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McG’s ‘Terminator IV’ Faces Actor’s Strike With a Plan

By Staff | Jun 5, 2008

Do you remember the injured Byron Leftwich protected and nearly carried by teammates in a heroic, though risky, effort to make a miracle comeback?

“We Are Marshall” director McG must have been told of that adversity; he’s shooting “Terminator IV” with a shooting schedule that includes, for lack of a better word, a forced half time break.  Or, maybe, it’s just his spin on Arnold’s famous, “I’ll Be Back.”

The fourth film in the franchise, “Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins,” has started shooting at Albuquerque Studios. Christian Bale plays the freedom fighter John Connor. However, the production will need all of that McG energy and charisma he exhibited during the shooting of “We Are Marshall” in Huntington. Why? Unless a contract is signed, the Screen Actors Guild might strike after June 30.

Several shoots have added a Hollywood Hustle to their scripts, but McG’s futuristic science-fiction flick has a plan. The producers already aware of the pending contract expiration and strike possibility have anticipated a two-part shooting schedule.

In fact, Charlotte Gainsbourg chosen to play Bale’s wife, dropped out due to a scheduling conflict with an upcoming French comedy. The conflict would be triggered if “Terminator” production took a forced hiatus.

McG replaced her with Bryce Dallas Howard, who has previously been seen in “Spiderman III,” “The Village” and “Lady in the Water.”  She’s the daughter of Ron Howard and while still a child appeared as an extra in her father’s “Apollo 13.”

In a blog posting on the Warner Bros. Web site, the director has a blog tracking some of the shooting. They’ve been filming for five weeks, according to the June 3 entry. McG wrote that “New Mexico wind … provides a perfect backdrop for our post-apocalyptic world.”

He also reported that Sam Worthington (“Rogue,” “Macbeth,”) tore a muscle in his ribs during a fight, as stunt doubles are not used.

And, for those of you who just cannot understand why he goes by McG, the WAM director wrote: “McG is short for McGinty. I have been called this since the day I was born to create separation from my Uncle Joe and Grandpa Joe. I realize it sounds like some Hollywood nickname, hip-hop choice. But the truth is, this is simply my name — for every day of elementary school, every zit filled day of high school. I have been taking shit for it ever since. I get it. I would think it’s lame too. But it’s just a name, and to change it now would seem fraudulent.”

To catch up on the shooting and Huntington’s favorite director, click: www.rss.warnerbros.com/terminatorsalvation/2008/06.

By the way, I promise, I’m not going to email you and ask to be let in on the film’s ending!