The makers of one science fiction blockbuster movie apparently wanted to distance themselves even further from reality.
A character in "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" had his name changed from Scott Peterson.
Peterson is the Modesto man charged with murdering his wife and unborn son who could face the death penalty if convicted.
The character's name was changed to Scott Mason in the film, although the credits, the official Web site and several fan sites still list him as Peterson.
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Another similarity is that the character is engaged to a woman who is kidnapped. Scott Peterson's wife, Laci, was reported missing Christmas Eve.
"T3" representatives were promoting the film in Europe and could not be reached for comment.
The Internet Movie Database -- www.imdb.com -- offers this explanation for the name change: "Due to the name's similarity to Scott Peterson (a California man accused of murdering his pregnant wife and their unborn child in late 2002 while out fishing), and the plot of his fiancée's kidnapping, the character's name was changed."
In the movie, Scott Mason (Mark Famiglietti) is engaged to Kate Brewster, played by Claire Danes.
The mission of the Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is to protect Brewster, so he kidnaps her from the veterinary office in which she works.
Two police officers visit Mason to tell him that his fiancée is missing.
But the Mason the officers meet is actually the evil "terminatrix" (Kristanna Loken), who has the ability to turn herself into other people.
She kills the officers after finding out where Brewster is.
In an interview on a British Web site, actor Famiglietti said he finished shooting the film in late August, four months before Laci Peterson was reported missing.
Bee staff writer Jen Cooper can be reached at 578-2330 or email@example.com.