J.K. Simmons Calls ‘Terminator: Genesis’ a ‘Smart Re-Imagining’

Published 5 months ago by

terminator reboot genesis images J.K. Simmons Calls Terminator: Genesis a Smart Re Imagining

Almost from the moment Paramount announced that they were developing a brand new Terminator trilogy, fans have expressed doubts about the wisdom of undertaking such a venture. After all, over the course of James Cameron’s groundbreaking original film, its amped up 1991 sequel Judgment Day, their passable 2003 sequel Rise of the Machines, and the Christian Bale fronted Salvation (which failed to launch a new trilogy, as intended), the series’ overall continuity has been bent, warped, twisted, and broken to the point of utter confusion.

While contradictions and paradoxes are common elements of any time travel story, the Terminator series is absolutely brimming with them, to the point where one’s enjoyment of the sequels can rise or fall based on whether key plot holes can be ignored in favor of suspending disbelief. Is adding to that already distorted legacy really a wise move?

It turns out that noted character actor J.K. Simmons (Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films) had similar reservations when he was first offered a role in Terminator: Genesis. Here is what he had to offer Empire, with regard to that subject:

“I was leery of it when it first came my way, when my agent sent me the idea for it. It’s a small part, which they insist gets much bigger in the sequels. But I was very pleasantly surprised by the script itself.”

This arrangement is reminiscent of the deal Paramount struck with former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith, who will be playing a character new to the franchise, and whose part will grow exponentially in Genesis‘ sequels.

As for how Genesis deals with the franchise’s convoluted established continuity, Simmons had this to say:

“This, I think, is a re-imagining. They don’t want to call it a sequel or a reboot. It’s the world that James Cameron created with Arnold [Schwarzenegger]. All the leading characters are characters who have existed in that world – the character I play is new to it.”

When asked about his fellow cast members, Simmons relayed nothing but good things:

“The script, I think, is very smart, and it’s going to be a wonderful part for Arnold to do. Jason Clarke (John Connor), Emilia Clarke (Sarah Connor) and Jai Courtney (Kyle Reese) are already shooting – we did a table read a few weeks ago – and all of them are going to be great.”

Terminator 5 moving forward without Arnold Schwarzenegger J.K. Simmons Calls Terminator: Genesis a Smart Re Imagining

The actual plot of Terminator: Genesis remains frustratingly elusive, although rumors have suggested that it will expand and alter the original series continuity, while revisiting famous moments from the Cameron films. Arnold has already confirmed that he will play an aged T-800 model Terminator, which is apparently explained away by saying that the organic flesh covering the cybernetic organism’s metal endoskeleton is still subject to human-like physical deterioration.

One would also have to assume that a young Sarah Connor somehow gets time jumped forward Sarah Connor Chronicles style as well, since Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke is much younger than the actor playing her son. Speaking of Chronicles, a new Terminator TV series is also reportedly being considered, which would hopefully help fill in the gaps between the original continuity and this new trilogy.

No matter one’s opinion of how Rise and Salvation turned out, the story of man (and woman) vs. (and alongside) machine has nearly unlimited potential for intriguing storylines, enough to likely make Terminator a franchise that endures for decades to come. Here’s hoping Genesis director Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World), and writers Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) and Patrick Lussier’s (Drive Angry) film plan is good enough to put right what once went wrong. If not, well… the Terminator rights will finally revert back to James Cameron in 2019, so…

__________________________________________________

Terminator: Genesis hits theaters on July 1, 2015.

Source: Empire

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: terminator, terminator 5

51 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. So basically a Back to the Future kind of story where they will claim there was Terminator action happening along-side the Terminator action we already saw in BOTH of the ONLY 2 Terminator movies? If done right, this could be pretty interesting, and would be nice to see Arnold back in his signature role in a fitting installment. If this movie gets James Cameron’s approval, then I might be more excited for it. You know James Cameron, the guy who directed BOTH of the ONLY TWO Terminator movies… ;-) Same guy who direct the 2nd, and LAST Alien movie… :-D

    (Just in case I’m not being clear enough, I really only consider T1 and T2 to be part of the continuity of Terminator. And Alien and Aliens. The rest of them I like to pretend were really really bad parodies…)

    • Hm, it appears my comment would suggest I’m saying Alien and Aliens are part of the Terminator universe, not what I meant, I meant that I only consider Alien and Aliens as part of the “Alien” universe… Hope that makes sense, lol.

