I freely admit that my interest in the upcoming Terminator Salvation was idling at nil ever since McG was announced to direct. I believe I said he sucks, his movies suck, and now he was going to fuck up the Terminator. They just premiered new footage from the film, and I’m eating my words. Happily.
The clip opens with an overhead shot of a desert helicopter crash. John Connor (Christian Bale) tells a voice on the radio that there’s only one survivor. The voice asks him to repeat… and Bale channels Batman with a gruff and gutteral “One!” Connor has a voice over exchange with a suspended and secured Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), “If I let you down, you’ll kill everyone in this room.” Wright’s response is “Just you Connor. I don’t give a shit about you.” Connor gets in his face, “We’ve been at war since either of us even existed.” We’re introduced in quick succession to Anton Yelchin as a young Kyle Reese, as he saves Wright from an attacking terminator. Reese says a familiar line… “Come with me if you want to live.” The stunning Moon Bloodgood featured prominently in several scenes with Worthington, including one topless in the rain. (Technically that may have been the exact second my opinion turned favorable.) Explosions, gunfire, and the crushing and crashing of heavy vehicles abound. Connor stands before a group of resistance fighters, and says “Something is changed.” A voice over tells him “If you saved us once in another future, you can save us in this one.” We see Reese meet Connor, then another scene with Connor and Worthington’s character. Connor tells him “You killed my father. You killed my mother. But you won’t kill me.” The trailer ends with Connor held down, staring up saying “You son of a bitch!” to an unseen assailant, before a terminator’s metallic phalanges slice his face.
The crowd of 6500+ responded with a huge cheer at the footage, and rightfully so. It looked intense, gritty, and packed with physical effects and action. In short, it looks fucking awesome. McG’s looking to earn the trust of fans with more than just the footage though. “The picture comes first at all times. If it’s a rated R picture, it’s a rated R picture,” he said in reference to Internet rumors that the franchise reboot would be PG-13. He said he’s not afraid of the rating, but he’s not aiming for one or the other either. “Warner Brothers is perfectly happy with with an R rated picture.”
McG stated that they’re only halfway through filming, so he was greatly relieved to hear the positive response from the crowd to the footage shown. “We’re making the future look a little different… we want everything to feel different, rejuvenated, exciting, and credible… the image I had was of giant, Soviet tanks crushing all comers..” He compared it to the Alien series in that the first Terminator was a “horror film, a chase film, like Halloween.” His new reboot is a war movie like James Cameron’s own follow-up.
Joining McG on stage were Worthington, Bloodgood, Yelchin, Common, and Bryce Dallas Howard who plays Connor’s wife, Kate. Yelchin plays the young Reese and was intrigued by the idea of finding out how the character developed to the point where we saw him in the first film. “I wanted to see him reach the point where Linda Hamilton would sleep with him” Yelchin said. Bloodgood leaned in to add “He’s not there yet.” Big laugh. She also shot down Worthington when she commented that her character has a thing with his in the film, “but not in real life” she added quickly.
Common and Worthington both had very strong opinions on what we should expect. The former saying “This is gonna be fly, you’re all gonna love it.” And Worthington adding the film “is not for pansies. The movie kicks you in the balls.” The panel turned surreal when a fan approached the mike and proceeded to dazzle the crowd with a flawless Arnold as Terminator impression. McG’s response was to say he’s great, “and if you’re Asian that was fucking unbelievable.” He was, and it was.
The first official trailer for Terminator Salvation premieres in front of Quantum of Solace this November, and the film releases May 2009.
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