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Digital Schwarzenegger Set For New 'Terminator' 309

Posted by samzenpus
from the he-said-he'd-be-back dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The Governator revealed this week that he may appear in the upcoming 'Terminator Salvation,' but when he said he didn't want to act, he left many fans scratching their heads. Turns out Schwarzenegger has been secretly working with helmer McG and the effects team to reprise his signature role ... without lifting a finger. 'I made it very clear that I don't have the time to do the movie,' says Schwarzenegger. 'I said that I would be willing to be in the movie if they get the technology together, and so they are working on that right now.' A body-cast mold of Schwarzenegger, created when he first appeared as the muscle-ripped cyborg, provided the basis for a digital-effects version of his famous character so the figure can appear in 'Terminator Salvation' as a living, breathing actor. Warner first screens the movie in early May, and opens it May 21. 'I think it's cool to continue on with the franchise ... in case I want to jump over again and get into the acting after I'm through here,' adds Schwarzenegger."
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Digital Schwarzenegger Set For New 'Terminator'

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  • Duh! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Z00L00K (682162) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @02:35PM (#27691739) Homepage

    Soon we no longer need actors and we just need digitized versions of them.

    So we may see new movies with Bogart, Wayne, Hepburn, Garbo and many others.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Pingh (1130313)
      Not to mention Farley...
    • Re:Duh! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Thursday April 23, 2009 @02:42PM (#27691903)
      Digitized versions still make real money. I wonder what Arnold stands to gain from his participation in the film? Even tho personally I feel his presence in the film will be far more distracting than anything else.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        There's no way the SAG would let this happen if he didn't get paid just like he was there, because it sets a very very bad precedent, much worse than letting him get paid just as if he were there. Or at least that's my interpretation of their mindset, I could be fuck-all wrong. Who knows? Somebody will probably chime in to regulate me if I'm wrong, which usually gets an answer faster than just asking around here, so I'm not sure what to hope for.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RobertM1968 (951074)

          I'm sure that SAG isn't even an issue here. I have a feeling that Arnold is more than capable of creating an agreement with the studios that he is happy with.

          That aside, I think your point would be a valid one for a less well known role played by someone who didnt have such clout in the role - so good point anyway (at least IMHO).

    • by CRCulver (715279)
      Square Pictures was so proud of Aki Ross in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within that they suggested the same digital model could appear in other films. Once the film bombed, that idea was quickly forgotten.
    • by Megane (129182)

      We still don't have the voice technology down yet. Participation by the governator's larynx is presumably still required.

      But someday we will all have our own computer-generated Majel Barrett voice!

    • Bogart was already Schwarzeneggerized in 1987...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Soon we no longer need actors and we just need digitized versions of them.

      Computers can't act. Until Dr. Soong comes along and perfects a 'positronic' brain, this still statement cannot be true. Even animators need reference.

      • Re:Duh! (Score:5, Funny)

        by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted @ s l a s h d ot.org> on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:36PM (#27692823)

        Hey, wouldn't Keanu Reeves have made the perfect Data... or Spock?
        I mean, no visible emotions at all... Even Nimoy couldn't do that.

        They would have had to skip that episode where he got a emotion chip though...

    • Re:Duh! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:12PM (#27692423) Homepage Journal
      So we may see new movies with Bogart, Wayne, Hepburn, Garbo and many others.

      But never Paul Newman. He had this little bit in his will which said his executors should prevent any:

      "virtual performance or reanimation of any performance by me by the use of any technique, technology or medium now in existence or which may be known or created in the future anywhere in the universe."
      • And wouldn't that at most apply for 50 to 100 years after his death?

        Then his works are in the public domain (even by today's ridiculous copyright standards) and folks can use them to create new works.

        It might be a lot less-- look what happened to Leona Helmsly's will.

      • by rho (6063)

        Paul Newman: a class act, and pretty smart, too.

        I bet his obits were chockablock full of people calling him a "class act".

        Ob: digital actors, can we resurrect William Powell and Myrna Loy first?

      • What would happen then? Maybe he has an estate who could fight it. Weird legal ground I bet.