      • We get it.

    • C’mon, T3 wasn’t that bad.

      Do you consider Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles as part of the continuity then? It continued the story after T3, ignoring T3. Twas pretty good.

      • After T2, not T3. Finger slipped :p

      • T3 was horrible. John Conner was written and acted horribly. The only thing that was decent about that film was the super hot terminator.

        • I didn’t even like that part of it. She tried so hard to “look like a robot” the entire movie, with a stupidly stiff face, it was hilarious. And how the Terminator with a gimmicky new name is supposedly more advanced, yet, was less of a threat than the T1000… I mean, a collision with a tree damaged it. That wouldn’t have even tickled the T1000…

          • I liked Salvation, but it didn’t really fit with the others.

            • Corey You misspelled hated.

        • I do think T3 was much weaker that the first two, but the moment Skynet goes online was an epic thing to see and was really well realised (as was seeing the small Flying-HK)

          In addition to that, T3 also had the balls to let the humans essentially lose and show us Judgment Day taking place.

          There are not many action movies that ends with the death of 3,000,000,000 people and the bad guys winning rather impressively.

          • You’re kidding right?? The way T3 did skynet was “well realized”??? It was the cheesiest and most inaccurate thing I’ve ever seen… The military launched a global connected, untested, AI to fight… A VIRUS??

            Watch T2 again, pay attention to the scene while they were driving in the desert where the T800 explains what happens with Skynet. THAT description is so believable, organic, and so RELEVANT (since half of it has come true already YEARS after the movie, so it is so realistic it’s actually coming true!!!). Then look at T3, it goes online and just turns evil right away. REALLY??? Come on now, that’s typical Hollywood cheesiness. You are falling for “nifty” special effects, the story of it was so poorly done it’s pathetic…

            In case you won’t go back to see it, here it is:

            The Terminator: The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

            Sarah Connor: Skynet fights back.

            The Terminator: Yes. It launches its missiles against the targets in Russia.

            John Connor: Why attack Russia? Aren’t they our friends now?

            The Terminator: Because Skynet knows the Russian counter-attack will eliminate its enemies over here.

            Seriously, that was written in 1991. Now how many unmanned drones are there? How many stories do you read about the military contracting robotics companies, about AI getting more and more intelligent, about the military thinking about combining this AI and their military aircraft to take risk of human lives out of flying, how commercial aircraft companies are talking about pilot-less commercial aircraft, etc.?? Then we have globally connected companies like Google that pretty much has information on everyone, and them allowing the government, NSA, to have access to all of that information, tie it all together and you got the first part of the Terminator’s description of Skynet right there…

            But no, according to T3, the system goes online, and is instantly evil and starts killing people, the end… Over simplification anyone??? smh…

            • In T3, Skynet didn’t just go evil straight away, so perhaps it is you should go back and watch the film again.

              Skynet had been infecting software all around the world (hence why things like the shopping scanner were glitching and would the point where it is “learning at a geometric rate”), but the people in power thought it was just a virus, so asked Skynet to kill the virus, essentially ordering it to kill itself, thus seeing all humans as a threat to its own existence.

              It is at this point Skynet defends itself by starting s*** with the T-1s, etc, and elects to nuke Russia and its allies so that they, in turn, would nuke America and its allies. All of this, of course, is after they try to “pull the plug”.

              The Skynet Funding Bill came to pass when the US Government took over the project when Cyberdyne was put out of business by the actions shown in T2.

              It went down pretty much exactly as originally described, only we got to see it this time. You have to remember that Skynet was operation prior to Colonel Brewster pressing “Y” (learning), it just hadn’t told anyone else (hence why they didn’t know it was the virus) and reacted when instructed to eliminate itself.

              I get that you don’t like the film, but to say it “just turned evil” is overlooking the facts to make your story fit.

              • Uhhh, sorry, YOU need to watch the movie again… Skynet WAS NEVER CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET prior to when they showed them doing it… The virus was a legitimate attack by an outside source, the military ordered for Skynet to be put online ahead of schedule because the virus was spreading too fast. They put it online, it eliminated the virus, then it turned on the people…

                It didn’t go down anything like the original… In the original, there is no stupid silly “virus.” Skynet operates PERFECTLY for quite some time. It doesn’t start to turn on the people until it becomes self aware and scientists get scared over what the implications could be… Seriously, for a “fan” of such a crappy movie, I’m surprised you know so little about it. Skynet wasn’t ever online until that moment they all celebrated…

                • And even just to humor you, even if the virus was Skynet, then it’s already online and activated. Why does it still need them to activate it? You see what I mean? No matter what they try to explain away the plot holes, all it does it opens up for more plot holes. And to further this argument, how is Skynet making a virus to attack every system NOT going evil all of a sudden? Where was the part where it operates normally to serve mankind???

