Audiences won’t see anything as cool or slick as the T-800 of 2029, or the more advanced T-1000 model showcased in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day."
Rather, you’ll see John Connor doing battle with older, muscle-models — the machines that gave rise to Skynet — in the McG-directed "Terminator Salvation," the fourth film in the "Terminator" franchise. "Salvation," which is set to be released in May 2009, takes off from a place in which "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" doesn’t exist, a future referred to in the first and second films where Skynet is coming into power.
"This is a reinvention. We’re starting over. It’s incredible that it’s post Judgment Day’ and it’s a completely different thing," said Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays the wife of John.
"You get to see the original machines, greasy, brutal," McG says. "Ours is not a clean comfortable future, and you see these giant machines stomping through people for their nefarious purposes. There will be lots of hardware worship."
Before screening some exclusive Comic-Con footage for the packed crowd, McG tried phoning Christian Bale, who plays John and is currently promoting “The Dark Knight” in Japan. The call went to voice mail. "Bale, we’re here at Comic-Con. They want to congratulate you on ‘Dark Knight’ — the crowd roared — and now we’re about to show world premiere footage from our new movie. I give you ‘Terminator: Salvation.’”
Lots of explosion ensued.
We saw the first interaction between John and his eventual father Kyle Reese, this time played by 19-year-old Anton Yelchin (remember, John will send Kyle back in time to protect John’s mom Sarah — just go with the time-jumping mythology.)
The action takes place in 2018. "Skynet’s not there yet," McG explained. "The machines haven’t come to a place of proficiency that we’re accustomed to. We see the becoming of Skynet and what it means to have dominance in a post-apocalyptic world."
One fan asked if Arnold Schwarzenneger will be back, and McG didn’t confirm or deny. "Hopefully that statement in itself answers that question…. The T-800 is indeed part of the mythology of ‘Terminator.’"
— Denise Martin
Credit: Denise Martin