As if there was any doubt, Halcyon Pictures honcho Victor Kucibek confirmed today that Christian Bale is signed on for not one, but three Terminator films. I’m pretty sure most people already knew that. McG’s Terminator 4 will begin a three picture story arc about the future war between man and machines. Bale plays John Conner, the leader of the human rebel faction. Sam Worthington is the star of the new trilogy, as Marcus, one of the survivors fighting the machines under Connor’s leadership. Anton Yelchin is also on board as Kyle Reese.
You can make all the snide comments about McG that you want, but it’s obvious to me that Halcyon has really thought this one over. This is not just another sloppy sequel. They have hired a team of talented actors and have a gameplan to do what few franchises have done before this time. You can say that George Lucas planned for six (or if you read old interviews, nine) Star Wars films when he went into production on A New Hope, and you can tell me how The Wachowski Brothers supposedly had a plan for a trilogy of Matrix films, but I just don’t buy it. I’m sure they had a tentative treatment of things that would happen, but the resulting films prove that it wasn’t a well written plan (for example: The Leia kiss). With this new Terminator series, we’re talking about a story told over the course of three films. Think Lord of the Rings. Imagine all the possibilities. Put your pessimism away for a second and think about how cool it could possibly be.
Character designer Miles Teves explained how the new Terminator 4 will go back to the future in the design of the new Terminators.
Â “I did all kinds of work on the new sort of Terminator… uh, I can’t describe without being in breach of contract… But there is a new endo-skelleton-type super Terminator that in a way is actually cruder than any of the ones from any of the other films,” explains Teves on the Fanboy Confidential podcast. “This one sort of takes place before all the other films in a weird way. So everything in the film is actually supposed to be cruder technology than we see even in the first Terminator.”
Teves, who worked on Legend and Robocop, complains that filmmakers, like JJ Abrams’ Star Trek or Lucas with the Star Wars prequels, have a tendency likeÂ going more futuristic with the technology (Enterprise) when they should be going more retro. But Miles promises this will be different.
“It’s very different. It will probably be the most different film of the [series],” says Teves. “…the first three films are essentially these hard driving chase films where you have this unstoppable force pursuing the hero. This is dramatically different in its structure and characters. It’s sort of the John Conner story, but strangely enough John Conner was not the main character. There is another guy who is the main protagonist of the film.”
This basically confirms rumors that Marcus (played in the film by Sam Worthington) will actually be the lead in the film, while John Connor (Christian Bale) is actually more of a supporting character.
“It completely takes place in the machine world in the post apocalyptic aftermath,” says Teves. “There will be lots of hardware and cool toys to be sold. And hopefully they will not water them down and they’ll be as cool as the designs. And there was cool designs. A lot of tanks, a lot of vehicles, a lot of weird machines.”
Production began earlier today on Terminator 4, and the final casting announcements are beginning to hit the wire. The newest addition to the cast is rapper Common, who has signed on to co-star as a freedom fighter and member of John Connor’s (Christian Bale) inner circle.
Let’s tae a look at the rest of the announced line-up: Sam Worthington (Avatar) is also on board the project as Marcus, a central figure in the planned three-picture arc. Anton Yelchin is Connor’s friend and future father Kyle Reese. Josh Brolin has been rumored to play the Terminator of the fourth film, but this has not yet been confirmed. Moon Bloodgood has also been rumored to be involved in the project. McG is directing from script by John D. Brancato & Michael Ferris and Paul Haggis.
Common has appeared in Smokin’ Aces, American Gangster, Street Kings and the upcoming comic book adaptation Wanted. The rapper turned actor was also scheduled to play the Green Lantern in Warner Bros’ now defunct Justice LEague movie.
Terminator 4 is scheduled to hit theaters on May 22nd 2009.
Last summer one of the big stories was the trend of PG-13 over R-Rated action movies. Live Free or Die Hard opted for teenage friendly over intense action and graphic language, and the film went on to gross over $380 million worldwide, the highest for the series. And in 2008, things have not changed. Cloverfield opened huge proving a PG-13 monster movie could make big bucks. Even Eli Roth is now talking about making a PG-13 mass-destruction film. But now word comes in from Anne Thompson that the Halcyon Company are aiming for a PG-13 rating for Terminator 4.
