McG, director of the forthcoming ”Terminator Salvation”, tells Moviehole a bit about the new Schwarzenegger-less sequel.
On the film’s timeline
McG: Well there’s no doubt that the beginning of T3, for example, begins with a bit of a punt. As to what happened at the end of T2, and there’s some rejuggling of the timelines. We’re largely treating it as though the bombs have gone off. I’m not going to share with you what the date is where the bombs go off, and we come into the picture in 2018. We do the best we can to honor the timelines that have been put into place. I think it ultimately feels very satisfying. If we’ve done our job properly, then this will be regarded as the statement of the time and the place and the where and the when and the why and the how. And it comes from a place of doing a lot of research with, you know, futurists, with scientists who talk about how long it would take the atmosphere to clear itself out so you could actually go back outside and do your thing. we’re trying to just sort of amalgamate three pictures, and amalgamate the intention. And then answer that to the best of our ability. Again, there are certain things that are in stone. The T-800 comes in 2029, you know, we’re building towards that place. Therefore if hardware should show up in 2018, that was supposed to be around in 2029, that’s a problem for John Connor.
The film’s ending
McG :The film does indeed end on a cliffhanger. Jonah Nolan is an extraordinarily cerebral guy. So when you got Jonah Nolan on your left, and Christian Bale on your right, and Sam Worthington kicking you in the head right in front of you, it will definitely keep you on your toes. I would have to characterize Jonah as the lead writer of the film. I don’t know how the WGA rules work. I’m looking at Sam from Sony, you probably know better. But honest to goodness we did the heaviest lifting with Jonah, and that’s where we all got that and talked about what we were up to. He’s just a very, very cerebral guy. You know, and he and Chris behind Memento and The Prestige, and certainly the Batman pictures, they are deep, deep thinkers.
The rumoured PG-13 rating
McG: Like I said, Rubinoff is here today. Jeff Rubinoff runs Warner Bros., he just walked out of the room, a guy named Jeff Blake’s here today, he just went over to Judd Apatow’s panel. He and Amy Pascal run Sony, both of whom are perfectly comfortable with the rate of our picture. Sam’s still got blood on his hands and makeup from what we went through yesterday, all the physical needs of that scene. We just shoot, shoot, shoot. And that’s not to say, “And therefore it’s going to be NC-17.” You know what I mean? You and I discussed this, I have no problem with a PG13 picture.
I just saw The Dark Knight, and I thought it was a work of art, I thought it was immaculate. I thought it was made compromise-free. I don’t think Chris, had to go, “Ah, damn it, if I could just do what I want to do, and get that R that I want, the picture would be better. So I am saying, I’m not afraid of a PG13 rating, at all. We are not rooting for anything, and I’m not going to let the fan base down trying to target a rating. The only people that would give us a hard time bout that would indeed be the studios, which you have to respect because they put a lot of money behind the making of the film.
And like I said, Jeff Blake, I’ll grab him, and Rubinoff, who was sitting in the front row, they don’t care. So if they say, “Deliver a rated-R picture,” that’s really freeing. It allows us to do what we want to do with the film, so. The film will rule the day, we’ll all be looking at rough cuts together and we’ll make those decisions. if it just comes down to, whoops, there’s too much blood on the head of the Marcus character, and that’s what pops you into an R, I don’t think that makes the film infinitely more valuable. So I get back to a PG13. If they want to get rid of, Up, you can’t have T600s carrying mini-guns–then no, it’s an R, because there are certain things that are part of the iconographic nature of the film. You know, we talked about all this when we were on the set together. Like I said we just are really making the film in a vacuum, we’re just doing what we think is right creatively, day in and day out.