Sound & Vision Premiere Preview

In theaters: May 21 Studio: Warner Director: McG Starring: Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Bryce Dallas Howard

This fourth entry in the apocalyptic franchise picks up in 2018, 14 years after the events of 2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and 11 years before the T800 was sent back to kill Sarah Connor in 1984's Terminator. Salvation takes place post-Judgment Day, with John Connor (Bale) leading the human resistance in the war against Skynet's sentient machines. "We wanted to tell the story of how that 20-year-old kid in a bunker takes the reins to lead the people," says producer Jeanne Allgood. "Kyle Reese says in the first movie, 'We were on the brink of extinction, and John brought us back.' So we decided to put them on the brink and see what happens." (Reese, played by Michael Biehn in the first two films and by Anton Yelchin here, was the resistance soldier sent back by his buddy John Connor to protect his mother Sarah - and ended up being John's father. Hmm, maybe this classic Terminator mythology inspired some of Lost's writers. . . .)

About Bale's infamous tape-recorded on-set meltdown, Allgood says, "It was just a rough day. It was an emotional scene, and I think that it sounded much worse than it was." She does promise that the Bale tape won't be the most explosive thing to come out of Salvation. "Audiences haven't seen anything like what's going on here, both the visual effects and the stunts," she asserts, adding that the movie's effects will surpass the impact of Robert Patrick's shape-shifting T1000 in 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day.