Let me say this first and foremost: McG is probably the best panel speaker I've ever heard. Seriously.
The guy is just charismatic; no matter what you think of his work, its hard to deny he's a likable dude in person. And its probably for that reason that he was able to sell the hell out of Terminator Salvation at this year's New York Comic Con--even to the most ardent fanboy non-believer.
I'll make with the good stuff up front and tell you about all the little gems that were dropped during the Terminator Salvation panel:
- Terminator Salvation (and subsequent sequels) will fill in the gap of time between the end of T3 and year 2029, which (as we are told in T1) is the year Kyle Reese goes back in time to save Sarah Connor.
- McG hinted that "Sarah Connor" will be a key figure in Terminator Salvation; he went on to hint that Linda Hamilton might be involved in the project, somehow, someway.
- A major plot-element of Terminator Salvation will deal with how John Connor convinces the scattered bands of human survivors that he is the prophecized messiah of mankind; it will also deal with how Skynet begins to capture human subjects in order to study their DNA, trying to develop the first Terminator model that looks, sounds, and passes for human (the T-800).
- Terminator Salvation will largely adhere to the mythology established by James Cameron in T1 and T2. The only bits of T3 in the Salvation storyline will be the actual events of judgment day (John Connor and his future wife Kate Brewster hiding in a bomb shelter when judgment day occurs).
- A big dilemma facing the film right now is finding the technology to impose images of a younger Arnold Schwarzenegger onto the body of the newly developed T-800.
That's all the major stuff, but really, the breaking news paled in comparison to McG's showmanship. He's not an egotistical man, as was evidenced when he claimed, "I hate Mcg too." He also made fun of himself at many turns--for getting thrown off Superman Returns due to his fear of flying, and for making the Charlie's Angels films, which he acknowledged as being low rungs on his climb up the Hollywood ladder, but still enjoyable films all the same. He was also very engaging with the fans, pulling people up on stage to asks questions or sit on the panel with him. A brave move, considering the how rabid the fanboy crowds of Comic Con can be.
McG also took repeated questions about the now-infamous Christian Bale blow-up on the set of Terminator Salvation. McG totally defended his T4 star, saying that Christian had accepted responsibility for his loss of temper; that those kinds of "episodes" always happen on the set of a movie (true), and that if anything, the violation that occured was someone on the crew leaking the audio clip to the public. According to McG, what happens on a movie set should stay on a movie set. He finished by adding that no matter what Christian did, actors should never feel like they have to watch out for embarrassing YouTube moments while in the midst of the creative process.
McG, a loyal director.
Other than that, all that happened was a phone call to Christian Bale's wife, so that she could personally revel in the fan enthusiasm for Terminator Salvation. What about you? Are you excited for T4 or do you still have your doubts? Sound off and let us know.