Comic-Con: Terminator Salvation Press Conference

Terminator Salvation With the immense success that Warner Bros. has been getting with the films they bring to Comic-Con it’s no surprise that this year they continued to do so with heavy hitters such as Watchmen and Terminator Salvation. The Watchmen panel was a complete success, but the crowd had it’s doubts when it came to the McG helmed Terminator Salvation. Initially anyway. Read more inside… Word from my buddy Brad, from Rope of Silicon, who was in attendance had the following to say about the panel in Hall H.

“Today was the highly impressive panel for Terminator Salvation from Warner Bros. and I will say if the fans weren’t on board before they are now as director McG managed to turn this room from dead and quiet to raving loons.”

And he wraps his article by saying:

“After questions ended they played the preview footage again to a rather loud and raucous crowd, a crowd that really seemed to feel the energy McG brought to the panel. He really did a great job selling the product before saying the full trailer for Terminator Salvation will be attached to Quantum of Solace on November 7.”

By happenstance EyeCraveDVD.com happened to be in the room that Warner Bros. was given for the Terminator Salvation press conference and heard the goods directly from the director and cast in attendance with permission from the wonderful people from Warner Bros.

You could see, and hear, the effect the Comic-Con crowd had on McG as he was still full of energy and enthusiasm when he picked up the mic to say hello to a room of 70 or so press. He kicked things off by saying how much fun it was at the panel, and how pleased he was with the reception the footage received as they’re only half way through the principal photography. Then handed the mic off to Sam Worthington as he’s an interesting guy, at least McG says so.

Sam Worthington decribed his character, Marcus Wright, as a drifter who is the bridge between John Connor and Kyle Reese played by Anton Yelchin. So far in this movie he’s been “blown up, shot at… hit with mines, [and] napalm.” You name it he’s f@#$ing had it.

When one reporter questioned McG on the style of the film he had this to say. “Truthfully, I think any filmmaker tries to go on a film by film basis and do what’s right for what’s in front of him”. He then elaborates saying how proud he is of his previous film and what his intentions were back then. Of course, that was then and this now he’s a “different filmmaker now”.

Working with Kodak McG requested 3x the amount of silver be added to the film stock to give the movie a different look and feel. He added that the etherial look of the film was inspired by CHILDREN OF MEN. ROS’ Brad had this comment after McG told the audience about the added silver.

“The look of the footage was definitely different from what we have seen. It has a more raw, dusty and real feel”

When McG headed to see Sam Worthington while he was working on James Cameron’s AVATAR he spoke to Jim at length about the story and Sam, but he also received Cameron’s blessing to make this film. Had McG received the middle finger from James he would have walked away as Terminator is his baby.

James also encouraged McG to “keep moving forward” and to “not live in fear” as Cameron was recollecting his experiences with Aliens. McG was concerned due to his experience when he was attached to Superman and everyone was picking on him. Well, mostly his name. He cleared that up saying it was his nickname since birth as there were three other people in the same house with same first name.

Of course the inevitable question about Christian Bale came up and McG went on to say that “he’s the most professional and passionate actor you’re ever going to meet” and that he’s “all about the work”. He went on record to also say “he’s a big hearted, good guy” due to the issues arising in Christian’s life the week of Comic-Con.

In 1984 when Michael Beihn brought Kyle Reese to life with an intensely layered performance. Now 24 years later, yet somehow 11 years in the past (movie timeline), Anton Yelchin is taking on young Reese. With the first movie as a basis Anton used Beihn’s performance to develop his version of the character and how he got to where he is when he meets Sarah Connor in the past.

Common, who will play Connor’s right hand man Barnes, discussed how in order for him to get in the mindset of an apocalyptic world he thought of all the people that are already living in a similar world where the luxuries such as clothing, housing, food and water aren’t always available. He also spoke of this is a war movie and it’s about survival.

Bryce Dallas Howard (Kate Connor) agreed with Common saying “we do have, unfortunately, a lot of references to look to today in war torn countries, and third world countries where people just don’t have access to clean water, necessities and medical previsions.” Then she went on to say that her character, whose a doctor now, is learning how to practice full on medicine through what’s available to her.

McG was asked about the potential PG-13 rating of the film to which he replied “we don’t aim. We shoot the picture… shoot shoot shoot, and therefore it’s going to be NC-17. I have no problem with a PG-13 picture. I just saw THE DARK KNIGHT and I though it was a work of art. It was immaculate. I thought it was made compromise free. I don’t think Chris went ‘awe dammit. If I could just do what I want do and get that R I would want that picture would be better’. What I’m saying is I’m not afraid of PG-13 rating at all, but we are not rooting for anything. I’m not going to let the fanbase by targeting a rating. The only people that would give us a hard time about that would be the studio.” Thankfully, the studio has no qualms about the rating he delivers either.

McG also has no problem saying that sequels are tough. He also has no problem admitting “I made an inadequate picture.” He then asked the press how many good sequels have ever been made? Titles the like the GODFATHER II, ALIENS, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS: EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

He also went on to mention that machines in SALVATION will be physics based. While they may not exist in reality they are based off things that you could see and touch today if they were rolling and flying around trying to cap our human butts.

When McG tried to get a question for Moon Bloodgood she didn’t want the mic, but then he asked the press what they thought of how the footage looked? A loud eruptions of applause and wooooooooos came from the crowd and then McG closed with this.

“We are half way through the movie. My process is to look and go ‘hey Worthington, did you see what happened at Comic-Con we should do a ?late common? {I think that’s what he said}. Hey Bryce, let’s do it this way. I’m still making this movie. I’ve told everybody that ours is a transparent style. I have what I intent to do, but the movie belong to you guys. It’s not bullsh_t! I will make my 10-million dollar merchant ivory movies in the future. This is TERMINATOR. I want us to get collectively excited about the movie.”

Without seeing the footage McG sold me on his vision of TERMINATOR and I for one cannot wait to see it.

Poster from Comic-Con

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