Producer Talks Terminator Future & ‘Salvation’ Ending

Published 5 years ago by

terminator salvation3 Producer Talks Terminator Future & Salvation Ending

Yesterday we posted about producer Dan Lin talking about the upcoming LEGO movie (as well as a movie called Gangster Squad), which came from an extensive interview the guys over at Collider did with him about everything he has on his slate for the future (15 projects!).

Since the interview was so long, Collider kindly decided to break it up into different posts, each time concentrating on different projects of Lin’s. Today is the turn of the Terminator franchise, of which Lin is an exec producer (at least he was on the fourth movie). Lin talked about two major areas of interest around the franchise: the ending of Terminator Salvation, and where the franchise could be heading.

[SPOILER alert!]

Firstly he talked about the two endings of Salvation – the original one and the one they ended up going with. In case you don’t know, the original ending saw John Connor die at the end and half-man-half-machine, Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), taking over as the leader of the Resistance. But not only that, to keep the Resistance going, they put the skin of Connor on the body of Marcus, so even though Connor would be dead, to the world (and to us, the audience, it’d still be Christian Bale) it would still be Connor. Crazy, huh?

salvation Producer Talks Terminator Future & Salvation Ending

But as anyone who saw the fourth movie knows, Worthington’s character gives up his heart to save Connor, and the latter is still the leader at the end (the way it ends leads squarely into a sequel). Now with that little refresher to jog your memory (or perhaps it was totally new to you?), here’s what Lin had to say to Collider about the ending:

“I’m happy with the way things turned out. It was a bit derivative of Face/Off, you know, when Sam Worthington’s character goes back and he comes back up as Christian Bale his face has been changed, so I think…I know we’ve all talked about who should live at the end, who should go on for the next movie but it wasn’t, in our opinion, that original ending was taken from other movies and wasn’t as fresh.”


I am one of those who was glad that they changed to the ending to what they did. Although definitely the “safer” route for the franchise, the other one is just too reminiscent of other movies (Face/Off in particular as Lin mentioned above) and comes a little too close to how they’ve handled Nathan’s character in this season of Heroes.

In addition to the topic of Salvation‘s ending(s), Lin talked about the future of the Terminator franchise. We know the franchise is being sold early next year, and that appears to still be the case according to Lin. He said that the studios who are actually readying themselves to bid haven’t made themselves known yet, but Warner Bros. (who released Salvation domestically, where it did far worse than it did internationally) could be one of the bidders.

terminator 5 Producer Talks Terminator Future & Salvation Ending

As far as what the future could hold for the Terminator franchise in terms of which direction the story could go in, Lin says that from what he understands, there’s NO active development on the future of the franchise. That makes sense since there’s no point in putting place finite plans if it’s not known who owns the rights until after the bidding in February – what if the new bidder wants to go in a whole new direction? After all, it’ll be theirs to do what they like with.

For more of what Lin had to say about Terminator you can head over to Collider.

So to sum up about Terminator‘s future, it’s obvious we won’t know what’s going on until someone snaps up the rights next year. I’d just like to see them continue on the story of the war with the machines in the future, and not fall back on the already done time travel storyline. Obviously (or rather, hopefully) they have to hint at time travel for continuity purposes (Connor sending his father, Kyle Reese, back in time) but we don’t need another movie set back pre-war times (it’s been done – three times!)

As I said when James Cameron “reviewed” Terminator Salvation recently, I’d like to see some more risks being taken, to change things up a bit as Cameron did with Terminator 2 compared to the first one. And is anyone else for a change in director from McG? Get Michael Bay in there to show him how to REALLY blow stuff up? 😛 …

Thoughts on what Lin has said about the ending of Terminator Salvation and the future of the franchise in general? Are you glad they changed the ending from the original, way more “WTF?!” one? Which direction would you like to see the franchise go in story-wise?

Source: Collider

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  1. McG can stay on as director, he didnt do too bad a job in that respect, several of the sequences were very well done.

    It was the stupid script and acting that let the whole thing down.

    Get a decent writer in, and for the love of god, get rid of Bale!


  3. I just wanna see more of the future war. I mean it took us 3 films to get to it, so might as well see more. But, please don’t let McG direct again, especially if hes gonna send HKs back in time and ruin continuity even more.

  4. I don’t get it. How is the ending where “the skin of Connor on the body of Marcus” too reminiscent of other movies exactly?

