Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins is an upcoming science fiction action film set for release on May 22, 2009. Directed by McG, it is the fourth film in the Terminator franchise and stars Christian Bale as John Connor, Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese, and Sam Worthington as the new character Marcus Wright. The film is set in 2018, focusing on the war between humanity and Skynet. It abandons the formula of the series (Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Model 101 Terminator time traveling to the present to protect or kill someone of future importance), and the film will be rated PG-13, unlike the other films. Filming began on May 5, 2008.
The film is set in 2018 during the war between humanity and Skynet in a post-apocalyptic world. James Middleton, the associate producer of the film, has stated that Terminator 4 "[is] really about the birth of a new hero," and McG said that it will also be about the development of the Model 101 Terminator. He explained the film will "begin again very much in the spirit of what [Christopher] Nolan did with Batman," meaning it may be a reboot, and that it is "a bit of a sequel and a prequel because it tells the story of how we got there."
The film will be released on May 22, 2009, and it will be rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America, unlike the previous R-rated films. The producers cited the desire to broaden the series to a new audience and the modern leniency of violence in PG-13 films (such as Live Free or Die Hard), but they have stated that they will not force the rating. McG explained, "We have entertained the idea of a PG-13 rating largely because Batman Begins, in my opinion, was made compromise-free. So we'll see. The movie comes first and it will be protected at all times."