“I won’t be working with him again”: Christian Bale Vowed Never to Work With One Director After Asking Christopher Nolan’s Brother to Save ‘Pathetic’ Script That Made $371M at Box-Office

Christian Bale Vowed Never to Work With One Director After Asking Christopher Nolan’s Brother to Save ‘Pathetic’ Script That Made $371M at Box-Office
Featured Video

Christian Bale’s filmography alludes to the esteemed actor’s commitment to multifaceted, diverse roles. Critics have praised the 49-year-old Hollywood star for his unwavering dedication in every project he takes on. Fans have grown to expect nothing but sheer brilliance from the American Psycho alum.

Christian Bale in Terminator: Salvation
Christian Bale in Terminator: Salvation (2009)

Read also: Emilia Clarke Cannot Give a Lesser Damn if You Hated Her Marvel, Terminator Debut

However, for 2009’s Terminator Salvation, even Bale’s talent wasn’t enough to save the narrative from being critically panned. With the original script requiring modifications and the writer’s strike at the time plaguing the efforts of the actor and director McG in reinvigorating the popular franchise, Christian Bale later disclosed that he wouldn’t be working with the filmmaker again.


Christian Bale Was Unsatisfied With The Original Terminator Salvation Script

Christian Bale in Terminator: Salvation
The actor was unhappy with the original script

Bale has shared his regrets about the 2009 McG-helmed film on several occasions. The film, which acts as a fourth installment to the Terminator franchise, sees the acclaimed actor in the role of John Connor. Initially, however, The Machinist alum was offered the role of Marcus Wright, which was later embodied by Sam Worthington.

Opening up about his decision to portray Connor instead of Marcus, Christian Bale, in an interview with MTV, revealed the reservations people had about the McG-directed film’s script:

“… People said that I was unhappy with the original script. And I wasn’t the only one. Everybody was saying that there needed to be changes made to it. Connor was a character who appeared very, very briefly in the original [script]. Which I was happy to do if the story could become something worthy of reviving this mythology.”

He then added:


“However, we had a few writers, because of the whole situation with the writer’s strike […] But we were very lucky for the short time … that my friend Jonathan Nolan came in [to work on it].”

British-American screenwriter, producer and director, Jonathan Nolan
British-American screenwriter Jonathan Nolan

Read also: Anne Hathaway Humiliated Reporter Who Kept Asking If She Did Extreme Workouts Like Her Co-Star Christian Bale

Jonathan Nolan, the brother of Christopher Nolan, is a proficient screenwriter with whom Christian Bale has had the opportunity to work multiple times. With Jonathan Nolan willing to accompany Bale on his Terminator Salvation journey, the actor thought that the endeavor would rely on a better story. He even recalled having urged the screenwriter to, “Just do whatever it is you need to do, whatever makes the best story.” 

All that Bale wanted to do was revive the franchise with a narrative that would be well-received by both audiences and critics. Alas, Nolan’s departure, owing to a previous commitment, alongside the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike ended up being some of the barriers to Terminator Salvation‘s success.


Christian Bale Rejected Terminator Salvation Three Times

Christian Bale
Christian Bale declined Terminator Salvation three times

On the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Bale revealed that upon being approached for the 2009 premise, he felt that there was no story to be found. The actor understood that the attempt to revitalize the franchise would lead to an unrealized dream:

“I said no three times. I thought that the [Terminator] franchise… I went ‘Nah, there’s no story there.'”

The actor disclosed the hurdles that kept interfering in the process of perfecting the film and giving it a sustainable storyline:

“It was an unfortunate series of events involving the writers’ strike, involving Jonah Nolan, who was able to come on and start to write a wonderful script, but then got called away for a prior commitment […] it’s a great thorn in my side because I wish we could have reinvigorated [the franchise]. Unfortunately, during production, you could tell that wasn’t happening.” 

While Bale may have declined the offer made by McG numerous times, it can be ascertained from the above-mentioned statements that the Ford v Ferrari star wanted to give meaning to the fan-favorite franchise and lead its narrative reawakening. Sadly, such dreams couldn’t come true.


Christian Bale Won’t Work With Director McG Again

Director McG, known for endeavors such as Charlie's Angels
Director McG

Bale’s revelations about director McG generated considerable buzz. Despite the actor’s initial hesitance to star in the 2009 endeavor, the filmmaker’s passion and vehemence made Christian Bale consider the offer. Talking to the Wall Street Journal, he said:

“He goes, ‘Give me a chance. Everyone needs to evolve, and I need to turn over a new leaf. And please, you must’ve been in this position before yourself, when someone has taken a leap of faith on you,’ – which I have – ‘please do that for me now; I promise you, I’m ready for it’.”

The filmmaker’s enthusiasm couldn’t make up for the disappointment that certain critics and fans felt after watching Terminator Salvation. The movie ended up garnering $371.4 million at the worldwide box office against a budget of $200 million. Bale’s performance was hailed by some as “one-dimensional” with co-star Sam Worthington’s embodiment of Marcus Wright receiving praise instead.

These may have been the reasons behind Bale’s vowing to never work with filmmaker McG ever again:


“There’s a lot of room for many approaches and many characters within the film industry. I won’t be working with him [McG] again, but I wish him very well.”

From this, we can discern that the poorly received fourth installment of the Terminator franchise remains a regretful pursuit for the highly-venerated actor.

Source: MTV & Wall Street Journal 

Read also: Christian Bale Would Have Put RDJ’s Iron Man Contract to Shame With Zack Snyder Movie Offer


Written by Debdipta Bhattacharya

Articles Published: 659

Debdipta Bhattacharya is a content writer at FandomWire, where she has written more than 500 articles on various topics of interest. She possesses a sincere passion for popular culture, anime, film production, and the evolving world of YouTube and streaming culture which has allowed her to be a devoted and well-informed writer. Debdipta holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication. She has honed her skills and expertise in content writing with over two years of experience and strives to learn and grow daily.