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'Terminator Salvation' (2009)
Notable participants: McG, Christian Bale, too many producers to mention
What happened: In theory, "Terminator Salvation" could have been something special. The fourth film in the franchise featured the new Batman, Christian Bale, as a grown up John Connor; an electric cast including Sam Worthington, Helena Bonham Carter, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anton Yelchin; and a director with a keen eye, McG, coming off the best reviewed film of his career ("We Are Marshall"). Instead, "Salvation" was a case study of what goes wrong when there are too many cooks in the kitchen (or in this case on set). The film had a shocking six executive producers, seven associate producers (bizarre) and that doesn't even count the traditional four regular producers who were in charge with day-to-day production. Having visited the set, nothing was stranger than what appeared to be a committee of producers shrouding McG behind the video playback as he made the movie. The film was independently produced (Warner Bros. distributed in the U.S.) and the legion of producers wanted to do everything possible to make sure "Salvation" didn't get behind schedule. Going over meant they would have to foot the bill for extra shooting days. The pressure became so intense it led to the infamous rant where Bale screams obscenities at cinematographer Shane Hurlbut for accidentally walking into the frame in a scene. Moreover, you know it's not a happy set when someone in the production has no problem helping the audio of Bale's tirade get online (yikes). The results? A planned follow up never occurred as "Salvation" received mixed reviews and was a relative disappointment at the box office.
- Gregory Ellwood