Comic Con 2008: Top 10 ‘Terminator’ Tidbits

“The first thing McG ever said to me was, ‘I don’t want to make a McG movie. I want to make a Terminator movie,’ and that’s what he’s done,” says Sam Worthington of his Terminator Salvation director.

The new trailer and exclusive clips had Comic Con buzzing this weekend as McG, Worthington, CommonBryce Dallas Howard and Moon Bloodgood stopped by the convention to talk to fans and press about the fourth film in the franchise. went the extra mile to put together the top 10 Terminator tidbits we learned at the Con.


1. The machines might be a futuristic fantasy, but they are based in a physics reality:

McG: “Well here’s the thing, all the machines you see in this film are physics based…what you’re going to see is not built that I’m aware of, but based in physical reality. It’s not just like hovercraft and simple dopey things. I mean all day long we’re out there with ospreys out in New Mexico. Ospreys are those aircraft that takeoff vertically like helicopters, then midflight rotate and move to fly like a fixed wing aircraft. And you just watch that, that’s influencing us all day every day.”

2. Expect lots of stunts and make up effects (if you weren’t already):

Sam Worthington: “It’s not that hard to sit in the makeup chair and allow the other guys to do their job. You know it’s their — they’re the artists making you look good so I just sit there…In this movie I’ve been blown up, shot at…you know name it, I’ve f**king had it. And how do you prepare for that? You just get in and do your job, simple as that.”

3. The film will look and feel grittier thanks to a custom film stock provided by Kodak:

McG: “So as far as the look and what we want to do with this, I wanted to create a new film language. We talked to Kodak about creating a new stock that had never been photographed before. I told you about how we’re adding three times as much silver to a color stock that had ever been added and that gives it an ethereal sort of quality that suggests something’s off. Something is wrong with the world that we’re living in. And I just wanted to create a very, very gritty language. I’m tremendously influenced by Children of Men, hats off to that picture…I must say we’re very, very pleased with the way the film looks and feels and you guys be the judge…I’m hoping it has that grit that I speak of.”

4. Dark Knight co-writer Jonathan “Jonah” Nolan (Chris Nolan’s little brother) helped write the film:

McG:Jonah Nolan is an extraordinarily cerebral guy. So when you got Jonah Nolan on your left and Christian Bale on your right and Sam Worthington kicking you in the head right in front of you, it’ll definitely keep you on your toes…Jonah is, I would have to characterize Jonah as the lead writer of the film…he’s just a very, very cerebral guy, you know. And he and Chris behind Memento and The Prestige and certainly the Batman pictures. They are deep, deep thinkers.”

5. There are no perks in this post-apocalyptic playground:

Common: “Well, we’re living in a post-Apocalyptic world so it’s about survival. Day to day, you know we’re not eating as often as people would like. Obviously we’re not getting the meals and we don’t have lifestyles that we have as luxuries over here. And when I thought about that going into this character I was thinking about there’s people out there that’s living like that really, that don’t have like proper clothing, proper roofs over their heads, they don’t have you know food every day or clean water. So I mean it was something for me to get into that mindset a little bit. But at the same token, we’re living in a war…that’s the mindset and this is about survival so that’s what I worked on to get there are those things.”

6. James Cameron is cool with the project:

McG: “He knows that I respect him a great deal. And like I said, I did not want to move forward on this picture if Jim Cameron were like ‘fuck you. You know what are you doing? You know you have no business moving forward on this.’ Very simply I would have acquiesced and said, ‘You’re right. You’re the creator of what it is and I respect that.’ And he was very encouraging and we talked at length about the story. We talked about Sam and most particularly we talked about his experience on Aliens and the idea of you can’t live in fear. You’ve got to move forward. I remember when I was on Superman and people were kicking the shit out of me and saying what kind of guy calls himself McG?”

7. McG thinks star Christian Bale is a stand up guy:

McG: “I’m delighted to speak about Christian…He’s the most professional, passionate actor you’re ever going to find. I mean it’s just that simple…He loves his wife, he loves his child, he loves being an actor. He’s not interested in materialist things. He wants to come to work prepared…And just for the record he’s a big hearted good guy and I’ve worked with a lot of people and that’s just simply who he is.”

8. Kyle Reese will return, this time played by Anton Yelchin rather than Michael Biehn:

Anton Yelchin:

“The great thing about Michael Biehn‘s performance is that it’s very layered and you get a very complex character…So it makes it even more interesting for me to come and look at that complex character and say, well, hey, how do you get there? You know how did he become the guy that says to Sarah Connor you know I don’t feel pain, but I do…There’s so much to everything that he says and everything that he does…there’s the Kyle Reese that’s obsessed with the Sarah Connor picture. Why is he so obsessed, you know? Why does he have this almost, it’s almost, it’s infant like, you know. He doesn’t talk about her as a sexual object. He talks about her like this woman. He’s so in love with this picture, you know so I looked at that and said god, this guy grew up and never had any relationships with any girls. What does that say about him, you know? Look at how angry he is here, what’s that say? It’s just there’s so much. There’s such a vast wealth of info to go through.”

9. Bryce Dallas Howard takes on the role of John’s wife Kate Connor:

Bryce Dallas Howard:

“Yeah, well my character Kate Connor is married to John Connor and she’s also, she’s a physician…in the imagining of a post-Apocalyptic world you do have unfortunately a lot of references that we can go to today of you know war torn countries and third world countries where people just don’t have access to kind of basic, I don’t know, basic clean food and water and accessories and medical provisions. And I mean that’s something to kind of examine for us. To say okay yes, we’re making a picture about totally devastated circumstances but the fact that it does reflect things that are going on currently in this privileged world that we’re living in where there hasn’t been an apocalypse and robots haven’t taken over the world. I mean I think that’s something definitely for us to reinvestigate and that we continue to make choices for our own future to take that into consideration.”

10. PG-13 or R, it doesn’t really matter to McG:

McG: “I have no problem with a PG-13 picture. I just saw the Dark Knight and I thought it was a work of art, I thought it was immaculate and I thought it was made comprise free. I don’t think Christopher [Nolan] had to go, damn it, if I could just do what I want to do and get that R that I want, the picture would be better. So I am saying I’m not afraid of a PG-13 rating at all. We’re not rooting for anything. And I’m not going to let the fan base down trying to target a rating…So the film will rule the day. We’ll all be looking at rough cuts together and we’ll make those decisions. And if it just comes down to oops, there’s too much blood on the head of the Marcus character and that’s what pops you into an R, I don’t think that makes the film infinitely more valuable so I could back to a PG-13. If they want to get rid of, oh, ‘You can’t have T-600s carrying mini-guns,’ well then no, it’s an R because there are certain things that are part of the iconographic nature of the film.”


Terminator: Salvation opens in theaters May 22, 2009