Christian Bale took to the defensive, insisting that he accepted the role as John Connor in Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins because it reinvents the series.
“What I saw with Terminator was what I saw with Batman Begins,” Bale told /Film at The Dark Knight junket.
But accepting another franchise role was not an easy decision in the least.
“That was actually something that I questioned greatly… ‘Do I want to do that again?’” Bale continued. “While Batman Begins was clearly an origin story and we were in many ways ignoring any of the other films that had come before it, this won’t be the case with Terminator, as we’re staying true to the mythology, certainly to one and two more than three, but it gave us the opportunity and the chance to reinvent and revitalize that. There is no point in making it otherwise. So that is my aim, and that is why I finally decided yes, I want to try this. Because that is the responsibility we have as filmmakers, and that is what I’m aiming to achieve.”
Meanwhile, the trades are reporting that Helena Bonham Carter is in talks to join the film in a “small but pivotal” role.
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. 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. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past. 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, Bryce Dallas Howard as Kate Connor, Moon Bloodgood as Blair Williams, Common as Barnes, and Jadagrace as Star. Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins hits theaters on May 22nd 2009.
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The passing of Stan Winston hit everyone off guard yesterday, including the many people who have worked with the legend over the years.
McG has posted a statement on the Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins website, declaring his intention to dedicate the fourth Terminator film to the memory of Stan. Here is an excerpt: “Stan was a good guy who was in it for all the right reasons. He loved what he did. Stan confided in me once, that he created imaginary monsters as a child to keep him company. He said he felt like the only kid in the world who did this. Little did he know his childhood friends would come to be the heroes of millions. You are not alone Stan, the fruit of your imagination will be with us forever.”
Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright blogged: “A real genius. And a sad loss.”
Meanwhile, AICN has done an awesome job of gathering statements from some of the filmmakers who have worked with him over the years. Here are some highlights.
James Cameron: “We’ve lost a great artist, a man who made a contribution to the cinema of the fantastic that will resound for a long long time. I don’t need to list the indelible characters he and his team of artists brought to the screen. Readers of your site know them. We all know Stan’s work, the genius of his designs. But not even the fans necessarily know how great he was as a man. I mean a real man — a man who knows that even though your artistic passion can rule your life, you still make time for your family and your friends. He was a good father, and he raised two great kids. His wife of 37 years, Karen, was with him in the beginning, helping him make plaster molds in their garage for low budget gigs on TV movies, and she was with him at the end.”
Jon Favreau: “He was a giant. I was blessed to have known him. I worked with him on both Zathura and Iron Man. He was experienced and helped guide me while never losing his childlike enthusiasm. He was the king of integrating practical effects with CGI, never losing his relevance in an ever changing industry. I am proud to have worked with him and we were looking forward to future collaborations. I knew that he was struggling, but I had no idea that he would be gone so soon. Hollywood has lost a shining star.”
Frank Darabont: “One of the blessings of being in movies is when you meet icons whose work you deeply admire and they turn out to be fantastic people. They’re the ones you’re honored to encounter along the way, the people who are kind and gracious and inspiring in addition to being superbly talented. They exhibit genuine humanity and touch your heart in various ways, and you foolishly figure they’ll always be around to get to know better as the years go on. But then they are taken far too soon, and you’re left with the deep and lasting regret of not having gotten to know them nearly as well as you’d wanted or expected to. I’ve met and lost a number of extraordinary people who fall into this category, among them Roddy McDowell, John Frankenheimer, Sidney Pollack, Dave Stevens, and John Alvin. Stan Winston now sadly joins my list.”
Read the full letters, including more from Joe Dante, Rick Baker, Monster Squad director Fred Dekker and others on AICN.
McG has posted yet another blog post on the Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins Blog. While he doesn’t come out and completely debunk the rumor that has most of the internet up in arms, the director assures us that “there are only three people who know the ending.” He gives us some insight into the world of this story:
“It took Skynet a lot of research and development to get to the T-800, and this movie explores that ‘space between.’ … In this film, there are Hydrobots that patrol the water, Transports that move human prisoners around, Harvesters that collect human beings as lab rats for Skynet and Aerostats that survey all that is going on with the resistance the world over,” McG writes. “We’ve started shooting the T-600 – the bigger, grimier, nastier version that preceded the T-800. Like Reese says, they’re easier to spot but they pack a mini gun and carry kick ass fire power. They’re eight-foot tall killers that prowl the badlands looking for anything with a heartbeat to terminate.”
Sounds pretty friggin cool if you ask me. McG describes the T-600 as “bummer, rubbery skin, prosthetic look that “cloaks an unrelenting machine with a singular focus of killing.” Could be kind of creepy. As well as Arnold played a robot, there is nothing creepier than a robot that doesnt look human. Something with a driving force behind it that just cant be stopped. I think thats why everyone loves Winston’s design of the endoskelleton so much. As for that PG-13 rating that fans have been making a huge fuss over, McG asks that we “don’t get too uptight about the prospect of the film being PG-13.”
