Liveblogging the Terminator Salvation movie panel at Comic-Con 2008.

McG came out and said they’re in the middle of photography in New Mexico right now. Said they weren’t excited about making Terminator 4, they were excited about a new beginning and showing us a part of the story we hadn’t seen before.

The script was written by Jonah Nolan who co-wrote The Dark Knight. McG consulted with James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzennegar and Stan Winston. He understands the trepidation about the movie.

He said they put the picture first at all times.

He hired Christian Bale to give the film credibility and got him on the phone although Bale is currently in Japan.

They should what could be called an extended trailer and it looked damn good. No CGI, tons of action but it didn’t look cheesy at all. [I think we have a winner, folks. – Vic]

Common, Bryce Dallas Howard, Moon Bloodgood, Anton Yelchin and Sam Worthington are in attendance.

McG used a film stock very high in silver content to give the film a unique look. This stock is usually used in black and white films.

We see “the becoming” of Skynet.

This film takes place in 2018, the earliest future scene we’ve seen previous was 2029. Skynet is not yet completely built out and all machines are not yet in control.

Sam Worthington said that this film “is not for pansies” and “will kick you in the balls.”

The machines in this film look more like greasy tanks than the clean look of the future machines we’ve seen before. ILM is working on the film.

Sam Worthington said he wouldn’t have signed on if this film disregarded what happened in Jim Cameron’s movies because he loves those movies.

McG would not answer whether Arnold would be back, and while he didn’t want to spoil anything he did say that the T-800 is indeed a part of the mythology of the series.

McG said there is no more science fiction because we’re living in it with our current technology of cloning sheep, text-correcting Blackberries, manipulating brain chemistry with Dopamine and Seratonin, etc.

There is not a tie-in with the Sarah Conner Chronicles.

McG said the ending of the movie is being protected and that the studio is actively providing misinformation about the film to preserve the film experience for the fans. For example there was a story that was out about the ending of the film that was never the ending of the film.

Anton Yelchin (who plays Kyle Reese) talked about building towards the heroic character and pure spirit we see in the first Terminator film.

McG said we see the “becoming” of Kyle Reese, and we’ll see the genesis of the character and the origins of some of the things we see the character do in the first film.

One of the main thrusts of the picture is to see the world of Skynet and Skynet itself.

McG thanked Gale Anne Hurd for her contribution to the original films (she was in the audience).

An Asian guy came up to the mic and did a great Arnold impression and McG said “if you’re Asian that was f***ing awesome.”

Stan Winston had a very big hand in the film [Stan Winston is a legendary visual effects craftsman who passed away recently – Vic]. The film will be dedicated to the memory of Stan Winston. Stan’s shop did all the designs for the film.

The T-600s in the film have the rubbery skin that was referred to in the original film – these Terminators are bigger than the version played by Arnold at 7’5″. They wanted more of a tank-like, big feel – the proto version of the more refined T-800.

They wanted the tech to remind people of the old Soviet tanks.

McG said the film is about people coming together to fight a common area and getting over all our differences.

Bloodgood plays a pilot in the film and is in a romance that “isn’t cheesy” with Worthington’s character.

Dallas was excited about the film because it’s reinventing the franchise (and joked because she got to kiss Christian Bale).

Common said he’s “just glad to be here.” He’s surprised that he’s in a Terminator movie. He said he’s glad “we’ve got a black man in the film” and that it’s multi-cultural. He said “it’s gonna be fly.”

Common is John Connor’s number one guy.

Dallas plays John Connor’s wife.

They’re playing the trailer again (only if we f****ing freak out, which the audience did).

McG had each side of the audience scream and he told the second half that he wanted them to rock it so hard that it would start a riot and end Comic-Con. simple smile Comic Con 08: Terminator Salvation Panel

Let me revisit my comments on the trailer above – it freaking rocked. I don’t think we need to worry about this one folks, it looks like it’s in good hands!