Terminator Salvation

The closer “Terminator Salvation” gets to its May 21st release the more I read about how much it changed. Last month we heard how the ending had been drastically changed from a very dark and franchise-ruining direction to a supposedly better and a little less dark conclusion. Now we’re getting more details on drastic storyline changes and it’s finally fitting pieces together for me.

When Terminator 4 was first discussed the storyline was going to barely include the leader of the human resistance, John Connor. I thought that was really weird, but perhaps part of the new trilogy’s plan to stake its own flag in the Terminator world. The next time I heard about T4 we suddenly had a focus on John Connor and his character was set to be played by Christian Bale. Turns out that Bale had a lot to do with that:

According to a story posted on THR (beware of spoilers on the Variety site), a lot of work went into convincing Christian Bale to take the role. McG reveals in the article that the movie was originally centered on Sam Worthington’s character, Marcus Wright, the role that Bale was originally asked to take. Bale refused the part though, and instead, asked to play the series’ more recognizable character, John Connor.

Bale then forced McG to revise the story to include a more prominent role for Connor. Screenwriter John Brancato said, “A lot of the work was integrating (Connor) into scenes … and having that feel integral and sensible, as opposed to grafted on just because there was a star in the part.”

So Bale was going to be Marcus Wright (now played by Sam Worthington) and John Connor would be some sideshow in the whole thing, but that wasn’t good enough for Bale. If he was coming on to the project he wanted to be Connor and if he was going to be Connor he wanted to still have the story’s focus. I don’t blame the man one bit.

It’s fascinating to hear all these details and think of the T4 stories that almost existed but never materialized. I just hope the changes were all for the best. So far I think they will.

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