A screaming Wondercon crowd got treated to a new Terminator Salvation trailer and two long scenes, which I think were new. We got exposed to McG's ruthlessly manic energy, and we learned some mega-spoilers.
Oh, and the clip to the left is from the promos for Entertainment Tonight, which also showed a smidgen of new T4 footage. Here are my impressions of the trailer, which is showing in front of Watchmen:
You see some machines, and then a Terminator skull, and the word "2018." John Connor's voice says: "We've been fighting a long time. We're outnumbered by machines. Humans have a strength that cannot be measured. This is John Connor. If you're listening to this, you are the resistance." During all this, there are postapocalyptic scenes of nastiness, including people penned up in huge enclosures, and Connor talking on the radio and shooting a skeletal T-600 under his crashed helicopter, with people jumping out of the helicopter behind him. "Something has changed," says Connor as a Harvester rips an old lady out of a gas station through a hole in the roof. Skynet is "taking human prisoners, and replicating human tissue."
Then there's a sequence in the trailer which deals with Marcus Wright, who's clearly revealed to be a machine. Marcus is dragged into the rebels' headquarters, and Bryce Dallas Howard says, "Let's see what we've got here." They examine Marcus, realize he's part metal, and then Common bashes Marcus in the head (we see the head-bashing from Marcus' point of view.) "This thing is something we've never seen before." And then John Connor is looking at a chained-up Marcus, who says "My name is Marcus Wright." "You think you're human," Connor says. "I am human," Marcus insists. And then Connor loosens the chains on Marcus' head enough to let him look down and see his own metal body. Marcus screams.
And then there are machine legs marching, and a T-600 shooting at people. The T-600 attacks Marcus, and then we see Marcus telling Connor he can help (more on that below). There's bombing and explosions, and then Marcus throws a stool at a glass wall, breaking out of a facility somewhere. Connor screams, "If we don't stay the course, we are all dead!" And then a partly machine-faced Marcus says, "I'm the only hope you have." There are more explosions and then the thing of the cityscape exploding and turning into a skeleton face (from the motion poster.)
McG also showed us a couple of clips from the movie:
Clip #1: The gas station scene. I think part of this one has been shown before. Kyle Reese, Marcus and a little girl played by Will Smith's daughter Jada Grace pull up to a gas station seeking supplies. They find a bottle of milk, but then a ton of armed guys jump out and surround them. Marcus says these guys aren't going to help them, but then an old lady says they can't leave until Jada gets something to eat. The leader of the armed thugs starts arguing with her about giving up their food, but then there's a weird noise and the milk bottle explodes, followed by the lead thug. A Harvester smashes through the roof and grabs the old lady. All the thugs jump in their vehicles and race away, but the Harvester blows them all up.
"We can't just run for it," says Kyle. So instead they get in a fuel tanker and Marcus opens the tank, leaving a trailer of fuel. He crashes the fuel tank into the Harvester and then disconnects from it and drives off. He tries to blow up the fuel by shooting at it, but no good. So Jada finds a flare and he tosses it into the gasoline. BOOM! Everything blows up - the Harvester, the cars, the gas station, everything.
But the Harvester emerges and launches Moto-terminators, the motorcycle attackers. And they zoom off after our heroes. They dodge lots of debris on the highway. Kyle shoots and manages to flip one of the Mototerminators over and it crashes into a bus. And then they roll off the road and drive through the wildnerness, knocking into derelict cars. One Mototerminator jumps off a bridge in front of their truck, and Marcus knocks out the windshield of their vehicle and the Mototerminator shoots at them. Kyle nearly falls out and nearly gets hit by a school bus, but Marcus pulls him back in. They manage to blow up that Mototerminator, but there's one left. They finally hook the truck's hookup onto it and send it flying and hitting cars. Then a flying Hunter/Killer comes and blows up the bridge they're on. BOOM!
Clip #2: Marcus and John Meet In A Swamp. There's a swamp where everything is on fire, and John Connor is in another helicopter. Someone on the copter throws a flare into the water, and it attracts some hydrobots. A machine jumps up and attacks the helicopter, taking out all its controls and windshield. They shoot at the machines, as the chopper falls into the water. (How many choppers does Connor crash in this movie?) Connor looks for his friend, but there's just a ton of blood in the water. He jumps onto the sinking helicopter and shoots at all the machines, then finally he's in the water, shooting his machine gun at Hydrobots that keep popping out of the water and attacking him. You see his legs in the water and he's surrounded by Hydrobots. He runs out of ammo, and a Hydrobot nearly gets him before he switches to a handgun.
Then Marcus gets out of the water. Connor nearly kills him, but Marcus says Kyle Reese is in Skynet, and he can get Connor in there. Connor is skeptical, but then Marcus says, "Look at me." His face is all peely now and you can see all the metal under his skin. "That's what I'm trying to do," Connor says. Someone shouts something (on the radio I think) and then Marcus says "Make your choice." Connor says, "You get me in. You tell me where I can find Kyle Reese. Yeah?" Connor throws something to Marcus and he puts it away, then backs off slowly with his hands up. Connor follows him, yelling, "What are you?" Marcus doesn't know. He swims away.
So those two clips were pretty revealing, and then we also learned a lot about the new film from the panel and the roundtables afterwards:
Kate Connor was stuck in that mountain with John Connor for years, waiting for the radiation to clear. And when they came out, they had a struggle getting people to believe them and follow them, when there were more experienced military people around wanting to take charge. Oh, and Kate Connor is seven months pregnant! This means Kate doesn't get to do too much action, but Bryce Dallas Howard told our journalists' roundtable that she did try to convey the kind of strength and sense of being accustomed to fear and loss that military brats like Kate grow up with.
Kyle Reese is as close to the original version as Anton Yelchin could get him, even down to the walk and the Nike high-tops he wears, plus that string harness he keeps his gun in. "Who wants to see a Terminator movie where it's not the Kyle Reese you know from T1?" asked Yelchin. Kyle is sort of a father figure to Jada Grace's character, who kicks tons of ass in the film and wields a big shotgun. And in turn, Marcus is kind of a father figure to Kyle Reese, who gets captured by Skynet before we really learn that Marcus is a machine. There's one scene at the end of the movie where Kyle and Marcus are together, and Yelchin said they tried to include a bit of subtext about how Kyle feels about the fact that his father figure was deceiving him.
And McG told us in the roundtable that Reese being imprisoned at Skynet is Skynet's newest plan: it tried to kill Sarah Connor and John Connor in the first two movies, and now it's trying to kill Kyle Reese before he can father John Connor, and lure Connor and friends in to try and rescue him, so it can get all of them in one place. Oh, and Yelchin knows nothing about that rumor he's up to star in Green Lantern.
Moon Bloodgood from Journeyman plays a super-tough resistance leader who carries the flag for James Cameron's female action heroes. But she also goes topless in the film - maybe. McG made a huge big deal of making Moon Bloodgood stand up so we could look at her breasts (fully clothed) and asked if we wanted to see "Moon's boobs" in the movie. He said he's arguing with the studio right now over whether to keep Moon's boobs in the film. I am so not kidding. Afterwards, at the roundtable, McG told us he saw Moon's breasts as expressing the human softness that's what we're fighting the machines for, and they're like the opposite of the hard machine world, but on the other hand maybe it's just a gratuitous juvenile scene that drags down an otherwise serious movie, and that's what he's debating with the studio right now. And Moon herself told reporters the scene is very tasteful and she felt very comfortable with it. And the scene is about knowing you could die soon and wanting to be close to another person, without any barriers in the way. Including clothing.