Showing twists and spoilers in marketing is often a controversial subject. This may make it surprising to hear that Terminator 2: Judgement Day director James Cameron was the one who decided to prominently feature that movie’s twist in the marketing.
In an interview, Cameron cleared the air about revealing that the Terminator was a good guy in the beloved sequel’s marketing.
“All of us have had our battles with the Suits, but the case you mention was not a battle,” Cameron told Empire. “The Carolco guys, Mario Kassar and Andy Vajna, were good partners with me on T2, and I led the charge on marketing, including showing Arnold as the good guy. It wasn’t a Sixth Sense kind of twist that’s revealed only at the end of the film. He’s revealed as the Protector at the end of Act One.”
Cameron gave his reasons for showing this, stating that he believes you should show off the best parts of your project when trying to sell viewers on it.
“And I always feel you lead with your strongest story element in selling a movie,” Cameron said. “I believed our potential audience would be more attracted to seeing how the most badass killing machine could become a hero than they would be to just another kill-fest in the same vein as the first film. Sequels have to strike a delicate balance between honoring the most loved elements from the first film, but also promising to really shake things up and turn them upside down. Our marketing campaign for T2 was exactly that promise, and it worked.”
Cameron’s latest film is Avatar: The Way of Water, which he wrote and directed. The Avatar sequel features the return of Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Joel David Moore, Dileep Rao, Stephen Lang, Matt Gerald, and Sigourney Weaver.
Three additional films are planned, with Avatar 3 tentatively scheduled for December 20, 2024, Avatar 4 set for December 18, 2026, and Avatar 5 on December 22, 2028.