Inside "Terminator Salvation"

Turning Man into Machine in "Terminator Salvation"

Sam Worthington stars as Marcus Wright
Sam Worthington stars as Marcus Wright
Photo courtesy or Warner Bros. Pictures/Richard Foreman

Terminators aside, Rosengrant's major challenge was Marcus Wright, a character whose appearance required a blend of prosthetics and CG to execute. Rosengrant arrived on set in April 2008 to do makeup tests on Sam Worthington in advance of the May-August shoot. The actor spent six to eight hours a day in the makeup chair having prosthetics applied, including blue-colored areas with tracking dots inside them.

Rosengrant worked closely with Visual Effects Supervisor Charlie Gibson to map out the endoskeleton reveal. "When Jon Connor undoes that chain and Marcus can look down at himself for the first time, it's an incredible moment," says Rosengrant, who also built an animatronic hand for Marcus based on a body scan and 3-D model.

While working on "Iron Man" last year, he discovered lightweight materials that looked like metal but were much easier to puppeteer. "This urethane is light and totally paintable," says Rosengrant, who chose drab colors. "We were going for the dirty, grungy look--kind of like a locomotive meets Soviet tank, a distressed metal look," he explains.

An arsenal of weapons provided firepower that some off the cast had to learn to handle. Anton Yelchin was excited about using a gun and a grenade launcher. "I didn't get a phaser in 'Star Trek.' I was bummed," he confided. "Here, I had a gun the whole movie."

Bale found the physical requirements of "Terminator" easy compared to the Batman movies. "It was really all weapons handling and I don't find that too tricky." He did many of his own stunts, which involved "a lot of jumping off things and harness work, which can be painful when they don't position the harness correctly. You break out in cold sweats."

But those stunts you'll just have to see for yourself. If you'd like more information on "Terminator Salvation" or how movies are made, take a look at some of the links below.

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  • McG, John Rosengrant, Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Anton Yelchin, Moon Bloodgood interviewed May 8, 2009
  • James Cameron interviewed May 8, 2009
  • Daniel Lin, Jadagrace, Jane Alexander interviewed May 14, 2009