According to Variety, the producers of Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins are shooting the film as a PG-13. After giving the film a ridiculous name and hiring a director who's track-record reads like a list of felonies, the producers of the film, Halcyon, have used crapfest Die Hard 4.0 as a precedent for shooting the film for a family-friends rating.
Now, I thought Terminator 3 was a piece of shit. It was comedy Terminator and, aside from featuring the governor of California, bore little resemblence to the previous films which were, and remain classics. The television series, I've no interest in at all. When Terminator 4 was announced, I, along with many of the people who seek out info like this on the net, gave a collective chuckle. When it was announced that the film would take place during the war between humans and Skynet, which was only briefly seen in T1 and T2, the chuckles turned to raised eybrows of interest. Then McG (the guy calls himself McG for Christ sake) was announced as director, we all guffawed. Then Christian Bale was cast as John Connor. Bale has not put a foot wrong in terms of chosing scripts since, well, forever. So the guffaws were silenced. And now this. This pretty much hammers the nail into the coffin of the film.
The producers are worried about merchandising. Merchandising. Toys, trading cards, plush toys, McDonalds meals. This is NOT how to go about making a movie. Movies should be made to tell a story. Not to make some faceless, greedy, businessman who is devoid of any artistic merit some more money. Try as they may to justify shooting the film to reach 'the widest audience possible,' at the end of the day, they just want to make as much money as possible. To hell with story and quality. It doesn't matter to them that T1 and T2, which were R-rated movies pulled in massive audiences. It doesn't matter to them that the core audience of fans of these movies are well into their twenties and thirties now, and ratings no longer have any bearing on them. What matters to the producers is that they get parents to bring their young families along and thus maximise ticket sales. They need new pools for their houses. They need bigger and faster cars. And they don't care what they have to do to get these things.
At the end of the day, there's little we can do about this situation. In an age where endings of films are changed because 40 or 50 people who were shown a workprint mightn't have liked one or two things, it's clear that art no longer applies to Hollywood. It's all about the cash. To change things, audiences worldwide would have to stop going to badly-made, empty-headed, made-only-to-maximise ticket sales blockbusters. To give film producers a kick in the arse and make them start caring about the art of filmmaking. And that just isn't going to happen. Ultimately, audiences are to blame for this situation. And while this started out as a rant about Terminator 4, it really applies to all filmmaking. Sure, there are filmmakers who make small, superbly crafted films. But how long until even these people cant afford to get these films made? And even if they do, it will get to the stage where nobody will be able to see these films because the multiplexes wont screen them. The art of film is slowly dying. And it's the audience who is suffering.