/Film reader Christopher M sent over two new photos from Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, ne of which gives us our first real look at Black Eyed Peas ‘ singer Taboo as Vega (Balrog in Japan), who you might remember from the Street Fighter video games. See the full photo after the jump, along with a second photo featuring Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) as Maya, getting ready for action.
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On July 2nd, 2008, I was lucky enough to visit the set of McG’s Terminator Salvation. Is this James Cameron’s Terminator? No. And it isn’t trying to be. Terminator Salvation is very different animal, far different from the traditional Terminator chase story. In a sense it is a futuristic war film.
When I think of Terminator Salvation, I am reminded of the line in Star Wars – A New Hope when Obi-wan tells Luke about how he served beside his father in the clone wars. Star Wars fans obsessed over that one throw away line for over two decades before George Lucas finally decided to bring The Clone Wars to the big screen. And as we all know, the result was extremely disappointing. Its funny how one line can conjure a better vision than four films and a computer animated television show combined. I am reminded of this because the same thing could easily happen to the Terminator series .
Judgement Day, the future war between man and machines — Cameron teased us with this in the first two films, and I don’t think anyone ever believed they would eventually see it on the big screen. As crappy as Terminator 3 was, the end twist got me excited for the possibility. And I understand that the name McG doesn’t instill confidence. Those of you who visit the site frequently have probably noticed how much I have been sticking up for the film, even before a second of footage was previewed to the public. The reason is that I saw everything up close and personal. I went to Albuquerque New Mexico very skeptical, and came back convinced that McG was the right man for the job, and that the result would be a fun action film, deserving of the Terminator name.
Our group was given unprecedented access to the production which was shooting on all 8 stages of the newly built Albuquerque Studios. Before we did anything, we were brought into a huge room filled wall to wall with concept after and models. The unit publicist gave us a tour of the first two thirds of the film. I’ve been on a bunch of sets where fear of spoiler leaks prevents the studio from providing embargoed journalists with plot information. This is the first set that I was given the all access pass, which allowed me to better connect the dots when we toured the many stages on the studio lot. I was able to look at the locations and sets through the larger perspective of the overall film.
So what Did I see? Since this is a preview piece, I can’t go into much detail. We were able to walk through Skynet’s testing center while it was being constructed. We saw John Connor’s underground bunker, drove by the destroyed 7-11 that is seen in the trailer, and stood in the Silo where John Connor and Marcus Wright go face to face (also seen in the trailer). But the majority of our visit focused on watching first unit photography in a power plant that had been converted into a Terminator assembly factory. You can see John Conner entering the factory in the photo at the top of this story. We got to watch them shoot some intense action sequences, one which involved Connor getting his signature facial scar — how cool is that? More on that later.
But the coolest moment for me was getting a tour of the Stan Winston Studios trailer, which was filled with all sorts of remote controlled endoskeletons and insane prosthetics. Having grown up on the “movie magic” specials of the 1980′s, I could have easily spent all day just in that trailer alone. One thing was immediately clear — the word practical was being thrown around a lot. Almost overused. Sure, this film will have computer effects (you’ve seen the Harvester in the trailer) but a surprising amount of the effects are being shot on the set, in camera or using a combination of tightly intertwined cg enhancements.
We spoke with Anton Yelchin (Kyle Reese), Moon Bloodgood (Blair Williams), and Sam Worthington (Marcus Wright). McG was overly outgoing, giving an enthusiastic pitch as to why we should give him a chance. And while McG exudes an indescribable energy, his pitch is not just enthusiasm and caffeine. He knows what he’s talking about, and says all the right things, referencing screenwriter Jonah Nolan (who was rewriting the script as we spoke) and the post apocalyptic novel The Road. While he launches into an interesting observation the cyborg technology of today, you wonder how this could be the same guy who directed Charlie’s Angeles 2 Full Throttle.
He brought us into his streamline trailer and showed us an 8-minute sizzle reel of the film. People haven’t seen anything yet. And for those who believe this film will definitely be PG-13, think again. We saw a piece of footage that showed Moon Bloodgood topless in the rain, which certainly gave me the impression that the rating has yet to be decided.
Back on the set.
Sparks fly from the ceiling, steam rises from the floor, and balls of fire launch into the air as an assembly line of T-800 endoskeletons move along a conveyor track above my head. I’m standing in a factory where Skynet manufactures Terminators. John Connor falls to the wet pavement, dirty, bruised and beaten. He lifts a big ass gun into the air and fires. A large explosion comes from the factory’s second floor. But whatever John hit, its still coming. John pulls himself along the floor, unable to get himself to his feet. Not that his feet would help at this point, as he appears fairly injured. He grabs for a smaller gun and shoots. A cloud of liquid nitrogen steam fills the air as Connor collapses.
Is John Connor dead? Are the internet rumors true? To be continued…
We just recieved a batch of new behind the scenes photos from Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, including our first look at Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog (seen below).
Warner Bros sent out a press release announcing the start of production on Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins (wait, didn’t they decide to change the title a while back? I’m confused…) And yes, this press release is a tad bit late, considering the film began lensing in Albuquerque, New Mexico almost two and a half weeks ago (May 5th). If it’s old news, then why report it at all? Well because the press release features a brand now plot synopsis:
In the highly anticipated new installment of The Terminator film franchise, set in post-apocalyptic 2018, Christian Bale stars as John Connor, the man fated to lead the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators.Â But the future Connor was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row.Â Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past.Â As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet’s operations, where they uncover the terrible secret behind the possible annihilation of mankind. The film also stars Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese, Charlotte Gainsbourg as Kate Connor, Moon Bloodgood as Blair Williams, Common as Barnes, and Jadagrace as Star.
