Regarding Terminators

terminator-salvationThe only review I can give of Terminator Salvation is to say that I saw it on opening night in the hopes that Christian Bale would be hot and that robots would have awesome fights, and in these regards my expectations were more than met.

That said, if you’ve seen it already or don’t care about spoilers, here’s a Terminator Roundup:

First, we’ve got a gossipy article (via metafilter) about the evolution of the script that reveals that Christian Bale was originally approached to play Marcus (a terminator!), but Bale preferred the character of Heroic Resistance Leader John Connor.  Trouble was, John Connor had almost no screentime in the story as written.   In accordance with Mr. Bale’s unprofessional and fucking distracting whims, the roles of the leads (Marcus and Kyle) were dramatically scaled back so that John Connor could be the star of the story, and the new narrative was basically improvised, on the fly, during filming.

This is why the movie doesn’t make any sense, and there’s a fun discussion of the pleasures and frustrations of TS at the AV Club that you might enjoy.

Funnily enough, a similar situation arose in the development of Terminator 2.  According to this David Foster Wallace essay (what didn’t he write about?), Arnold Schwarzenegger’s star had so risen between the making of the first and second films that he had the cache to insist that he play a good guy this time around.  The difference between T2 and TS is that James Cameron actually bothered to go back to the drawing board and construct a story around the actor’s demand.

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2 Comments on “Regarding Terminators”

  1. John Says:

    I had not heard about Bale’s demands, and that answers a lot of questions. Mostly as to why there are plot chasms abounding.

  2. John Says:

    Even Spike has a rundown of the plot holes from the movie. They’re pretty spot on.

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