McG has posted the first update on the official website for Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, featuring our first look at concept art for post-judgment day Los Angeles. Click on the image below to enlarge. I think even the naysayers have to admit, it looks f’n cool.
But to play devil’s advocate: a lot of concept art for even bad movies looks cool. It’s also important to note that this is the first time McG has attempted to reach out to the fans to reassure them that his vision is not to ruin Terminator 4:
“Like you guys, I’ve been a long-time fan of the series and I understand your passion for the Terminator movies — and it’s my full intention to deliver a film that lives up to the previous three installments. I’ve spent time with James Cameron, spoken to Arnold Schwarzenegger, gone over the story with Jonah Nolan, and enlisted Stan Winston,” wrote McG. “Everything we’re shooting is designed to be tactile and real, you’ll be seeing a whole set of inspired designs you’ve never seen before, and best of all you’ll finally get to see some of the post-judgment day future that was only hinted at in the previous movies.”
McG also talks about the casting:
“John Connor will be pushed to the brink. And for me, Christian Bale embodies Connor’s strength and tenacity perfectly. And after visiting Sam Worthington on the set of Avatar, I know he’s perfect for his role,” writes the director. “As you know, Anton Yelchin is playing Kyle Reese, and his prep has been unbelievable. The guy’s been watching all three Terminators incessantly and he’s definitely going to capture the essence of the character Michael Biehn created in Cameron’s first film.”
The music video/commercial turned feature director says that he has already seen the first sequence they shot at Griffith Observatory cut together and claims “Anton and Sam are excellent.”
Discuss: C’mon guys, should we give McG a chance?
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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.
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?
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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.