              • From a full movie summary:

                “At the Air Force base, Colonel Brewster faces pressure from the President to ***activate*** Skynet to stop a malicious computer virus that is infecting computers all over the world. John and Kate arrive too late to stop Skynet from being ***activated***, and are horrified when the machines in the facility begin killing everyone.”

                Yah… “Y” is for “Yes” to confirm putting Skynet online… Not Y for “learning”…

                • This is a direct dialogue quote from the movie -:

                  —–
                  Robert Brewster: Skynet? The virus has infected Skynet?
                  John Connor: Skynet IS the virus. It’s the reason everything’s falling apart!
                  Terminator: Skynet has become self aware. In one hour it will initiate a massive nuclear attack on its enemy.
                  Robert Brewster: What enemy?
                  John Connor: Us! Humans!
                  —–

                  You asked “And even just to humor you, even if the virus was Skynet, then it’s already online and activated. Why does it still need them to activate it?”

                  It doesn’t need them to activate it, but the US Military don’t know that, hence why they think they can activate it to shut down the “virus”. At that point, as I explained, they were basically asking Skynet to destroy itself, so “saw all humans as a threat, not just the ones on the other side and decided our fate in a microsecond” to quote the late, great Kyle Reese.

                  The important part to take from that quote is the “decided our fate
                  in a microsecond”. As in, they pressed “Y” to ask Skynet to destroy itself an “in a microsecond” it decided to fight back.

                  I seriously don’t know how you cannot see the parallels in what was described and what was actually seen in T3.

                  Skynet is infecting everything through the internet (which existed in a very basic form even in the 80s and early 90s, so even in the original timeline (before the events of T2 pushed things forward), Skynet, as THE top military project, would have had the most up-to-date online access for the time.

                  In T3, as things have been pushed back and more things are run by computers / connected networks, Skynet infiltrates (and learns from) everything it is able to reach, which by this point is a global network.

                  As soon as it is asked to destroy itself, it is self-aware and fights back as an act of self-preservation.

                  So, again, it didn’t “just turn evil”, it simply “decided our fate in a microsecond”.

                  • Wow, I really cannot believe you do not see what a total load of crap all of that is. First of all, how does John Connor know something the people who have been creating it not know?

                    And secondly, how is spreading a virus all over the globe to attack every system NOT AN ACT OF AGGRESSION???

                    So you’re saying that Skynet’s reason for fighting back against the humans was because it created a situation that baited and forced the humans to do the thing that would cause it t consider them an enemy?? LMAO, it’s such circular reasoning I can’t believe you don’t see that.

                    So tell me again, WHEN DID SKYNET NOT SEE THE PEOPLE AS THE ENEMY?? It’s very first action is to bait the humans into becoming the enemy it wanted them to be, you don’t see how ridiculously stupid that is???

                    That’s like if I came up to you and repeatedly punched you in the face, then when you fight back and punch me, I claim that you punching me in the face is the reason why I’m aggressive toward you…

                    How do you not see this? LOL

                    • How does John Connor know what they don’t? Perhaps because he’s had Skynet and its plans for the future drilled into him since birth. C’mon, it’s not that hard to figure out.

                      Also, the virus was not overly malicious or aggressive until Skynet was ordered to destroy itself. The virus was spreading through all the computer networks, learning as it goes, but also disrupting those very same systems.

                      You also complain that the timeline was forced into the frame of this film, but who knows how long Skynet had been worming its way through computer networks all over the world prior to it becoming a nuisance?

                      You really are allowing your blind hatred for this film to cloud your ability to look at an opposing viewpoint and consider the (movie) logic being presented to you.

                    • “How does John Connor know what they don’t? Perhaps because he’s had Skynet and its plans for the future drilled into him since birth. C’mon, it’s not that hard to figure out.”

