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When a pretty darn serious spoiler for Terminator: Salvation shocked our collective socks off last year, the web-head reaction was divided. Was it real? And, supposing it was, was it a good ending? Was this the kind of climax fans would want?

It soon started to look like the big twist finale of the film really had been unveiled and, therefore, a lot of whumph had been sucked out of McG‘s punch. Shame for him, I suppose. I don’t mind spoilers at all – in fact, I love them, really – but I do think they should always be very clearly labelled. I reckon that any film which depends on its plot to succeed probably isn’t a very good film in the first place – I mean, it certainly won’t stand up to a second viewing.

Now, Moviehole are reporting that this leak resulted in a radical overhaul of the movie and now the finished film has an entirely different third act. After the crease mark, we’ll have a look at Moviehole’s report and then, clearly labelled for the scaredy cats, I’ll repeat the original spoiler.

Moviehole report that that the new ending is “a complete 180 from the original” and that it “works better” and is “probably not as hard to swallow”. Sounds to me like Moviehole are, wittingly or un-, spreading some WB sanctioned propaganda.

Don’t forget that the original spoiler was swiftly denied by McG, which either means it was a) already an out of date plot point by the time of the leak, b) the plan to swap things over was made very quickly, or c) the spoiler was just plain wrong.

Okay, here’s your warning. Look away now if you want to stay absolutely 100% pure and not even see a one-time spoiler that – reportedly, at least – has nothing to do with the story we’ll actually be seeing on screen.

Alright so the main character is a cyborg named Marcus. For some background, Marcus was a criminal who was executed in 2003. He donated his body to Project Angel which was involved with SkyNet. They take his body and make a terminator out of him so he’s a terminator skeleton but has living muscle/skin and a beating heart too. At the end of the movie John Connor is fighting a T800 model 101 and loses. He dies and the top resistance people come up with a plan to help the resistance keep fighting on. The resistance feels that it’s important to keep the image or idea that John Connor is still alive so the resistance keeps going. So they rip off Marcus’ skin and put John Connor’s on the skeleton so now Marcus is John Connor.

For the record, I believed the spoiler was real and rather liked the idea (it possible even got Sam Worthington the role, as he has the suitable likeness to Bale where it counts to sell the idea).

I know that a lot of the vicarious pleasure for certain audiences is in having John Connor as some kind of wonder hero wish-fulfillment proxy, and this fiddles with that in ways which will make people feel uncomfortable, but I think its an interesting twist. Combining the idea of this iconic leader with the ironic deployment of a Terminator skeleton is actually quite a punchy idea, I’d say, and pretty rich for the ending of a Summer tentpole. If the plot has been changed, I hope the new conclusion is at least as ambitious and wryly bent, but I fear it won’t be.

In fact, I reckon that artistic intent has been bent over a barrel by some misguided desire to offer up short term appeal to internet fanboys.

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