Terminator Salvation: Christian Bale plays a new John Connor

“Terminator Salvation,” directed by McG and starring Christian Bale, is being released May 21, 2009 by Warner Bros.

To embody the character who is the fulcrum of the vast “Terminator” saga, McG cast Christian Bale, who became a critical component of his vision for the film.  “Christian is a wonderfully talented actor and a true collaborator,” the director says.  “Few actors bring the kind of weight and gravitas to the screen that Christian does.”  

The filmmakers sought Bale out while the actor was in London filming “The Dark Knight.”  “We were able to arrange some time for McG to meet with Christian,” recounts executive producer Jeanne Allgood.  “Christian was hesitant at first because he needed to know that it would be more than just an action picture.”

Early in their development process, a new vision for John Connor began to take shape.  “He’s so much older and he has gone through Judgment Day,” Bale says.  “Living through an event like that alters everybody, so in many ways he’s a completely different person.”

Connor fights on the front lines of the Resistance, but is not yet its leader.  New developments by Skynet have rocked his vision of the future, as told to him throughout his life by his mother.  She believed the future was not set, and his own doubts are growing that he may not live to initiate the events that will result in his own conception, namely, sending Kyle Reese back in time to protect his mother.  

“John Connor doesn’t know whether he can become the John Connor that his mother talked about,” notes producer Jeffrey Silver, “because he knows there are many possible futures.  This is a character with incredible complexity and courage, and Christian was able to deliver the kind of multi-layered portrayal that such an important role demanded.”

The man John Connor has become is at once an extension of his younger persona and someone entirely new.  Bale affirms, “He’s definitely a guy with a lot of issues, somebody who has been told the future all his life and bears the burden of that knowledge.  But his mother also told him there is no fate but what you make, so knowing that, he can’t just go hide and think everything’s going to be fine.  He’s got to be out there fighting.  And he is a fighter.   I saw him very much like an Achilles-type character.  He’s somebody who loves the fray.  But he’s battling with what soldiers deal with every day—the loss of very good friends—and his fears that he is not the leader that people are probably expecting at that point.”