Sting’s songs have appeared on so many movie soundtracks that he’s released several compilations of them. But it turns out one particular song by Sting ended up inspiring one of the biggest movies of all time: Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which marks its 30th anniversary on Saturday.
T2, released in 1991, features future human resistance leader John Connor as a teen, played by Edward Furlong, teaming up with Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s Model T-800 Terminator, who’s no longer the bad guy but has been sent back in time to save John from a more advanced T-1000 model. That machine has been sent to kill Connor before he becomes the leader he’s destined to be, and who will avert a nuclear holocaust in 1997 — aka Judgment Day.
So what the heck does this have to do with Sting? In a new article on The Ringer about the making of the film, director James Cameron reveals that he got the idea for a major plot point while tripping and listening to a Sting song.
“I remember sitting there once, high on [Ecstasy], writing notes for Terminator, and I was struck by Sting’s song, that ‘I hope the Russians love their children too,’” Cameron says, referring to Sting’s 1985 single, Russians. “And I thought, ‘You know what? The idea of a nuclear war is just so antithetical to life itself.’ That’s where the kid came from.”
“Russians,” from Sting’s first solo album The Dream of the Blue Turtles, was about the rising tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the ’80s, and the growing threat of nuclear war.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day was a massive critical and commercial success, grossing $520 million worldwide and winning several Oscars.
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