WonderCon 2009 - Terminator Salvation Panel

McG (pronounced like McGeee) came on stage and was pretty energetic and it helped spark the crowed to an even higher level of anticipation.  He was pretty liberal with his language, so I won't be translating literally.  As someone sitting next to me said, wow, he cusses a lot.  I looked over at them and said no sh**!   The rest of the panel included Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood, Common and Bryce Dallas Howard.

During his initial few minutes, McG touched on how James Cameron didn't bless his efforts but that the movie was headed in interesting directions. He also touched on the passing of Stan Winston and said he wants to dedicate the film to him.  That was met with a resounding room full of applause.

At one point, he said Christian Bale never comes to these (bleep)ing things, so he pulled out his cell phone and made a call.  No on answered.  We got a voice mail with a girls voice, so McG asked us to demonstrate to the phone how we feel about this new Terminator movie.  My ears are still ringing folks.

McG said that one of his techniques for filming is to get the cast to start doing some of the hardest, physically demanding scenes up front.  The demands on set help bring the cast together for the rest of the shoot.  It develops a shared sense of experience and he feels it translates on-screen.

At one point Anton Yelchin talks about how he hopes this film will honor the legacy of the two films out there.  LOL.  There was some knowing laughter from the audience and McG added at some point that the Terminator franchise was a great idea that lost its way and we've come along to restore order.  Yea, there's no lost love for the 3rd one, that's for sure.

Other snippets from the panel included:

  • The Connors coming down from the mountains after so many years to help society fight the machines.
  • With the rising of Skynet, all of humanity comes together against the common enemy.
  • Mention of the obvious undertone of female empowerment and how Mrs. Connor is 2nd in command.
  • McG notes how Skynet is gathering people up for their stem cells for the human tissue replication process.

We got to see 3 vids.  The brand new, never before seen preview trailer that will be accompanying Watchmen when it comes out next week, and two scenes that were still in the raw format of what the editing crew would see.  That alone was pretty cool, but then I got lost in the two scenes and almost forgot about some of the cartoonish bots, safety cables attached to the actors and other odd looking spots because they were that cool.

The movie trailer was pretty cool.

There are new parts we haven't seen before.  Combined with the 2 scenes we saw, the movie was already depressing me with the sense of a post-apocalyptic feel.  That's how good these snippets were.

One scene from the trailer shows a badly injured character by the name of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington).  This is where the story takes one heck of a twist.






Wright still thinks he's human and has no idea he's now a machine until Connor shows him.  But Wright wants revenge for what's been done to him and we see the introduction of friendly terminators as the trailer closes with Marcus standing enshrouded in the dark, saying “I’m the only hope you have”.

Yeah, intense.

The first clip they showed us came from a gas station scene.  A young Kyle Reese and Marcus Wright stop to look for food here and encounter other people, and then they are suddenly attacked by a harvester machine which is grabbing people and stuffing them in a Hunter-Killer machine.

As Reese and everyone escapes, we get to see our first look at the moto-terminators.  Motorcycle bots.  Eesh.

The second clip happens over a water scene where Connor (Bale) is forced to crash his helicopter into the water.  Water teaming with hydro-bots...  3 to 4 foot long water snake robots.  Dang, they're everywhere.  Connor dispenses most of the snakes with his rifle but one last one comes for him as he runs out of ammo, but Marcus comes out of nowhere and stops it.

It's a tense stand off as Connor holds his sidearm to him.  Marcus tells him Skynet has Reese.  Connor asks him "What are you?"  He says "I don't know," as he backs away into the water.






Words just don't capture the essence of the scenes.  The despair facing the characters.  I think this is going to work out just fine with a friendly cyborg no one trusts and various other parts of the mythos being brought to light.

Moon Bloodgood at WonderCon

At one point, I completely missed what was being said for some reason.  I hope you understand. Oh.. that's right - all this talk of McG "fighting for an R-rating?" It's to include a topless scene of Moon Bloodgood in the film.

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