A film saga about robot overlords nearly ended with a main character being replaced by one. Originally, Terminator Salvation was supposed to close with John Connor (Christian Bale) actually dying from his wounds—a stark contrast to the theatrical cut, which showed Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington) giving up his heart to save John. The original ending takes things one (or a dozen) steps further. At the suggestion of Connor's wife, Kate (Bryce Dallas Howard), parts of Marcus and Connor are pieced together, Frankenstein-style, to create a cybernetic human…and you can likely gather what happens next. The metal-infused Connor goes on a rampage, shooting everyone he loves. Talking to Entertainment Weekly, McG dished on what all goes down in the alternate ending, and why it had to be changed.
"Connor dies… and Marcus offers his physical body, so Connor's exterior is put on top of his machine body. It looks like Connor, but it's really Marcus underneath. And all of the characters we care about (Kyle Reese, Connor's wife Kate, etc.) are brought into the room to see him and they think it's Connor," explained McG. "Connor gets up and then there's a small flicker of red in his eyes and he shoots Kate, he shoots Kyle, he shoots everybody in the room. Fade to black. End of movie. Skynet wins. F— you!"
So what exactly spurred the shift from super sad to relatively hopeful? Though Warner Bros. had reportedly given the all-clear to the original cut, McG simply didn't feel right about it. "Maybe two years from now, you'd think it was ballsy," he shrugged. "But in the end, it just felt like too much of a bummer."