When James Cameron wrote the Terminator script – his first feature length screenplay – he was living in his.
“Cameron wanted to direct, and he knew that this screenplay was his best ticket. Of course, his stipulation to direct the film was also the biggest burden to sell to producers. The production companies he met with liked his script, but none of them were too keen on handing the camera over to someone with so little real experience. In the end, he sold his script to producer Gale Anne Hurd for one dollar – but the director’s chair was his.”
“In 1983, pre-production and casting began. Cameron needed to find the right man to play his infiltrator. He initially wanted Lance Henriksen, who worked with Cameron in Piranha II, to play an “everyman” Terminator that could blend in with the crowd. O. J. Simpson was considered briefly, but producers felt he seemed too nice to play a killer. It wasn’t until Arnold Schwarzenegger auditioned for the role of Kyle Reese that they found their unstoppable machine.”
“The Austrian bodybuilder’s appearance was intimidating to say the least. His two previous starring roles, Conan the Barbarian and Hercules in New York, cast him as the strong, silent hulk, and the vision made sense for the quiet, physically demanding role. Arnold may not have been a well-developed actor at that point, but his screen presence couldn’t be denied. Arnold’s attachment to the Conan series delayed the production of Terminator until 1984, but the boost to his star power made it worth the wait.”[SOURCE](http://www.ign.com/articles/2009/05/20/ign-presents-the-history-of-terminator)