even longer scene, deleted from the theatrical cut, where Sarah works to reboot the T-800's brain, and Linda's twin sister appeared in a cool mirror image. During a Q&A at a 2015 screening of Terminator: Genisys, Arnold revealed that the scene was actually one of his favorites and he was upset to see it deleted. Funnily enough, it was Arnold who had told Cameron the first cut screened for fans was too long.
John Connor never carries a gun.
Despite the heavy heat packed by an adult John Connor in Terminator: Salvation, the movie that gave us the fantastic Christian Bale outburst audio parodied so brilliantly by Family Guy, teenaged John Connor never fires a gun in Terminator 2. A father of four, including a daughter with ex-wife Linda Hamilton, Cameron felt it irresponsible to portray children with firearms, even in a sci-fi fantasy type of film.
Terminator 2 almost had a happier ending.
"The unknown future rolls toward us," Sarah Connor says at the end of T2. But originally, the movie's ending was going to flash forward to the year 2027. The deleted alternate ending saw an adult John Connor as a U.S. Senator and Hamilton a grandmother, complete with old age makeup, grateful for each day since the Judgment Day they'd averted. "August 29, 1997, came and went," Sarah tells us in an extended voiceover narration. "Nothing much happened. Michael Jackson turned 40." The narration continues for much longer than in the theatrical cut, 'though it ends in a similar way. "The luxury of hope was given to me by The Terminator. Because if a machine can learn the value of human life, maybe we can, too."