Christian Bale once found himself potentially headlining another action franchise in the Terminator series. The actor was tapped to play humanity’s greatest hope John Connor in 2009’s Terminator Salvation.
But long after the film, Bale asserted that he didn’t see himself working alongside the film’s director again.
Christian Bale was unhappy with the original script for ‘Terminator Salvation’
Bale already had certain reservations about the Terminator Salvation script before and even after getting the role. The actor felt a few changes needed to be made to the story before officially filming the movie. The film’s director, McG, was willing to accommodate Bale.
One of those changes was that Bale was now playing John Connor. Originally, McG had Bale in mind for the new Terminator character Marcus Wright. After deciding to play Connor, Bale felt the story called for his character him to have a more substantial role. If only to better serve the film’s narrative.
“Connor was a character who appeared very, very briefly in the original [script]. Which I was happy to do, if the story could become something worth reviving this mythology,” Bale said in a 2009 interview with mtvnews.
There was a writer’s strike occurring at the time that made ironing out the script even more difficult. Eventually, Bale would seek the help of Dark Knight co-writer Jonathan Nolan to help improve the story.
“And Jonah said to me, ‘Christian, do you want me to write this with the same involvement that Connor has in the original one, or do you want me to increase you?’ And I said, ‘I don’t mind what you do. Just whatever the best story is. And I don’t want to work for one week’ — which was originally all I was meant to do,” Bale remembered.
Unfortunately for Salvationhowever, things for the movie still didn’t go as planned.
Christian Bale once shared that he didn’t see himself working with McG again after ‘Terminator Salvation’
Bale was originally sent the Terminator Salvation script by McG, who was tapped to helm the movie. But when Bale first received the screenplay, he had no intention of being a part of the project. Apart from the scrip itself, Bale found himself unconvinced that another Terminator film needed to be made.
“I just thought, the mythology is dead. I mean, I did flick through it, because you can always be surprised. But I wasn’t surprised by what I read in that one,” Bale once said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
McG’s passion would later convince Bale to do the project despite everyone the actor knew advising against it.
“I had this guy sitting there saying, ‘Christian, didn’t somebody ever take a leap of faith on you to do something radically different than you’ve ever done before? Give me that opportunity.’ So I’m thinking, ‘Oh, f***,’” he remembered.
Later, Terminator Salvation wasn’t as successful as some might have hoped it would be. The film received only passable reviews from critics, with a less than impressive box-office intake. Although Bale had great respect for McG, he didn’t see a collaboration with the filmmaker happening again in his future.
“There’s a lot of room for many approaches and many characters within the film industry,” he once told Wall Street Journal. “I won’t be working with him again, but I wish him very well. Okay?”
Christian Bale still has major regrets about ‘Terminator Salvation’
Much time has passed since audiences saw Bale as John Connor. But even though more than a decade stands between Bale and Salvationthe actor still wished the movie ended up differently.
“It was an unfortunate series of events involving the writers’ strike, involving Jonah Nolan, who was able to come on, and really start to write a wonderful script, but then got called away for a prior commitment that he had,” Bale told Happy Sad Confused. “And it’s a great thorn in my side, because I wish we could have reinvigorated [the franchise]. And unfortunately, during production, you could tell that wasn’t happening. It’s a great shame.”
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