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Christian Bale Looks Back at Troubled Terminator Salvation

By: On January 3rd, 2018

The Happy Sad Confused Podcast spoke to Christian Bale about his career; upcoming projects and Terminator Salvation. Christian looks back at the troubled production with regret… it took some heavy convincing from director McG to participate in the project and when Bale was initially approached McG wanted him to portray the character of Marcus Wright; with Josh Brolin originally in mind to play John Connor…

I said no three times

We know that Christian insisted that the story had to be strong enough so that the scenes could be played/performed in a stage environment and still have impact/carry weight with an audience. Christian understood that story was key and eventually agreed to join the project but only if he could play the character of John Connor (the character he found most interesting).
Bale requested that the script needed work and that the role of John Connor needed more presence in the story- as in the original draft of the script John Connor would  have been an extremely minimal role, this role technically survived in the movie as the role of General Ashdown (Michael Ironside). John Connor’s key moment in the original script would have been stepping off the submarine for the breach of SkyNet Central and getting a face-swap surgery at the end with Marcus Wright (to keep the legend of John Connor alive after his death).

Christian goes on to talk about people advising him to not take the role and that determined his final decision to get involved…

There’s a perverse side to me where people were telling me there’s no way on God’s Earth that I should take that role and I was thinking the same thing. But when people started verbalising that to me, I started to go, ‘Oh really? All right, well watch this then!’ So there was a little bit of that involved in the choice.

Bale describes the problems with the movie that were caused by…

an unfortunate series of events- involving the writers strike and Jonathan “Jonah” Nolan who was able to come on and really start to write a really wonderful script but then got called away for a prior commitment that he had and it’s a great thorn in my side because I wish we could have reinvigorated that and unfortunately during production you could tell that wasn’t happening, but it’s a great shame

Terminator Salvation took the hardest hit at the time due to a Hollywood writers strike which understandably had a knock on effect that damaged the story of the movie.
We have said on numerous occasions that a complete story arc about human hybrid machines running SkyNet was omitted from the movie- a slight hint of this survived in the movie when the camera pans up to a window and human silhouettes can be seen looking down on a warehouse full of human prisoners. Serena Burns (Helena Bonham Carter) would have played a more physical role as the movie’s big villain (but still including her T-800 prototype underling/sidekick for the dramatic finale). Worth nothing is also during production some of Helena Bonham Carter’s family were in a horrific car crash and we believe that also impacted production (understandably so). Terminator Salvation also began life as a R Rated project but PG-13 came to be another disastrous decision that took away from the movies conviction.

Terminator Salvation was so troubled that an executive should have stepped in and halted the project for the greater good of artistic integrity but they did not. The price was indeed paid for rushing ahead with an incomplete story, general bad luck and that greedy PG-13 age rating that Terminator Fans have come to despise studios for.

Christian Bale also had a famous angry outburst on the set; he was angry at the mess he was seeing before him and to boot- his privacy and confidence was abused when the studio used the recording to promote the movie.

I make no excuses for it. There is nobody who has heard that tape who has been hit harder than me. The one thing that disturbs me so much is that I’ve heard a lot of people saying that I seem to think that I’m better than anybody else.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. I am a lucky man, I never forget that and that is why I put so much into what I do and why I care so much about it and why sometimes that enthusiasm just goes awry.

It’s a great learning lesson for me of no matter how much you lose yourself in a scene, that you do not allow yourself to behave that way.

People still make fun of me to this day, and I deserve it. I like it and it’s funny.

Wise words from Christian followed with…

The old cliche; Anger only causes you to lose power, which it did exactly in that situation. thank Christian for taking a risk and trying to revive Terminator and we don’t think he should regret his participation, our opinion is that, even though messy,- Terminator Salvation is the best non-James Cameron Terminator movie and we don’t hate/dislike the movie- it just made some wrong moves but not as wrong as other entries did. We also don’t blame him for getting angry at Terminator- this franchise has made us angry too and still does. Terminator Salvation did have some potential and we know that many fans would have preferred a sequel to Salvation over Terminator Genisys which was to be written by William Wisher (T1/T2) and set to star post Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a resurrected Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). Instead we got a reboot that erased the timelines of the first two Terminator movies and infuriated most of the hardcore fanbase.

William Wisher had planned to fix all the mistakes the franchise had made and to tie all the films together but now James Cameron is back and after Terminator Genisys we now need to start erasing movies as they just can’t all be tied together anymore. Now all we have left is a tangled multi-verse mess.

Terminator Salvation 2 Trailer

Terminator Salvation 2 Trailer

#TerminatorSalvation #Terminator #ChristianBale

Posted by The Terminator FANS on Monday, 1 January 2018

Categories: CastCharactersChristian BaleDirectorsFuture WarInterviewsJohn ConnorMcGMoviesSkyNetTerminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)Terminator Salvation (2009)The Halcyon CompanyThe Terminator (1984)


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100% agreed on every point. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who thinks that, for all its flaws, Salvation is the best non-Cameron Terminator film. The Timothy Zahn tie-in books are also great, and flesh out the world wonderfully.


One thing really good about T4Salvation is it’s seriousness of tone (despite the severe rating restrictions), you won’t find any stupid jokes and humor there (like with ROTMachines and Genisys), no annoying sassy attitudes there, no dumb comedic timing either (for the most part), when it comes to a serious Post-Cameron sequel, Salvation and the SarahConnorChronicles are the best we got.


For me when it comes to the Non-cameron sequels (in live-action) it goes like this:

1: the last 15 or so minutes of T3RiseOfTheMachines

2: the first 25 minutes of T5Genisys

3: some exceptional moments and episodes from the SCChronicles TV series (Example: like the T1001 Katherine.W going on a bloody rampage in the office and the Goodbye to All That episode)

4: T4Salvation (some bits and pieces of it, wasn’t a fan of the whole dumb throwinators and Harvester Transformer sorry)

everything else is just an insult to the original first two films.


I just remembered writing something many years ago back on some another forum, chatting with an online friend of mine (who i think is a history teacher or something), going through a lot of thinking on why T4Salvation sucks so much when it shouldn’t (on top of all it’s other massive problems): basically we arrived at the conclusion that TSalvation is actually a Direct-To-DVD B-Movie with a very expensive “terminator” disguise wrap (where the hell those 200 million bucks went to ?), if you replace Worthington and Bale with Oliver Grunner and Gary Daniels, replace the digital Arnold with Frank… Read more »


Now that i think about it: In T5Genisys they should have shelved the whole “2017’s KillerApp” story-line for the next sequel (evil John being the baddie for the next film to defeat) and instead focused on the 1997-2029 Future War “as it kinda used to be” (because it quietly infiltrated by the dimension-hopping T-5000/Skynet Form and taken over at the final peak moment) and the 1973 that was radically altered by the arrival of T1000 (because the dimension-hopping Skynet/Genisys after converting John, gained the necessary extra knowledge and time to send one to that time and place), the evil T1000… Read more »

John Connor
John Connor

Hate when interviewers state a negative opinion of a film like it’s a fact and the interviewee goes along with it and agrees.