More ado about Terminator 4

Now that it has been confirmed that Christian Bale will play John Connor in the next three Terminator films, producers Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek have decided to tease the fans with a few enigmatic quasi-revelations at Entertainment Weekly.

In contrast to producer James Middleton’s remark three months ago that there would be a new central character and John Connor would simply be the guy who “influences” him, much as Jesus influenced the lead character in the Ben-Hur movies, Anderson and Kubicek now say that John Connor is a “very central character throughout the next trilogy” who will “lead our franchise forward.”

And then things begin to get a little more mysterious:

So he’s the star?
ANDERSON: There’s gonna be another major costar with kind of equal presence in this installment.

And that costar would play the Terminator character?
Yes…. Well, it’s hard to say. It is a new character introduced in the mythology that’s not replacing Arnold [Schwarzenegger]. It’s not like he’s stepping into Arnold’s shoes. It’s a completely new character.

Okay, but is it a Terminator — a killing machine?
No, not really. That’s one of the big twists that if we told you —

You’d have to kill me?
[Laughs] Yes.
ANDERSON: It would ruin the story for you. But there’s an element of humanity to it. It’s a bit different.

Not to beat a dead horse, but is the new figure Connor’s enemy?
The other lead character is a new figure. [Anderson laughs] And it’s questionable if he’s an enemy or not. That’s not necessarily resolved.
ANDERSON: It’s a really interesting time in the franchise because it’s where all the fans have always wanted the franchise to go, and it hasn’t to date, which is the post-apocalyptic world. It’s after judgment day. So because we’re in a different time in the mythology, it introduces a whole new set of circumstances and characters.

And of course, none of this will have anything to do with the upcoming TV series The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which takes place in a completely different timeline altogether, where the events of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) never took place and thus the trilogy which follows that film never took place either. (Though I suppose we can never rule out the possibility that the two timelines might be bridged somehow. This is science fiction, after all.) So, anyway, make of all that what you will.

I Am Legend, science, and religion.

I haven’t been all that interested in I Am Legend ever since I first mentioned it here over two years ago, but now New York Post columnist Kyle Smith has said something about the film — which opens next week Friday — that does intrigue me.

At his blog, he says the film is “a rare Hollywood movie in that it contains a pro-God message in the midst of a scientific inquiry into the nature of the cure for a supervirus.”

And over at the Commentary website, he calls the film “The First Movie of the Post Stem-Cell Debate Era!” and writes that the Will Smith character is an atheist who learns that “science alone” isn’t enough.

Is it possible that this film goes even further with the religious themes than the previous version of this story, the Charlton Heston vehicle The Omega Man (1971)? We shall see.

Just for the record, I have not yet seen the even earlier version of this story, the Vincent Price flick The Last Man on Earth (1964), so I do not know whether that film makes use of religious themes too. My wife added it to our DVD collection some time ago, though, so I should probably watch it soon.

BC Christian News — December 2007

The newest issue of BC Christian News is now online, and with it, my film column, which looks mainly at Atonement but also includes a mini-review of Juno. I will have longer and/or alternate reviews of both films up at CT Movies later this week.

DEC 10 UPDATE: A slightly longer version of the Juno portion of this column is now up at the MB Herald, too.

Canadian box-office stats — December 2

Here are the figures for the past weekend, arranged from those that owe the highest percentage of their take to the Canadian box office to those that owe the lowest.

American Gangster — CDN $10,950,000 — N.AM $121,732,000 — 9.0%
Beowulf — CDN $5,840,000 — N.AM $68,613,000 — 8.5%
Bee Movie — CDN $9,830,000 — N.AM $117,643,000 — 8.4%
No Country for Old Men — CDN $1,920,000 — N.AM $23,030,000 — 8.3%
Hitman — CDN $2,500,000 — N.AM $30,204,000 — 8.3%
Awake — CDN $490,101 — N.AM $6,011,000 — 8.2%
The Mist — CDN $1,510,000 — N.AM $19,255,000 — 7.8%
Fred Claus — CDN $4,060,000 — N.AM $59,783,000 — 6.8%
Enchanted — CDN $4,350,000 — N.AM $70,620,000 — 6.2%
August Rush — CDN $1,180,000 — N.AM $20,354,000 — 5.8%

A couple of discrepancies: American Gangster was #9 on the Canadian chart (it was #11 in North America as a whole), while This Christmas was #2 on the North American chart.

Christian Bale “confirmed” for Terminator 4

Nothing really new here, but if you’re as curious to see where the franchise goes as I am, I might as well quote today’s Entertainment Weekly:

The rumors have raged for the past few weeks but Hollywood Insider can now confirm that Christian Bale is set to star in the Terminator reboot…Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. No official word yet on what role Bale will play in the film, which McG is directing and Halcyon is producing for Warner Bros. One source tells HI that the story line is a big departure from the originals starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Details are being kept so close to the vest that only a very few people have read the last ten pages of the script. All we know is that Bale is one valuable commodity to those folks at Warners. (A studio spokesperson had no comment, other than to say that Salvation isn’t set yet, meaning it has not been officially greenlit.)

UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter now has the story too.

DEC 3 UPDATE: And now Variety has the story — along with the news that, yes, Bale will play John Connor in his 30s, and not a Terminator, as one earlier report had it.

Scorsese, flashbulbs, Hitchcock, lightbulbs.

Glenn Kenny at has just posted some screen captures from Raging Bull (1980) and The Aviator (2004), noting how Martin Scorsese has projected his fear of flashbulbs onto the heroes of his films.

Coincidentally, today GreenCine Daily happened to link to this site, which features a video in which Scorsese “preserves” a supposedly unproduced Alfred Hitchcock film, called The Key to Reserva, by shooting what is left of its screenplay — and a lightbulb features very prominently.

The Scorsese video is quite amusing, by the way. Check it out.