        • by Chabo (880571)

          I'm pretty sure the Paul Newman Foundation is his executor. As long as you see Newman's Own food on the shelves, I think they'll be able to fight it. ;)

    • Well, actors aren't just pretty faces (well, in some cases). So it isn't exactly the same.
    • Soon we no longer need actors and we just need digitized versions of them.

      So we may see new movies with Bogart, Wayne, Hepburn, Garbo and many others.

      Oh, you mean Remake: http://www.amazon.com/Remake-Connie-Willis/dp/0553374370/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1240514628&sr=8-16 [amazon.com]

    • Soon we will no longer need human governors.

      No more need for blackmail or extortion or bribery to make sure the puppet politicians stay in line.

    • Ever see Benjamin Button? Sure they created a digital version of Brad Pitt for the entire first half [ted.com] as he aged backwards, but it's not like he wasn't involved in that process at all. S1M0NE [imdb.com] isn't exactly possible yet, they're still a human under those bits.
    • by dwye (1127395)

      > So we may see new movies with Bogart, Wayne, Hepburn, Garbo and many others.

      They already did this with Laurence Olivier in the otherwise-forgettable Something Something and the Something Something, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, but it really was that forgettable, just as The Last Starfighter would have been, despite the best CGI available at the time, without Robert Preston).

      And, as my parenthetical indicates, you may get Katherine Hepburn's body, but you wil

  • by mir@ge (25727) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @02:35PM (#27691741) Homepage

    He did not act in the first one either!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They tapped Henry Kissinger to do terminators voice.

  • by pak9rabid (1011935) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @02:38PM (#27691817)
    It's better than not having him at all I suppose. A Terminator movie just wouldn't be the same without him...or at least something that looks like him. Are they going to be using his real voice at least?...Not that there was a ton of dialogue for the terminator role.
    • Yeah because the terminator movies were totally known for their dialogue.
  • Running Man anyone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Satanboy (253169) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @02:41PM (#27691875)

    Am I the only one that remembers the bad guys digitally changing the face of a guy who dies in the Running Man to be that of Arnold?

    I find it interesting that we are now getting to the point where the future in sci fi films is becoming the reality. . .

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 23, 2009 @02:43PM (#27691931)

    ...to get a digital Shatner in the new STAR TREK film?

  • I like the Gubernator better.
  • Why? (Score:4, Funny)

    by whimmel (189969) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @02:48PM (#27692031) Homepage Journal

    Why was a body-cast taken in the first place? Did the producers send someone back in time to get the mold so it would be available for 'Salvation'?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ben Newman (53813)

      Have you even seen the original in all its pre-CGI glory? There's that ultra realistic rubber Arnold head featured prominently in one scene that would have at least required a full torso mold of him. They might have made a full body cast at the same time just to have it available for other effects shots they had in mind. Total Recall would have needed one too. Hell, there are probably several full body casts of Arnold from various points in his career floating around because of all the special effect he

  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @02:49PM (#27692047)
    This probably makes the Actor's Guild shit themselves. Technically, they may have an intellectual property clause wide enough to drive a Freightliner full of liquid nitrogen through. They could digitize him, and as long as he didn't have a speaking part, they could even have an action sequence with him fighting Bale/Connor and all of that, and say "hey, it's all covered under the same contract that lets us use your likeness for Terminator toys, etc. We don't owe you anything."

    That, of course, would probably put a halt to actors willing to be greenscreened and bodysuited, and do voiceover for tie-in games like Jackman and Wolverine.
    • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:15PM (#27692473)

      They could digitize him, and as long as he didn't have a speaking part, they could even have an action sequence with him fighting Bale/Connor and all of that, and say "hey, it's all covered under the same contract that lets us use your likeness for Terminator toys, etc. We don't owe you anything."

      That strikes me as incredibly unlikely. There's no way he'd sign a generic 'use my likeness for everything' contract. Everything's isolated on a per-movie basis, even the merchandising, down to the point that the production companies are often created just for that particular movie to make all those arragements. Let me give you an idea: Crispin Glover sued, and won, because footage of him in Back to the Future was used in Back to the Future II without his permission. Even if the contract is open ended, there's still an understanding that movies, even in a series (which Terminator Salvation barely qualifies for), are individual entities.

