James Cameron? Sure, he was the kid who had just turned Conan into a cyborg with 1984’s The Terminator. But could Hollywood entrust the whippersnapper with one of the most anticipated follow-ups in sci- history? Sigourney Weaver was won over by the director’s passion for making the mother of all monster movies; embedded in his futuristic war lm’s DNA was also an antimilitary critique and a strongly feminist statement about self-suf ciency. A tense shoot and lastminute editing didn’t help buzz but Cameron was already setting the template for all of his subsequent risks, double down on your own con dence and let doubters look foolish.