The fourth film in the Terminator franchise is to take its US bow on May 22nd 2009, it has been confirmed.

Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins will go head to head with the Ben Stiller sequel Night at the Museum II: Escape from the Smithsonian though the CGI comedy's predecessor earned $100 million more worldwide than the third Terminator movie.

McG, helmer of both Charlie's Angels features, is to follow in the footsteps of James Cameron and Jonathan Mostow in directing the film, while Christian Bale is attached to star as John Connor.

While the plot of the fourth film has been largely kept under wraps, it is believed it could be the start of a three-picture exploration of the human battle for survival after much of the Earth has been obliterated by Skynet - the computer that controlled the machines - in a nuclear holocaust.

As John Connor, Bale will lead the human resistance movement, while Australian actor Sam Worthington - currently shooting Cameron's Avatar - is believed to be in talks for a supporting part.

Warner Bros studios is to handle the US and Canadian distribution for Terminator Salvation, though Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group will distribute the film globally.

"The Sony distribution team is really energised by this opportunity to work with Victor and Derek at the Halcyon Co in continuing our involvement with the 'Terminator' series," Peter Schlessel, president of worldwide affairs at Sony, told the Hollywood Reporter.

26/02/2008 12:55:41