    You cited ONE movie that came out 12 years ago (Face Off). Plus, in the heroes show, they only did it once as a conclusion to last season. (You can’t count this season of heroes since the season started 3-4 months after Terminator: Salvation came out) And who watches Heroes anymore anyway? The show is plagued with bad writing from the start of season 1. But the point is that there aren’t many movie that actually done this as you mentioned.

    Plus, in this ending the change would have a purpose; to keep the spirit of John Connor alive and confuse Skynet. In war, anything that can confuse the enemy is a useful thing. I for one absolutely LOVED this film and I would’ve even loved it better had they kept the original ending. It would’ve been a shocking, unexpected and surprising ending.

    I hate the fact that in the new ending they made john Connor’s wife graft Marcus’s heart on Connor. That made no sense to me since she isn’t a heart surgeon and doesn’t have any knowledge of how to do this at all.

    I hate it when executives change stuff because they believe it isn’t “as fresh”. Keep the original ending. Don’t change it because you want to appeal to a demographic and sell the movie more. I understand the need to sell the movie as much as possible to cover the cost and make a profit, but movies were never meant to be a business. Movies are supposed to be an art form and a medium to tell stories. Whenever a studio invests millions to make one, they’re taking a risk whether they like it or not. Sometimes it pays, sometimes it fails. But ultimately the studios benefit more when they let the writers and directors work freely. That’s when great movies like Star Wars (back in ’77) get discovered.

  5. k, so i’m one of the few who actualy preferd the original ending. The ending they came up with was cheesy and plain stupid. The original ending reminds very little on face/off a movie that took place more then 10 years ago. Since then (and ok i havent seen the latest heros episodes) there was no movie worth mentioning who took upon that idea. So anyway for me at least it would have made way more sence if that John Connor everyone is talkin about …you know that almost superhero like figure of the human future. The guy who stands toe on toe with the machines is in fact half a machine! that is a crazy idea and would have breathed so much new frech air in the franchise. THAT is a twist that T4 actualy deserved. Imagine the sequals ..the possible fighting scenes. I mean honestly …imagine the guy who send back Kyle Reese and the Terminator in T2 wasn’t John Connor. This would have blown up my mind in the theatre. I am very upset about the change.

  6. and yeah…waht anakin just said ….damit u where first ! =D

  7. Matt: What you’re talking about? In Salvation, nothing was sent back in time. If you’re talking about the time when McG was discussed ideas he might have for a Terminator 5, then you have no argument here since it’s all speculation at this point. The script isn’t even written yet. btw, you didn’t mention WHY you didn’t like Salvation or why it “ruin continuity even more”. I’m curious to know.

  8. yeah he is talkin about the sequel rumor.
    But anakin is right here. they didnt ruin continuity….they made something worse: nothing!
    that movie brought nothing to the franchise.. not even a slightly new direction. the only event worth mentioning is that connor took officialy over. thats it….and it was not enough.

    Even the 3. movie did more. they at least made judgment day happen!

  9. no more mcG please.

  10. I agree with DrSam, for once!

  11. He lying,,, he’s a liar and a hack!

    The ending was changed after it leaked on to the web and fan reaction was negative at best.
    Mcg quickly made an online statement debunking the rumour, then later in interviews admitted that was the original ending.
    Their both liars, and if I had the power, would find themselves out of a job!!!!

  12. I’d like to see ONE more Terminator film and that is it. Finish the franchise. Show the end of the war when humanity triumphs. This franchise has been beat to death already and needs to wrap things up. There is only so many times you can tell the same story of Skynet sending a Terminator back in time to kill John Connor.


  13. @ Ross Miller

    Did you seriously suggest Michael Bay direct Terminator 5?? I really hope I just misinterpreted and there was supposed to be a joking tone!

  14. Well if all you want is a stupid movie with things blowing up then Bay’s your man… or Lucas too for that matter.

    I didn’t mind T:S but the whole “I have your heart right here” was done better in the Dark Angel television series. I’d have liked both of them to survive as they made a good team. One is all leadership ability and charisma, the other is a near unstoppable terminator with a human mind.

    For myself I’d like the Terminator television series to come back. Somehow sylphlike Summer Glau almost managed to pull off the unstoppable killing machine character, and she is easy on the eyes.

