The Batman vs. Terminator Short Did The Future War Better Than Salvation

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The Batman vs. Terminator Short Did The Future War Better Than Salvation

In 2014, Mitchell Hammond created a Batman vs. Terminator short film with Future War scenes that put the setting of Terminator Salvation to shame.

The Future War scenes in Terminator Salvation have been bested by an independently produced short film called Batman vs. The Terminator. It’s no secret that the Terminator sequels that followed in the footsteps of 1991’s groundbreaking Terminator 2: Judgment Day aren’t nearly as beloved as the first two entries. 2009’s Terminator Salvation, the fourth film in the ongoing franchise, jumped ahead in the timeline to depict the early years of the legendary war against the machines. However, the washed-out, brightly lit desert setting of the film disappointed many audience members who were expecting locations more in line with the Future War sequences seen in the first three Terminator films. However, Batman vs. The Terminator delivers on the promise of this setting in a pretty astounding way.

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Directed by Mitchell Hammond and based on an original concept by Tony Guerrero, Batman vs. The Terminator was released on YouTube back in February of 2014. The 5-minute short film is fully animated and depicts a “what if?” scenario involving Batman surviving 1997’s Judgment Day by hiding in the Batcave. When he receives word that a human resistance is forming to fight the machines, Bruce Wayne dons a futuristic version of his suit and heads out into the rubble-filled remnants of the United States to pit his wits and technology against Skynet.

While the animation in the short is simple, the level of detail and hard work put into the environment is highly commendable. The short feels right at home in the world of the Terminator franchise, and its depiction of the Future War is taken directly from the way the war scenes were shown in 1984’s The Terminator and the opening of Terminator 2. This level of authenticity puts the short film in the unique position of having been more true to the spirit and tone of the original Future War than Terminator Salvation was.

The biggest characteristic of the classic Terminator Future War scenes is the tone they use. The battle against the machines is depicted with dark colors and an almost noir-style feeling of tension. The scenes take place at night, with only a few light sources casting irregular shadows across the rubble of crumbled buildings. Most of the light comes from distant fires, and the rest comes from the occasional blast of a machine’s laser as it shoots at a resistance soldier. The scenes were dark, gritty, and almost crushingly hopeless. However, in Terminator Salvation, the decision was made to set the film in 2018, not in 2029 as had been the case with original Future War scenes. This earlier setting — which would’ve moved further into the future in the unmade Terminator Salvation 2 — allowed the filmmakers to experiment with brighter settings and more open spaces, effectively abandoning the dark, claustrophobic, and joyless aesthetics of the war.

The Batman vs. The Terminator short, however, embraces the darkness and dread that Salvation avoided using. Despite its short runtime and simplistic animation style, this independent short manages to capture the same tone as the original films. As Batman races through a battlefield littered with rubble, he encounters everything from the classic T-800 and massive tanks to flying Hunter Killers and resistance soldiers on his quest to reach the Skynet mainframe. The short concludes on a cliffhanger, but the overall impression it leaves is that its creators understand the world of The Terminator far better than some of the actual films do.

Daniel DiManna Is a Senior Writer at Screen Rant, and hails from little Sylvania, Ohio. A graduate of Lourdes University with a degree in Fine Arts, Daniel’s hobbies/passions include film history, reading, fiction/non-fiction writing, sculpting, gaining weight, and adding more toys, posters, books, model kits, DVDs, screen-used props, and other ephemera to his already shamefully monumental collection of Godzilla/movie monster memorabilia.

When he’s not writing about film, he can be heard discussing it on a number of podcasts. His original fiction can also be found in publications including Kaiju Ramen Magazine.

His life goals include a return trip to Japan, getting a podcast off the ground, finishing (at least one of) his novel, and yes, buying even more monster toys.

Directed by Mitchell Hammond and based on an original concept by Tony Guerrero, Batman vs. The Terminator was released on YouTube back in February of 2014. The 5-minute short film is fully animated and depicts a “what if?” scenario involving Batman surviving 1997’s Judgment Day by hiding in the Batcave. When he receives word that a human resistance is forming to fight the machines, Bruce Wayne dons a futuristic version of his suit and heads out into the rubble-filled remnants of the United States to pit his wits and technology against Skynet.

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