“We have entertained the idea of a PG-13 rating largely because Batman Begins, in my opinion, was made compromise-free. So we’ll see. The movie comes first and it will be protected at all timesâ€¦”
And I think he has a huge point. One must remember this is a war against machines. The robots don’t bleed. You can do all sorts of violent things to them without a film being R rated. And I think films like Batman Begins and Live Free or Die Hard hvae pushed the boundaries of this restriction. And in the funniest move I’ve seen in a while, McG basically apologizes for having a stupid nickname:
“I realize my name is ridiculous. I was born Joseph McGinty Nichol. McG is short for McGinty. I have been called this since the day I was born to create separation from my Uncle Joe and Grandpa Joe. I realize it sounds like some Hollywood nickname, hip-hop choice. But the truth is, this is simply my name – for every day of elementary school, every zit-filled day of high school. I have been taking shit for it ever since. I get it, I would think it’s lame too. But it’s just a name, and to change it now would seem fraudulent.”
Warner Bros has decided to replace Charlotte Gainsbourg with Bryce Dallas Howard in Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. The official reason for the change is a schedule conflict. If the actors strike were to happen the restart of Terminator 4 shooting would conflict with a French comedy Gainsbourg is attached to. Howard is now in negotiations to play Kate Connor, the wife of human resistance leader John Connor, played by Christian Bale.
The character of Kate was 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 (played by Arnold) back in time to protect John, as Connor was said to have been assassinated on July 4th 2032 by the same T-850. The film begins 14 years before his assassination.
McG is certainly “casting UP” for this film, and at least Howard doesn’t have to dye her hair for the part. Bryce Dallas Howard, the daughter of Ron Howard, is a classically trained sctress with a theater background. An alumna of Steppenwolf and The Actors Center, Howard is probably best known for her film roles in the M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village and Lady in the Water, and as a supporting role as Gwen Stacy in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Series in 2008 for As You Like It.
Principal photography began last month and the movie is currently filming at the Albuquerque Studios and on location throughout New Mexico. Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins hits theaters on May 22nd 2009.
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?
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
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.
Warner Bros has announced that McG‘s Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins will hit theaters on May 22nd 2009. This means that Terminator 4, which begins production in New Mexico for two months on May 5th, will go head to head with Fox’s Ben Stiller family comedy sequel Night at the Museum II: Escape From the Smithsonian. The original 2006 film took in over $573 million at the box office, while 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines took in $433 million. The Da Vinci Code sequel/prequel Angels & Demons hits theaters a week earlier, while Pixar’s Up hits theaters the week after.
Christian Bale stars as John Connor alongside Sam Worthington (Avatar) in the first of a three film story arc which follows a group of survivors led by John Connor as they struggle to stop the machines after Skynet has destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear holocaust.
Discuss: Will you see Terminator 4, Night at the Museum 2, Angels & Demons, or Pixar’s Up?
James Cameron might not be directly involved in a fourth Terminator film, but his influence is already being felt. Australian actor Sam Worthington has been cast in Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins after Cameron recommended the young star to director McG after working with him closely on Avatar.
Worthington joins Christian Bale, who plays an older and wiser John Connor. Worthington will play the role of Marcus, a central character in a planned three-picture arc. The film begins shortly after Skynet has destroyed much of earth in a nuclear holocaust. Connors leads a group of survivors against the machines.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Terminator 3, but at the same time, I didn’t hate the film either. So far I’m very impressed at the casting of this fourth film, and I love the idea of an intricately planned three act story. McG is criticized as a poor man’s Michael Bay, but I think he has a lot to offer in the action arena. With a good script, I have complete confidence that McG could turn out a kick ass action film worthy of the Terminator name. Again, it all comes down to the story.
McG is hinting that No Country for Old Men star Josh Brolin might be cast as the new Terminator inÂ Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. This is addition to the already officially announced Christian Bale as John Connor would certainly raise the level of talent in front of the camera in the start of this new science fiction trilogy.
“There’s guys out there like Russell Crowe and Eric Bana, bring a good physicality, they do what they do, but I don’t know if they’re exactly right at the end of the day,” McG smiles before telling Two-One-Three: “Josh Brolin is a very exciting actor – we’ll see.”
How would you guys feel about the idea of Josh Brolin playing the new Terminator?
McG also gives an update on the preproduction process:
“We’re prepping the picture right now. The script is largely done, whether or not we’re able to prep off of it, obviously we want to continue to work on it, punch it up and we’re hoping for an expedient finish to the writer’s strike. But I’ve got my fingers crossed that in a week or two it will be over.”