  15. I’m glad they changed the ending it would have been stupid if John Connor died and they put his skin on would have messed up the story cause if u remember Kyle said John connor sent him back in time not a Terminator!!!!!

  16. Um guys scientists are already growing organs in the lab and the experiment lab of Skynet could have yielded enough technology to have cloned John another heart. In fact that could have been one way to go. Just because John could have become a cyborg over the course of the last films doesn’t change the fact that his brain and mind is John’s. Granted they didn’t even lurch far enough to go that way, but it was open to them. Classic example of a lack of vision. What humankind is really fighting is the remains of the Internet, skynet. Woah now what were those rumors a few weeks back about shutting down the Internet? 😯

    Some other thoughts about the surgery. Remember John’s wife was an assistant veterinarian. You think becoming a doctor is hard? A doctor only has to know the plumbing of a couple of close animals. A Veterinarian has to know a dozen. It’s not like she couldn’t have learned heart surgery and human care it was a number of years after actual Judgment day. To be fair they probably should have shot a filler scene of her taking care of wounded though.

  17. I hope that McG is not directing Terminator Franchise anymore, and if it is so then I wish,sorry I mean, I pray for Bale going out of this project. I am a balehead and I hope that Christian is never, never, ever doing anything with this “director” McG.

  18. After reading all the posts one thing is for sure…McG MUST BE OUT OF NEXT PROJECT WHATEVER IT CAME BACK!

  19. bwahaha…aLL This fanboy discussion is so fun & SiLLY, be kind, just say this, either way, it’s SOMETHING, I prefer the “Cinematic” Look of this, to T3, which was repetitive of T2…

    James Cameron can say whatever, cuz u know what? It’s not even something remotely what he’s interested in, anymore, just even look at the Avatar interviews, he already has said, he easily gets “bored” with the stuff he’s shot, very seldom is he “interested” in Re-Visiting his prior work, cuz it BORES him, and u know what? Cameron is just Hyping up his OWN T2: Judgment Day, which was “aight” in my HUMBLE opinion, it wasn’t THAT great…It was like a Modern Sci-Fi Western with a Twist, that’s it…The most remarkable thing about that movie is Sarah Connor & the T-1000…that’s it…

    OriginaL Terminator was like a Suspense SurvivaL Movie…Bit Horror-ish & Somehow more Classix in that sense, as Kyle Reese as played by Michael Biehn was the ULTIMATE Bad@SS Human Hero…Sarah is awesome too…Just to watch her transform from Barely Surviving to Military Expert is SO Wicked…SO u know, these movies are about the Intimacy between the characters, not just the Cyborgs, otherwise, blech…SO u know, if the Character Dynamix don’t work, it just doesn’t Interest moi, u know?

    So I say, this Film, is a Success…whether u like it or not, I think it’s a MORE Fascinating Entry, and U know what? In this day and age, where Fan//Public aka Internet Scrutiny is at an aLL Time HIGH, I kinda like McG did this…He’s Got BaLLS enough to take the Fanboyz, who are like the Roman Republic…Yay or Nay, weLL I say I’m not impress’d with Pleasing the Bloodcurdling crowd…I rather him stick to his vision, whatever that may be, even if he’s RIFFING, I don’t care…Ya’ll hype up Cameron, but he’s an Alright Visionary…He’s not that great, he’s MORE of an OriginaL Pioneer, and Innovator, than is he THAT Fascinating…

    AVATAR is “aight” in my humble Opinion…Just how T2 is “aight” to me, at the time, it was FUN & Campy Bad@SS too, but soon other films will overshadow it, and He’ll just have to Re-invent Cinema again…The Genre…whatnot…

    Avatar is just a benchmark, in my opinion…Hopefully, it’s just the Dessert or Appetizer, a Taste of things to come…

    anyhow, I’m just INTERESTED in the future of these movies…

    Something with a LiL’ More Emotion and human character Dynamix like was “hinted” at in the Brief vision u see of Future War in T2…James Cameron, u COCKTEASE…

    Anyhow, explore that Dynamix…Have John Connor Evolve from Rousing Leader, To Famed Tactician and Fearless Enemy of the ‘Borgs…Yeupz…Strategy & the Mind Trump PURE Brawns…

