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CON: Terminator!

07.28.2008

There is a giant, animatronic Terminator on stage. His eyes are lit red and moving back and forth. The Terminator theme is playing. Repeatedly. We're running a little behind and fans want themselves some TERMINATOR. A woman next to me asks if Christian Bale will be in attendance. I briefly consider whether his reception would equal or beat Hugh Jackman's surprise entrance. I think so.

So let's bring out McG! Yay! "Hey everybody!" Not so much cheering. This crowd has not forgotten CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE. McG realizes he may be playing from behind the 8-ball and begins the pandering almost immediately. "This audience makes me realize why I wanted to make this movie." "This movie began with listening to the fans and realizing what they wanted." He wisely says that this film is a new beginning and NOT a TERMINATOR 4. He made sure to talk to Jim Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stan Winston who was heavily involved in the film before his passing. Because everyone here this weekend needs to namedrop THE DARK KNIGHT, McG adds that the script was written by Jonah Nolan (THE DARK KNIGHT). His way of protecting the movie was to hire the "most credible actor of his generation" in Christian Bale. He calls him the one and only John Connor (take THAT Edward Furlong!).

The film is shooting with the movie coming first at all time. PG-13? Only two people care about the rating of the movie (one of which was WB exec Jeff Robinov who McG had no qualms about throwing under a bus). He says he's making his movie and if it's rated R, it's rated R and that has Warner Bros. blessing. You saw the teaser before THE DARK KNIGHT but now you're REALLY gonna get a look at what the film looks like says McG. But first he wants to give someone a call.

McG says that while Bale couldn't be here (he's off promoting TDK in Japan), he busts out his Blackberry and says he's going to give him a call right now so he can talk to us. Ringing. Ringing. Voicemail. Couldn't they have planned this out a little better? Well he started by giving him congrats on DARK KNIGHT (TDK namedrop #2). Without further ado, I give you TERMINATOR SALVATION! Here's my stream of conscious thoughts as the trailer played out. Helicoper crashed. Bale on ground. He answers phone. "Hello? How many survivors?" "One," says Bale. "How many??" Pause then "ONE!" says angry John Connor. He gets up and walks away stepping over a crushed Terminator. John has Marcus (Sam Worthington) tied up. Marcus says, "I don't give a shit about you Connor. I didn't know your name until two days ago." Big explosion. Marcus walks through desolate landscape. A Terminator in the distance begins shooting directly at him. Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin) knocks him down to save him. "Come with me if you want to live." A Terminator chasing them with huge gun (though we only see its feet). It's the year 2018. Judgment Day happened. Repelling through desert. Man hanging in desert from pylon. A MAD MAX type truck busting through walls. Crushing skulls in its path. Blair (Moon Bloodgood) topless with only hands covering boobs. A car blown up in the air. A motorcycle chase. Connor says, "this is not the future my mother told me about." "Something has changed." Someone says, "If you saved us once, you can save us now." Big explosion. Running with kids. "Who are you?" "John Connor." Connor to Marcus, "You tried killing my mother. You killed my father. You will not kill me!" Kate Connor screams, "JOHN!!!" Connor has a Terminator hovering over him. "You SON OF A BITCH!" Terminator grabs his face. END.

Out comes the cast including Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Bryce Dallas Howard and Common.

This TERMINATOR takes place in 2018. The Schwarzenegger model was 2029. Machines haven't come to place of proficiency (like T-800, T-1000 or TX). Basically we're looking at the state of the war in 2018. With that the Q&A was off and running.

- Worthington was asked about working with Bale. "Intense," he says. "If you're going to go toe-to-toe with him you better have your fucking game on." "This film is not for pansies. We're gonna kick you in the balls." Literally. There is a new form of 3-D that will literally come out and kick you in the balls.

- Any new machines? McG confirms Harvesters, Transports, Aerostates, Hydrobots. They will all have a greasy, grimy design. HR Giger type machines like ALIENS. There's that shot from the trailer of the claw that crashes in and pulls someone out of gas station - that is The Harvester.


The Harvester


A Hydrobot

- Someone asks a question about TERMINATOR mythology and fate vs. free will. Will they be changing the past. Bryce has an interesting physical expression of fate and free will. She explains that dropping a cup is fate but catching it before it hits the ground is free will. McG says they will protect the mythology of the first 2 movies (no mention of T3).

- Will Arnold be back? No comment on Schwarzenegger but the t-800 is a big part of their mythology (hint, hint).

- Is the goal of the film to expand the mythology beyond just the Connors? They want to see what world looks like after nuclear holocaust. McG says the picture is a sort of Prometheus tale. "Be careful what you create because it might come back and bit you in the ass."

- With all the conflicting storylines are you worried about confusing fans? McG says he's following Christopher Nolan's lead with BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT (TDK namedrop #3). He says that we can all agree that BATMAN BEGINS wasn't BAMTAN 5.

- How are they preventing spoilers? McG says that they release misinformation, deliberately sending audience off the scent. He claims the reported ending on AICN (http://www.aintitcool.com/node/36947) was bullshit. Still maintains ending is protected.

- To Anton: Who is Kyle Reese in this movie? Yelchin says Michael Biehn is awesome. So his goal is to preserve that and find out how he became that awesome. How he got to the point where Linda Hamilton would sleep with him.

- Will we see what skynet looks like? Yes, in fact they studied Chernobyl to see how that looked like and modeling their landscape appropriately. Worthington adds that they just finished filming at Skynet this morning. He says it looks like what you'd expect (laughs).

- McG brings three fanboys on stage: An Asian dude doing a hilarious Arnold impersonation, a guy dressed as the T-1000 and a woman dressed as Linda Hamilton. They get seated next to Common who is completely weirded out.

- McG confirms the film will be dedicated to the memory of Stan Winston. McG calls up the guy taking over Stan Winston Studios on stage. He worked with Stan back in 1983 on TERMINATOR. The T-600 is the Terminator that's the Terminator in the film. They are covered in terrible skin that gets blown away pretty easy. Like an old computer compared to a MacBook Air.

- McG introduces Moon Bloodgood. He explains that after Judgment Day, there is no sexism, racism, etc in the resistance. No one cares if you're a woman, hot, black, old, whatever - they're all fighting common enemy. They didn't want a bunch of white people and needed an ethnically diverse cast. Moon's character is a pilot. Sam plays Marcus Wright. Her character takes Marcus to the resistance where John is head of a particular outpost. There are two parallel love stories (Marcus and Blair and John and Kate) but not cheesy.

- Bryce says she took the role because she gets to make out with Christian Bale. And she fires a shotgun with single pump action just like Sarah Connor.

- Common is just happy to be here. He's glad they got a black man in the film. "We rollin'. This is gonna be fly." Common's character Barnes is Connor's #1 guy.

I was really impressed with the footage I saw and with McG's preparation for the film. He also had a lot of energy and was able to fire up the crowd. When people were cheering to show the footage again he made them get up and start screaming as loud as they could. He said to scream throughout the entire trailer then start a riot and cause the end of Comic-Con. It wasn't quite that raucous but it was still pretty damn cool.

Source: JoBlo.com

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