The unknown future of Terminator: Genisys has been rolling towards us slowly over the past few weeks, with a number of rumours circulating that might have rubbed fans up the wrong way. Now we appear to finally have some clarification in the upcoming fifthquel via Entertainment Weekly, who have revealed some cold, hard details on the film that - to quote Jai Courtney - will ‘reset’ the franchise completely.
Accompanied by our first look at the cast of director Alan Taylor’s instalment, EW’s scoop of Genisys suggest that whilst the future is set, the past has been rewritten, especially for the mother of the human resistance Sarah Connor, played by part-time mother of dragons Emilia Clarke. Be warned dear readers, as there is material here that some Terminator fans may find distressing. Spoilers ahead!
The details are a little thin where it counts but the trade reveals that we’ll land on the most important time during the war between man and machine; when John Connor (Jason Clarke, no relation to Emilia) sends his best boy and father-to-be, Kyle Reese (Courtney) back to protect the young Sarah from the time-travelling assassins. When he gets there, the Sarah is nothing like he, or we, will have imagined. As it turns out this new Sarah Connor had her life sent down the vaguely familiar path as early as age 9, when she was orphaned by a Terminator, and - are you sitting comfortably? - placed under the protection of Arnie’s T-800. Not only is the machine on our side, he’s her surrogate father-bot she calls ‘Pops’. Programmed with parental guidance as one of his main objectives (I’m guessing), Arnie’s slightly aged machine (which does make sense considering he’s got living tissue over metal endoskeleton) has turned Sarah into a lethal lady, but one lacking in human emotion.
Producer David Ellison told EW, “since she was 9 years old, she has been told everything that was supposed to happen. But Sarah fundamentally rejects that destiny. She says, ‘That’s not what I want to do.’ It’s her decision that drives the story in a very different direction.” It’s a ballsy move to make and one that could bring the franchise back online in a great new way, but what about the fans of the original series and its timeline? The one consisting of tough nut Linda Hamilton busting out of a mental institute, or Arnie’s cold blooded killer flicking through a phone book to complete his mission? What will they have to look forward to? Well as Matt Smith (no stranger to time travel, himself) reveals, there will be plenty of nods to the originals as well.
Giving a few promising(?) words to EW, the ex-Doctor revealed that “it’s like going on tour again if you’re Pink Floyd—the audience always wants to hear some of the old songs.” He’s not wrong. But what exactly will we hear or see when we return to that familiar dark future he’ll be in? “There are enough nods to the past that people will feel satisfied.” That’s fair enough but with the nods to the old what about the new aspects, like his character for example? Interestingly, when it came to mention of his part in all this, there was not much info. EW described Smith as simply 'a close ally of John Connor.’ Is he a familiar face acting as a character we’ve crossed paths with before, or a new addition to the Terminator mythos? How much time will we have in both the past and the present...that’s actually the future? Or something.
We can only wait and wonder.
Terminator: Genisys will be marching into cinemas July 1, 2015 and stars Jason Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, Byung-hun Lee, Michael Gladis, and Sandrine Holt.