McG was in attendance at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con for Terminator Salvation and he brought Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Bryce Dallas Howard, Common, and Moon Bloodgood with him. Christian Bale, who plays the adult John Conner in the upcoming film, obviously has some other things going on at the moment with this little film he’s in this summer, so he was in Japan promoting that.
I have to say, this was certainly the most informative group I’ve heard from the Con. They definitely buckled down and offered a lot of good, solid answers to good questions. Some were funny, but for the most part, we learned a lot, like McG has the go-ahead from the studio to make this movie rated R (see SDCC 08: McG Gets Blessing For R Rating For ‘Terminator Salvation’).
McG started off by sharing that this all started off by listening to the fans and they wanted to see the future of the Terminator world. They weren’t excited about making Terminator 4, but they were excited about re-inventing the franchise. He even told people that he spoke to a few gentlemen about the project whom you may have heard of, like James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the late, great Stan Winston whose studio did the designs, as it should be.
McG went on to explain that it’s a war movie of sorts; it takes place in the year 2018 at the “brink” that Kyle Reese talked about in the first movie; Arnie’s T-800 model was from the year 2029, so none of that is going on yet. Skynet is still researching and developing the things we know, like the T-800 and the T-1000… we see Skynet’s “becoming” as it was put.
Sam Worthington was asked what it was like working with Christian Bale, to which he responded:
Intense. Christian’s a very passionate and dedicated actor. If you’re going to go toe-to-toe with him, you better have your fucking game on. You’re going toe-to-toe with fucking Batman! I love him and hopefully we’re making a very gritty and real Terminator. It’s not for pansies — we want a movie that kicks you in the balls.
Well spoken, sir.
McG ran down some of the new machines we’re going to get. Some names he dropped were Harvesters (the claw that grabbed some dude in the teaser), Transports, Aerostats, and Hydrobots and these machines are:
Greasy, grimy, brutal, Soviet tank-looking design language that you saw Giler and Jim Cameron and Ridley Scott do so well in the Alien pictures. And ours is not a clean, comfortable future — it’s a very, very difficult future filled with direst. You see giant machines stomping through these landscapes and harvesting people for their nefarious purposes.
Anton Yelchin was asked who the Kyle Reese — John Conner’s father — is that we meet here in relation to Michael Biehn’s character from the first film.
Well… Michael Biehn in Terminator 1 is… y’know, fucking awesome, right? So the whole goal is to preserve that and see how he became that awesome. Basically, see how he got to that point where Linda Hamilton would sleep with him. No, basically, for me, I looked a lot at T1 and broke it down and saw who this guy was and see where that came from and why he is who he is. So I think who you see in this film is the development of this guy who becomes the hero everyone knows and starting off seeing he has the same aspects as a young man; he was still down to fight for what he thought was right, he would still protect the people around him, he would still fight for the human race despite the fact that environment he was growing up in was so hellish. But what you see in this hellish environment is a guy with such pure spirit despite whatever pain he’s feeling is so desirous of becoming someone that can protect those around him and can fulfill his own personal belief and his own role of helping fight Skynet.
No word on whether Schwarzenegger will have a role or not. If you recall recently we covered a story that an Arnold look-alike was going to handle the duties for this movie, but also don’t forget that Arnold said he would be open to returning if they filmed in California. We know they’re filming in New Mexico at the moment, but still, if there was ANY way of getting Schwarzenegger for it, you have to do it, no questions asked. So we’ll see how that plays out.
No, no there won’t be any connections to the TV show — thank the gods for that.
Apparently the end of the movie will be a big cliffhanger. You’ve been warned. Has there ever been that insufferable “To Be Continued!” at the end of an actual movie? As we know, Christian Bale is signed on for a trilogy of movies, so this is just the first new chapter. Hopefully this cliffhanger isn’t so gaping that we leave knowing nothing, but a something to look forward to when the next film comes out is always fun. That will be a long time, though; I don’t think they’re filming these movies simultaneously.
Below is a look at the poster that was on display for the panel, as well as the description of the trailer shown at SDCC.
John Connor (Bale) is the sole survivor at a crash site. Radio message comes in asking if there’s any survivors, John responds, “One” then he walks off. Marcus Wright (Worthington) is strung up and John says to him “If I let you down you’ll kill everyone in this room” and Marcus replies “Not everyone, just you Conner, I didn’t even know your name until to days ago.” Explosions, gunfire, tanks crushing over skulls; Marcus and the young Kyle Reese (Yelchin) run from spraying bullets; Kyle tells Marcus, “Come with me if you want to live.” When they get near safety, Marcus asks what day and what year it is and what happened here? Kyle says its 2018. Judgment Day happened.” Flash to T-600 Terminator model, more skulls being crushed, bullets spraying, explosions; motorcyle riding, and Moon Bloodgood’s character. John says, “This is not the future my mother told me about” and then we see John all muddy up in the rain with arms in the air. “Something has changed,” John says. A voice says to John “You saved us once in another future, you can save us in this one.” Flash to Common’s character and then to John in resistance uniform. Kyle asks “Who are you?” and John replies, “I’m John Conner.” John speaking to Marcus, “You tried killing my mother, you killed my father; you will NOT kill me.” Flash of Bryce Dallas Howard as John’s wife Kate in a slow-mo scream “JOHN!” Between fast action shots, the words “THE” “END” “BEGINS” come on the screen. John battles one of the Terminator Harvester models and yells at it “You son of bitch” and then we see John on the ground with the Harvester’s metal claw on his face and he’s screaming out in pain.