The Hollywood Star Who Blocked Nine Inch Nails From Being in The 90s’ Biggest Action Movie

DmitryRogozhin, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons Nine Inch Nails from Los Angeles, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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“Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” released in 1991 and directed by James Cameron, is hailed as one of the greatest sequels ever made and a pinnacle of science fiction cinema. Because it is, damn it!

A follow-up to the great but not as amazing “The Terminator,” this sequel elevated the story to new heights, blending intense action with profound themes of destiny, humanity, and technology.

The film of course saw the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but with a twist: his Terminator character, once the antagonist, is reprogrammed to protect young John Connor (Edward Furlong) from an advanced, shape-shifting T-1000 Terminator, portrayed chillingly by Robert Patrick.

Cameron’s groundbreaking use of CGI, especially with the T-1000’s liquid metal effects, set new standards for visual effects in cinema, and having just recently re-watched it, still holds up shockingly well by today’s technology standards.

Not just a thrilling action movie; it’s also a thoughtful meditation on the potential consequences of unchecked technological advancements (cough, AI, cough).

One of the songs most associated with the movie, and a big hit in its own right, was the track “You Could Be Mine” by Guns N’ Roses.

The song was used in a key scene in the movie and was used in all of the TV promo commercials, which at the time, was a massive promotional lever because this was pre-internet days.

The film’s immense success played a pivotal role in propelling Guns N’ Roses’ fourth studio album, “Use Your Illusion II,” to staggering heights. The album sold an impressive 770,000 copies in its initial week and clinched the number 1 spot on the U.S. album charts, just two months following the theater debut of “Terminator 2.”

How Nine Inch Nails Was Almost in Terminator 2

Interestingly enough, industrial rockers Nine Inch Nails had a brief shot at the movie’s title track, but it was Schwarzenegger’s personal affinity for Guns N’ Roses that got them the big gig instead. Terminator 2 actor Robert Patrick actually tried to get James Cameron to use Nine Inch Nails because his younger brother Richard Patrick of Filter fame, at the time, was in Nine Inch Nails.

As Patrick recalled to The Guardian: “When I was making Terminator 2, I used to work out to Head Like a Hole by Nine Inch Nails, because my younger brother, Richard Patrick, was a touring guitarist for them. I took it to Jim Cameron and tried to get him to use it for the soundtrack to Terminator 2, but he said:

No. Arnold prefers Guns N’ Roses,’ who went on to record You Could Be Mine, an original song for Terminator 2. It’s ironic because Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails has won a couple of Oscars for his soundtracks now.”

So there you have it, folks. Trent Reznor was cockblocked by The Governator himself. At the end of the day, though, we don’t think Trent is losing sleep over it. He’s done just fine on his own in the decades T2.