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Among the many rumors and bits of bad buzz that plagued McG as he made Terminator: Salvation, one in particular got the fanboys the most upset: the leaked ending. Story had it that McG changed the ending after the Internet cried mutiny en masse, even though McG denied at the time that the leaked ending was ever remotely true.
But with the movie just two weeks away from release, McG is finally coming clean about the leaked ending. SciFiWire reported on the director's spoiler-filled roundtable conversation at the Terminator junket, in which McG admitted the leaked ending we heard about was only one part of a terrible, terrible ending.
SPOILERS OF TERMINATOR: SALVATION BELOW
""There was this leak that Connor dies and they put Connor's face on top of the machine body of [half-man, half-machine] Marcus [Sam Worthington]. Everybody went, 'Booo! What's that?' That's half of it. We had a jet-black ending. Connor dies, we're in a room with all the people we care about. You take Connor's likeness, you put it on the living machine of Marcus. He sits up now looking like Christian Bale, takes a gun, kills Kate, kills Kyle, kills Star, kills everybody, eyes flare red, the end."
Apparently they were so attached to the notion of Connor becoming half-man, half-machine that they wrote out several different versions of the dark ending, including one in which the Terminator version of Connor goes on to lead the resistance just as before. And I kind of get why-- they've introduced this fascinating half-Terminator character of Marcus, but his confusion about his identity and his fate never really affect our main character, John Connor, who is the thread that links all the Terminator movies together. I'm guessing that's what they had in mind when they created Marcus to begin with, and when audience testing and general fear forced them to back off, Marcus remained like a vestigial limb.
Then again, the super-bleak ending that involved killing Kyle Reese would have been ridiculous, essentially negating the first three Terminator movies. Yes, I realize we're all in love with the total reboot version of Star Trek right now, but the Terminator universe isn't so complicated that a few simple rules can't be observed. The whole notion of Terminator: Salvation is, as John Connor says in the trailer, "This is not the future my mother warned me about." Some rules are being tweaked. But thank you, McG, for respecting your elders and your fans enough not to stomp all over Terminator.