Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Terminator 4: Salvation

Terminator Salvation is an upcoming American science fiction war film set for release on May 22, 2009. Directed by McG, it is the fourth Terminator film and stars Christian Bale as John Connor, Sam Worthington as the cyborg Marcus Wright, Bryce Dallas Howard as Kate Connor, John's wife, and Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese. Moon Bloodgood, Common, Helena Bonham Carter and Roland Kickinger are among the supporting cast. The film, set in 2018, focuses on the war between humanity and the machines employed by Skynet. It abandons the formula of previous entries in the series, which involved the Terminator and various other characters time-traveling to the present to protect or kill John Connor. Filming began on May 5, 2008.

Christian Bale as John Connor: The battle-experienced leader of the human resistance, who is now in his early thirties, is waging war against Skynet after it has destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear holocaust. McG deemed him "the most credible action star in the world" during development. Bale was the first person to be cast and signed on for the role in November 2007. McG talked extensively with Bale in England about the role, and they both agreed to move forward. Bale is a fan of the films and liked the script and has signed on to appear in two additional sequels. He was at first disinterested, until McG convinced him the story would be character-based and not rely on special effects. They kept working on the story every day. McG said Bale broke his hand punching a Terminator prop during filming.

Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright: A decommissioned Terminator, who befriends John and Kyle. His last memory is of being on death row, and Connor is unsure of whether Wright is from the past or the future. Terminator creator James Cameron personally recommended Worthington (whom he directed in Avatar) to McG. Worthington recalled Cameron told him "the Terminator to make is the one with the war". Worthington tore a muscle on his left ribs during the first weeks of filming, but nevertheless insisted on performing his own stunts. McG once expressed interest in casting Daniel Day-Lewis or Josh Brolin in the part. Brolin did talk to Bale and read a draft of the screenplay, which he found "interesting and dark [but] ultimately though I didn't think it felt right".

Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese: A teenaged soldier and admirer of John Connor. In The Terminator, to ensure the survival of the human race, he was sent back in time to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor, and he conceived John with her.

Bryce Dallas Howard as Kate Connor: John's wife, who is helping him build his resistance. Charlotte Gainsbourg was originally set to play the part, but left because of scheduling conflicts with another film. As portrayed by Claire Danes in the third film, Kate was a veterinarian, but in this film she has become a physician. Howard suggested, as part of her character's backstory, that Kate studied many medical books and interviewed many surviving doctors during the interval bridging the timelines of the two films. The film's subject matter reminded Bryce of developing countries, devastated by war and lack basic supplies such as clean water, which "reflect[s] 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 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."

Moon Bloodgood as Blair Williams: A "no-nonsense and battle-hardened" pilot in the resistance suffering from survivor guilt. She and Marcus will apparently be romantic interests.

Common as Barnes: A freedom fighter and John's right-hand man.

Roland Kickinger as the prototype T-800: This will be the first Terminator film in which Arnold Schwarzenegger does not play the Model 101 Terminator, because he is serving as Governor of California. The Austrian-born Kickinger previously portrayed Schwarzenegger in a 2005 biographical film on the A&E Network. When asked about his role, Kickinger said it's "Arnold's character in the first Terminator. That's basically my role, but 20 years before, so it establishes how the Terminator [came] about." He also revealed that there is a "very strong scene in the film where John Connor for the first time meets the Terminator, and he doesn't know if he's a good guy or a bad guy." Polish strongman athlete Mariusz Pudzianowski was also considered for the role. Schwarzenegger visited the set, leading to rumors he was providing his voice and got scanned for a digital double, which would be mapped onto Kickinger's physique. He had granted the Halcyon Company permission to use his likeness in the film. McG would only admit "We're trying to synthesize a human character with a CGI character and that may or may not have something to do with the T-800."

Helena Bonham Carter as Serena: The lead villain. Tilda Swinton was considered for the part, but Carter replaced her just before filming. Carter accepted as her partner, Tim Burton, is a Terminator fan. Her role was a "small but pivotal" one and would only require ten days of shooting. On August 22, 2008, Carter delayed filming by a day, and was given an indefinite leave due to the death of four of her family members in a minibus accident in South Africa.

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