    The Machines are kinda flaw’d in that way…Linear thinking…In fact, if the Machines were Truly advanced they’d Smarten up, and CO-EXIST with Humanity, to build a better Tomorrow, but it’s Sci-Fi…Of Course the Machines TURN on Humanity…Shure…Cuz Machines are “the bad guys”…RiiiiiiiGht…I call BuLLSH!T…Humans are flaw’d, but I don’t think Machines would become Killers…In fact, if anything, we’re the More Destructive of the Two…Perhaps, that’s why the Machines want to Eradicate us…Cuz We’re SO Self-Destructive, the Hive Mind has decided we’re too Violent and Malicious to Co-Exist with, or that we’re weak…But even that seems too far-fetched…Machines would not be so…Pedestrian-minded…I think, If the Machines were TRULY Sophisticated, we’d be living in bliss…If anything, it’s more of a Metaphor of The Inhumane versus what’s left of our Humanity…The Machines are representative of our Mirrored Selves…Our Twisted, Cold Linear Thinking…Cold Hard Logic without the Compassion…I think, that THAT was the Lesson that is “earned” at the end of T2 with Sarah narrating…about how there’s HOPE for Humanity, if EVEN a Machine can learn the Value of Compassion or whatnot…of Life? Yesh…Not everything is “Nietschian” or Darwinian “SurvivaL of the Fittest”…There’s certainly MORE to Life, some would say…This Duality BuLLCrap is getting Old…Even the Matrix Trilogy Wrapped up in THREE movies…Though I prefer Good Old Fashion’d Standard ACtion to Wire-fu, thanks Much…Sorry 4 the Long “Rant” but twas something I had to get off my chest, thanks much…Therapeutic indeed, bwah…

  20. I totally agree with Drsambeckett- suprisingly enough, the direction didn’t let down the film, the unimaginative script did. Mediocre dialogue, and didn’t do nearly enough with the story as they could have.

    One more to concur with a new script writer (or an old one from T2, if pos!)

  21. i cant wait for part 5.

  22. @neontiger21,

    Yes, I was joking about Michael Bay directing. Hence the silly face :)

  23. @Anakin

    I never said I hated Terminator 4. I enjoyed only as a mindless action flick and nothing more.

  24. Loc, its not official Terminator canon, but in one of the Terminator novels its explained that the computer programmer that took over for the dead Miles Dyson was an admirer of Hitler and used his book Mein Kampf as way to teach Skynet to understand humanity.
    Whadda ya thinking!

  25. Clearly they could go up from where they are. The right decisions are what’s needed. I just hope the new owners are capable of it. Might be the best thing if it landed at Warner. If we can imagine scenarios that look interesting then the property still has some potential. I’m with everybody else put it into some truly talented hands, no more monkeying around and finish it off already.

  26. I thought Salvation was enjoyable for what it was, but had so much more potential. As someone said earlier(too lazy to scroll back up) if they had shot a few extra filler scenes to fill in the story gaps, it would have been much better. I still feel like the majority of what dragged the movie down was the editing losing sight of the story, maybe for time or to keep the PG-13 rating.

  27. Overall, despite the flaws, I liked the film, and it wasn’t as horrible as some folks make it out to be. As far as endings go, I found the shot ending to be satisfactory. Some can say that the change was due to fan outcry. I say it is that *and* some people working on the film wanting/considering the change (remember: it was a big leak; someone blabbed).

    If the kept the original ending and filmed it, it would contradict the entire franchise. It is one thing to shake things up and make things your own, it is another to put it to ruin. What gets me is that everyone jumps on the wagon and says “the film sucks/McG is no good” blah blah blah and thinks the ending is lame…but if that other ending was filmed, the same crowd would say the same things.

    The filmed ending actually keeps the theme of the previous films. A machine meant for destruction, infiltration and killing is reprogrammed to do good or chooses to do good, and sacrifices himself/itself so John Connor and/or humanity can live on.

  28. Good counterpoint Darren. From my view they still didn’t use all the advantages they had. If they would have just thought about setup a little more, they could have saved both characters. Now if they want to bring Sam’s character back they will have to give him an artificial heart, re-adapt the story to bring him back. They may not need him, no doubt Skynet could need more than one success to engineer an effective cyborg program. Then again it would have given them the option of a cheaper but good place holder until Arnold could “come back.” :-) Now it will cost them more.

  29. paramout will get the rights they can make great terminator films with michael bay as diretor and alex kurtsman and roberto orci to write the scpit and shia lebouf to be john connor and i want the next film to be set in modern day london good luck paramount in your battle for the terminator rights