  • Let it go (Score:3, Funny)

    by Weaselmancer (533834) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @02:56PM (#27692159)

    You know, when your main actors are getting so old they have to be digitally reproduced - that might just maybe possibly be a sign that you should let it drop already.

    • To be fair he only gave up acting because he was governor. He may have very well been able to handle the role (let's face it his model of terminator didn't move much) but he would have went back on his promise of taking the role of governor seriously and not going off and acting.
  • by PMuse (320639) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @02:57PM (#27692183)

    ... so the figure can appear in "Terminator Salvation" as a living, breathing actor.

    To recap, we will have a CGI farm pretending to be an actor pretending to be a robot pretending to be a man.

    Imagine if we could get a Beowulf cluster of these things.

  • Until we don't even need the flesh to model after, and have 100% digital entities as actors?

    Ya, i know there was a movie about that, but how long until its actually going to happen? I think we could just about do it now, technically.

  • Lucy Liu Bots anyone?
  • by RManning (544016)

    All that technology and they do Arnold? Why aren't they putting digital Jessica Biel in more movies?

  • Doesn't Have Time? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fm6 (162816) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @03:52PM (#27693097) Homepage Journal

    I suspect this is less about Arnold not being able to find the time than about the changes in his appearance. He's 25 years older, he's had heart-valve-replacement surgery, and although he's still physically active, he doesn't have the muscle-bound physique of his Pumping Iron days. A CGI Arnold will be a lot more convincing than the real thing!

    A standard problem when you have people playing "android" robots. Actors age. (So do machines, but not the same way.) I think the main reason they killed off Data in the last Star Trek movie was the difficulty explaining away Brent Spinner's signs of age. So they set up a new character who's supposedly a sort of continuation of Data, all ready to to play the role in the next sequel — which, I dearly hope, never gets made.

    BTW, every time our Governor is on the news, I keep expecting him to turn to the camera and say, "Ai ahm ah macheen!"

  • They could cut and splice existing Terminator dialog like they did in South Park for Chef after Isaac Hayes went goofy with scientology. Or mabye have Seth MacFarlane do the voice ala Stewie. That would be cool.

  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @04:01PM (#27693243) Homepage

    The Governator revealed this week that he may appear in the upcoming 'Terminator Salvation,' but when he said he didn't want to act, he left many fans scratching their heads.

    I don't see why, that's perfectly lucid if you ask me.

  • So in 10 years... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by _KiTA_ (241027) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @04:31PM (#27693673) Homepage

    So in 10 years when we have the hardware to do this kinda thing on the average home PC... how scary is THAT going to be?

    Poser pr0n is already bad enough now, can you imagine when it's a) Photorealistic and b) Based on real people?

    I can see the scandals now.

    "IL&M Apologizes for accidental leak of 3d Model Data"

    "Jamie Lynn Spears / JFK sex tape confirmed fake"

    "George Washington Punk Rock Show a surprise hit on new Youtube 5.0"

    "'Jesus' starring in new Talk show on UPN, Neo-Christian groups object."

  • by ArcadeNut (85398) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @04:39PM (#27693815) Homepage

    They will have to build a server farm code named "Sky Net" in order to reproduce Arnie!

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Thursday April 23, 2009 @06:46PM (#27695473) Journal

    It's that a puppet version of Yoda for $5,000 is far, far superior to a pixel version of yoda for 5 million dollars.

  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Thursday April 23, 2009 @07:14PM (#27695805)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livia_Soprano [wikipedia.org]

    After the second season, a storyline was planned where Livia would be called to testify against her son in court, giving evidence on stolen airline tickets she had received from him, but [the actress who played her] died in 2000, before it could be filmed. Existing footage and computer-generated imagery was used to create a final scene between Tony and Livia in the episode "Proshai, Livushka" in Season Three before the character too passed on.

    Arnold should have acted in this movie and taken as much money as he could and just donated it to his state's budget.

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