Notice the new release features two new casting tidbits:
Charlotte Gainsbourg (The Science of Sleep, 21 Grams), pictured right, as Kate Connor, a character introduced in Terminator 3 as Kate Brewster, played by Claire Danes. If you remember correctly Brewster was actually the one who sent the last terminator back in time to protect John, as Connor was said to have been assassinated on July 4th 2032 by a T-850. Judging by the character’s name, it appears that Kate and John have since gotten married. The film begins 14 years before his assassination. However, one must wonder if that plot point may change now that John knows it is coming.
And no, we have no idea Jadagrace is. She’s not listed on IMDb, and Warner Bros doesn’t yet have bio information available. We did some digging and found that someone named Jadagrace Gordy is listed as a former student of Gary Spatz’s The Playground (started in 2005), a conservatory for young actors. Yes, YOUNG actors. Interesting… We’ll keep you update.
Principal photography is taking place at the Albuquerque Studios and on location throughout New Mexico. Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins hits theaters on May 22nd 2009.
Here is a round up of stories that just didn’t make the /Film front page, or what we like to call…. Page 2!
Global Nerdy brings us the photo of the day: Speeder Dogs.
Charles Grodin will cameo in Jason Segel‘s new Muppet Movie. [mtv]
TorrentSpy already shut its doors earlier this year, and now they have been hit with a $110 million judgment against its parent company, Valence Media. The MPAA has won. [mashable]
Collider has a preview of their set report of G.I. Joe.
Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman have just completed a screenplay based on Mark Millar’s graphic comic book ‘Kick-Ass‘. [dailymail]
HollywoodInk has a poster for this year’s Summer movie season (pictured left).
Rotten Tomatoes has an exclusive video diary from the set of Quantum of Solace.
Vulture wonders what unsung comic book superheroes should star in The Avengers.
Ellen Page is set to play one of English literature’s most famous characters, the eponymous heroine of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. [Variety]
Topless Robot counts down the 11 Best Songs from Geek-Movie Soundtracks.
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will star in the Marc Webb-helmed romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer for Fox Searchlight, which centers on a man (Gordon-Levitt) who falls hopelessly in love with a woman (Deschanel) who doesn’t believe in love. [variety]
CineVegas has announced their line-up which includes: The Rocker, Dark Streets, Your Name Here, Beautiful Losers, Chelsea on the Rocks, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, Choke, and Schoof [thecircuit]
The Sundance Channel has been acquired by New York-based Cablevision Systems for $496 million in stock and cash. [imdb]
Director Darren Lynn Bousman has officially been asked to direct the remake to Hellraiser. [bloody-disgusting]
io9 has the latest on the Cloverfield Managa.
SNL have announced Shia LeBoeuf will host May 10th with My Morning Jacket and Steve Carell will host season finale on May 17th with Usher. [collider]
The internet teaser trailer for Kevin Smith‘s Zack and Miri Make a Porno will hit the web next week. [newsaskew]
The first production photo of Moon Bloodgood as Det. Maya Sunee in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li was released on the movie’s official blog.
Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman and Josh Lucas are joining Cillian Murphy and Ellen Page in Michael Lander’s psychological thriller “Peacock.” [THR]
GuideSpot has a Google Maps guide of Alfred Hitchcock‘s Bay Area.
Tom Cruise has launched Tom Cruise.com.
Tom Hanks endorses Barack Obama.
My friend John Campea over on The Movie Blog listed five lesser known comic character movies he’d like to see
Wanted and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army will open and close the Los Angeles Film Festival.
FirstShowing takes a look at the Future of Iron Man: Alcoholic Tony Stark, War Machine, and Beyond!
The first trailer for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor will hit in June. [SciFi]
Maya Entertainment has acquired all U.S. rights to Alex Rivera’s Sundance award-winner Sleep Dealer. [THR]
Here’s the gist: Arnold Schwarzenegger says that if Terminator 4 director McG wishes to bring his big budget sequel to the state of California for a few scenes, he’ll reprise his role as the T-800, albeit most likely in cameo form. Also, I’m guessing a big bag of cash, cigars, speedboats et al would play a factor as well. Here’s what the governator of Cali told ContactMusic…
“I’ve never had a dialogue with anyone about it. But if they shoot the movie in California, I would [be a part of it], yes.”
Anyone else find it moderately surprising that Warner Bros. or McG hasn’t contacted him? With principle photography scheduled to begin on May 5th for the 2009 blockbuster starring Christian Bale, Sam Worthington and the newly cast Moon Bloodgood (I’m skeptical about her for this btw), do you guys and gals think they’ll work something out?
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Good news for Terminator fans: First it was confirmed earlier this weekend that The Sarah Connor Chronicles has been renewed for a second season. Second, the rumor from last week that Terminator 4 had been shut down has turned out to be untrue after all. And now THR reports that Moon Bloodgood is in final negotiations for the female lead in McG’s upcoming film. Bloodgood will play a “no-nonsense and battle-hardened member of the resistance who is carrying a lot of guilt over surviving the nuclear holocaust.” You might remember Bloodgood from her role as Livia in NBC’s short-lived television series Journeyman. Principal photography is set to begin in two weeks, on May 5th, with the film set to hit theaters on May 22nd 2009.