- 13 May 2009
- By John Howell
The deadly robots are back, with the fourth Terminator movie, Terminator Salvation, due for release on May 21. The post-apocalyptic science fiction epic, starring Christian Bale and Sam Worthington, focuses on the war between humanity and Skynet. Judgement Day has come and gone and the Terminators have taken over the Earth. Bale plays John Connor and Australian actor Sam Worthington is Marcus Wright, a cyborg who believes he is human. Sam Worthington also stars in James Cameron’s upcoming 3D science fiction epic Avatar.
A very revealing (maybe too revealing!) 4 minute trailer has been released and director McG is already talking about a sequel, Terminator 5.
"I strongly suspect the next movie is going to take place in a [pre-Judgment Day] 2011," McG told Film Journal. "John Connor is going to travel back in time and he's going to have to galvanize the militaries of the world for an impending Skynet invasion. They've figured out time travel to the degree where they can send more than one naked entity. So you're going to have hunter killers and transports and harvesters and everything arriving in our time and Connor fighting back with conventional military warfare, which I think is going to be fucking awesome. I also think he's going to meet a scientist that's going to look a lot like present-day Robert Patrick [who played the T-1000 in Terminator 2], talking about stem-cell research and how we can all live as idealized, younger versions of ourselves."
In the same article, McG said that he intended to be respectful to James Cameron, the director of the first two Terminator movies when making Terminator Salvation. McG reveals that James Cameron had told him he had “finished telling the story at the end of the second film”.
“So I brought it to him that the story was still worth exploring because [Terminator Salvation] was about the future war between the machines and humanity,” McG reported.
Apparently Cameron wished McG well but added that he reserved the right not to like it. McG replied that he reserved the right not to like Cameron’s new film Avatar.
It won’t be long before we find out if McG can restart the Terminator franchise just as brilliantly as J.J. Abrams’ new Star Trek movie did. The special effects look great, but they’ve never been a clear indicator of a quality movie. Let’s hope they remember that the story is the important part, not the pyrotechnics.
Sci-Fi Wire reports that at a recent press conference, Christian Bale revealed that he felt the fourth film needed to be a complete reinvention of the franchise. McG convinced him it would cover new territory by telling a story of the future war.
"The idea of doing another one didn't seem to be smart to me, but in the same way, it seemed that way with the initial idea of reviving the Batman movies," said Bale. "There's no other similarity between the [Terminator and Batman] movies, because I really don't mean to compare. I don't like to compare, and even though they're very different sensibilities, I came to believe that there were some potentially good stories".
Apparently Bale wasn't originally going to play John Connor at all, according to io9. At a recent Terminator Salvation press round table, they reported that Bale was originally asked to play the the role of Marcus (now being played by Sam Worthington). "What can you do when Christian Bale tells you he wants to play John Connor not Marcus?", said director McG.
"Film-making is about being able to adapt and doing what's right," he said. "You never stop working on the script, and you never stop working on the film. My style is the style of doing a great deal of listening... I did a great deal of listening to amend the picture to what it is today. It's an ongoing process".
You can watch the extensive 4 minute Terminator Salvation trailer below on YouTube or using the link to a high resolution version on Apple’s website. Be warned though, the trailer directly and indirectly reveals a lot, so don’t watch it if you want to go into the cinema with a fresh pair of eyes.
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