The Terminator series is one of the highest-grossing R-Rated franchises of all time, with over $1.03 billion in worldwide box office receipts. I’ve been one of the few supporters of the film since it was first announced, while most have been scared off by the announcement of McG as director. And I feel like I should be angry about this announcement, but for some reason I’m not. And I think the reason why is that I feel that Terminator won’t suffer from a PG-13 rating. None of the things that made T2: Judgement Day a great film would have been effected by a ratings bump from R to PG-13. Let’s face it, this isn’t Rambo – large quantities of gore aren’t required. And Terminators aren’t programed to be foul mouthed.
Besides, Halcyon co-founder and co-CEO Victor Kubicek claims that the ratings have changed over the years and that “PG-13 has increased in intensity.” and it allows them to sell more toys, of course. The fourth film will offer the largest merchandising program to date for The Terminator series.
Terminator 4 begins production today, and is scheduled to hit theaters on on May 22nd 2009.
Discuss: Can a Terminator movie still be fun with a PG-13 rating?
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?
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.
Has Terminator 4 been Terminated? UGO’s Movie Blog claims that a crew member “was recently overheard discussing his newfound free schedule due to the production shutting down.” For now we’ll mark this rumor as unconfirmed and hope for clarification, confirmation, or denial from the Halcyon Company in the coming days.
I was actually pretty excited for the fourth film in the franchise. The producers involved seemed to have a clearly laid out plan for a new trilogy. And while many have prune-faced director McG, most have praised the casting of Christian Bale as John Connor, Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese, Avatar’s Sam Worthington, and Josh Brolin rumored to be on board as the Terminator.
Production is (or maybe was) set to begin later this month at Budapest Korda Studios. Terminator 4 is scheduled to hit theaters on May 22nd 2009.
Discuss: Do you want them to make a Terminator 4?
Three quick news tidbits that have emerged from Showest in Las Vegas:
Warner Bros has decided to drop the silly/stupid title for Terminator 4, Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. The film will now go into production without a title, targeting a May 22nd 2009 release.
Iron Man might be released a few days earlier in some markets, a move which was used for Michael Bay’s Transformers last year. Iron Man has held the May 2nd 2008 date for some time now, but will likely now open on Wednesday, April 30th. No official announcement has been made yet, but expect one shortly.
A second trailer for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will hit screens in April. We can only assume that the trailer would be packaged with Iron Man.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
A new script has been turned in last week and The Halcyon Company are trying to fast track Terminator 4 into production.
CHUD reports that action director McG is in talks to direct the film, which really excites me. I think McG’s Charlies Angels is one of the best fun just purely to be fun action movies in recent years. His efforts since have been varied (Full Throttle was overboard and We Are Marshall was, well, I don’t remember). It could be said that McG probably needs a good producer to reign him in at some points.
But is McG’s style vs. substance method the right way to go for this film? I’m not sure. On the other hand, McG ensures an interesting effort (good or bad), unlike many of the hack directors who could be hired for the project.
According to James Middleton, consulting producer for Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Terminator 4 is moving forward after all. Apparently, the film will not be called “Terminator 4”, but will instead be titled “Terminator: ____________” with no numbering. T3: Rise of the Machines scribes Michael Ferris and John D. Brancato are busy penning a new script, and The Halcyon Company hopes to have the film in pre-production by October for a 2009 release. Yes, another Pre-Strike movie.
The fourth film will be the first in a trilogy and will feature John Connor and Kate Brewster in a post-apocalyptic future. But Middleton says that the main hero will be someone new completely: “Ben-Hur was influenced by Jesus Christ, but it was his story. Much in that way, this character will be influenced by John Connor.” Whatever that means.
Middleton also says that a director is not yet attached to the project, but they are close. Because of this, no casting has taken place, despite recent rumors that Rachel Weisz and Chloe Sevigny have recently inquired about the lead Terminator role, and that a “high profile hunk” had already been cast as the male lead.
Rise of the Machines was not a great movie, and many were angry that the storyline negated the climax developments of the previous films. But a war between the humans and the machines really excited me. Despite my rather snarky and negative musings, I have yet to become pessimistic about Hollywood sequels (even though extensive evidence against my optimism). And this next trilogy could offer us a look at this new war, and a new epic sci-fi war film. OR it could just be another crappy sci-fi sequel.
Sources: IGN, Moviehole