McG talks Terminator Salvation

"I want it to look like war journalism"

While he charmed the audience at the Comic-Con panel for Terminator: Salvation, director McG knew he’d have to up his game even further when meeting the press. Fortunately it seems as though he’s learned plenty of lessons in his career, and was happy to tell Total Film that the Terminator pic will not look like anything he’s made before.

“I wanted it to have a war journalism quality, like seeing old Vietnam footage - people running around and shooting. Children Of Men was shot that way, and the Bourne franchise was shot that way,” he told us. “I'm known for being over-stylish and colourful and that part of me is dead. This is much more gritty and hand-held and intimate. We invented our own film stock, which is colour film, but treating it with more silver than you even use in black & white filmmaking. That gives a very strange look. Detached, and strange and not like the world we live in.”

And with Dark Knight co-writer Jonathan Nolan on board re-writing the script, the director is also enthusiastic about getting the chance to expand the Terminator universe.

“With the first Terminator movies, they're present day - with Terminators coming back from the future, and this is the first one to happen after judgement day, to say that was inevitable and then it's about the war between John Connor and the machines. That's the joy of it: we get to see Skynet and all of its machines that we've never seen. The earlier movies only ever spoke of a future in 2029, with the T-800s. We're in 2018, with one hundred-foot-tall robots, flying 'bots, ones that live in the water.”

Oh, and if you were worried by recent ‘net reports about dodgy, convoluted endings for the film, stop worrying: “I'm in the business of listening to people. I listen to the public, but I don't chase the idea. I just like to hear what people are saying. And the stuff on the Internet about the ending - that was leaked by the studio, it was part of a disinformation campaign by the studio to keep people guessing.”

And finally, he’s ready for the long haul, provided he gets the chance: “we're planning for three movies, but I would never be so bold as to presume a trilogy. We're putting everything we've got into this movie to make sure it works, or there will be no second movie! And to be in the panel at Comic Con, to hear 7,000 people cheering, that really meant something - because it's that audience's privilege to reject something if they don't like it.”