T2 3-D: Battle Across Time is an attraction at Universal Studios theme parks in Orlando, Hollywood and Japan. It is a mini-sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and reunites director James Cameron and the main cast of that movie, including Arnold Schwarzenegger as "T-800", Linda Hamilton as "Sarah Connor", Edward Furlong as "John Connor", and Robert Patrick as the "T-1000". The show is in two parts: a pre-show where a spokesperson talks about Cyberdyne and the main feature which has performers interacting with a 3-D movie.
A documentary was included on the DVD release of Terminator 2 featuring scenes from the film, construction of the sets, and the behind-the-scenes footage of the filming.
Movieland Studios in Italy has a similar attraction called "Terminator 2 Live".
The queue has dozens of TV sets (like most rides at Universal Studios) showing innovations, products and special segments such as the Cyberdyne Radio Station (also known as CDYN). CDYN plays two songs from the movie, "Bad to the Bone" and "Guitars, Cadillacs", as well as a "live" video (via Satellite) from Costa Rica of a performance of "La Bamba."
The pre-show is hosted in the "Miles Bennett Dyson Memorial Auditorium" by Kimberly Duncan (portrayed only by a park employee, with no pre-recorded actor), Cyberdyne Systems' Director of Community Relations and Media Control. She welcomes the guests while extolling the virtues of Cyberdyne. The showing of a promotional film (which includes several references to the Terminator universe and a cameo by Shaquille O'Neal) is interrupted by a message from Sarah and John Connor with a different point of view, especially on Cyberdyne Systems itself and Skynet. Order is restored a few minutes later, and guests are ushered into a theater to see a demonstration of Cyberdyne's newest creation, robotic soldiers called T-70s, or as Cyberdyne affectionately calls them: Terminators.
Guests put on their "safety visors" (actually polarized glasses needed for the 3-D film effects) and watch a demonstration of the Terminators, which is interrupted by the appearance of the T-1000 in pursuit of Sarah and John, who are on the premises in an attempt to disrupt the proceedings. Kimberly Duncan tries to stop the T-1000 but it strangles her to death. A T-800 shows up and rides with John into the movie screen through a time portal, preventing the T-1000 from killing John. The rest of the show (except the conclusion) takes place onscreen with John and the Terminator in the future, where they must destroy Skynet. Before they reach Skynet, they are chased by a Hunter-Killer which deploys miniature Hunter-Killers to kill the T-800 and John. Ultimately, the Hunter-Killers fail and John and the T-800 find their way into Skynet where they battle the "T-1 million", a gargantuan liquid metal spider-like Terminator built with the T-1000's technology. After defeating the T-1 million they manage to destroy Skynet. The line between the 3D film and the live performance stunt show is blurred thanks to the skillful use of environmental effects like smoke and lighting and the film presentation itself, which starts on one wide screen but later expands to three. Guests in the front rows have screens filling almost their entire field of view.
|Arnold Schwarzenegger||The Terminator|
|Linda Hamilton||Sarah Connor|
|Edward Furlong||John Connor|
|Jim Cummings||Cyberdyne Video Narrator (uncredited)|
|Mark Kriski||Cyberdyne Video Host (uncredited)|
An initial mock-up and motion picture projection effects were developed by Digital Domain in a Playa Vista airplane hangar built by Howard Hughes. The actual full scale mockup duplicating the dimensions of the planned Florida venue was created in another airplane hanger, this time at the Van Nuys Airport in the San Fernando Valley. The unique 3-D film format of the full scale mock-up utilized six, solid-state Electrosonic projectors that were electronically interlocked to run 70mm film synchronously, at the high speed of 30 frames per second. The image was projected onto a triptych of adjoined silver screens. The effect of the six projectors running simultaneously was to produce one, contiguous, 3-D image across the three screens, accomplishing a wrap-around effect reminiscent of Cinerama. The purpose was to check the 3D in a real-world environment and to use this arena to rehearse the live action stunts portion of the venue.
- "This 12-minute short featuring much of the cast and crew of Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) cost $60 million to produce ($24 million for the film, $36 million for the venue), making it the most expensive venture per minute in movie history."