It's a true irony that 2009's Terminator Salvation, which at the time received the most lukewarm reception of any sequel to James Cameron’s original two Terminator films, has gained some warmer reception. Compared to it's predecessor, 2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and the two subsequent sequels that followed it, 2015's Terminator: Genisys and 2019's Terminator: Dark Fate, it's gain affection for trying to be different as opposed to the time traveling "do-over" that drove the protagonists in the other films. However, Salvation saw Christian Bale play an adult John Connor in the thick of the war with the machines, a grim dystopian world crafted that included machines herding humans like cattle along with the unique character of Marcus Wright (Played by Sam Worthington), a sleeper human-machine hybrid unware of he is unknowingly following programming.
The plot primarily saw John Connor trying to save Kyle Reese (In a reverse of the first film where he tried to save Sarah Connor) while the human resistance discover a wave signal that could disrupt the machines functions in hopes of a planned attack to end the war. The film openly acknowledges how the time travel of the first three films has altered the progress of the future John was told about as a child while bringing a unique subtext of humans not knowing when they are truly in control of their choices. The film was intended to be the first of a new trilogy (Which Genisys and Dark Fate tried to also do) but Salvation only made $371.4 on a costly $200 million budget. And while we'll never know what could have been, in a new interview with CBR, McG revealed he has an alternate cut he thinks fans would appreciate:
“It’s interesting because I feel like we did so much right with Terminator but, ultimately, got just enough wrong that we got beat up a little bit by the fanbase and it really, really broke my heart. And now, strangely, I think the film has started to age better.
There is a different cut. I have my own cut of that film and there’s people online that talk about wanting to see that cut. And that’s interesting! But I think I got a lot of things right with that.
Obviously, I think [uncredited screenwriter] Jonah Nolan is very, very serious writer and he did the best he could. [Maybe] the cut that I have of that movie hidden away is the answer. It’s darker! [Laughs] I don’t know, that’s for the fans to say.”
With alternate cuts being released left and right lately (Notably the Snyder Cut of 2017's Justice League), it wouldn't be unlikely to see this cut with enough fan campaigning, but McG also would have to contend with the rights to distributing it. Nowadays, anything seems possible...maybe fate truly is what we make of it. Stay tuned!