                      WOOOWWW, dude, you kind of forgot that THIS WASN’T THE WAY SKYNET HAPPENS ORIGINALLY!!! John was drilled on the version TOLD BY THE FIRST TWO!! How would Sarah Connor teach John about Skynet pretending to be a virus to coerce a reaction from the humans when that wasn’t anywhere close to what actually happened in the first two Terminator films before things “changed” conveniently to allow for T3 to be made???

                      And there’s no blind hatred, it’s called critical thinking, and I apply it to EVERY movie I watch, which includes Terminator 2, which is my all-time favorite movie.

                      Here, you want me to continue? How about how the Terminator throws Kate around, ignores her pleas, then all of a sudden when the “twist reveal” comes around that she’s the one that sent him, then all of a sudden, he’s her loyal obedient pet? WHAT ABOUT BEFORE THAT REVELATION???

                      Or how about cars driving themselves that have no physical ability to. No matter how you manipulate the cars computers, it simply does not have the mechanisms to drive and steer themselves. I’ve worked for years in the past as a manufacture certified auto technician, please try to argue this with me, it’ll be fun…

                      Or how the “TX” (since apparently Skynet all of a sudden decides to change their method of nomenclature from numbers to letters… And let’s start with a letter all the way at the end of the alphabet…) is supposed to be so much more advanced than any other Terminator before it, yet, it gets damaged from running into a tree, which wouldn’t have happened with the T1000, gets damaged again toward the end when a helicopter crashes into it, which wouldn’t have happened to the T1000, is held back by one hand from a much “inferior” “T101″ (I’ll get back to this later…), which wouldn’t have happened with the T1000… I can go on to list how the TX is nowhere close to being more advanced than the T1000…

                      How about the scene where the TX makes her breasts grow bigger, just to kill the police officer when he is next to her… She didn’t even TRY to seduce her way out of it… WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THE BOOB SIZE CHANGE? Oh, right, to get a reaction from the crowd…

                      How about in the opening narration, John claims he was 13 during the events of Terminator 2… The ACTOR was 13, John Connor, the character, was 10!!! Did the writers of this movie even bother to WATCH T1 and T2 before writing this script???

                      Then Arnold refers to himself as a “T101″… Again, DID THEY BOTHER TO WATCH THE PREVIOUS FILMS??? Or maybe READ any of the million movie descriptions and expansions of the mythos??? Arnold is a T800 Model 101, the number after the “T” specifies the design or series of the endoskeleton, the number after the Model specifies the skin design on top of that… So basically, T800 is what he is, Model 101 makes him look like Arnold. In no way, is it ever to be called a T101…

                      And in the scene after Arnold crashes the helicopter into the super duper advanced “TX”, he comes out and half of his skin is missing, and in their overzealous attempt to show off CG, they made sure you could see the helicopter behind him through the gap between the jaw and jaw actuator… Yah, that’s cute, except that would mean the ENTIRE BACK OF HIS HEAD IS MISSING… smh
                      http://image.toutlecine.com/photos/t/e/r/terminator-3-2003-23-g.jpg

                      Then in the final scene for the TX, Arnold’s Terminator jumps under a closing blast door (which would have totally crushed him, BTW, but let’s give that a pass because the next detail is even funnier…) to hold it open for John and Kate to get into the bunker… Besides the point that a door that size would have exerted more force than the hydraulic press that crushed the Terminator in the first Terminator movie, here is the funny part. So he’s holding the door up with both hands, boy, he’s so strong! Then the TX tries to crawl through, but nuh uh, not on the “T101″‘s watch, so he let’s go of the door with one hand, to grab the TX (boy, I bet she wishes she was just an “inferior” T1000 so there would be no way for him to grab her huh??) to keep her from getting to them. Great, he’s now holding the door open with one hand, man, he’s incredibly strong!! Then he reaches into his chest to pull out his aux. power source to blow himself and the TX up… Wait a minute… 2 minus 1 is 1, and 1 minus 1 is… WTF IS HOLDING THE DOOR UP NOW??? Apparently the “T101″ has Jedi force powers, NOW it makes sense why the door didn’t crush him in the first place!!! Also, with his main power source gone in the beginning of the movie, and now his aux. power source is out of his body… um, how is he still moving and talking?? Yah… really great big capacitors I’m sure… Too bad they didn’t help him in T2 when his power source got ruptured by the T1000 huh???

                      And why does the TX have to lick the blood to sample it??? Isn’t it all liquid metal, on top of that endoskeleton, so it’s all homogeneous right? Shouldn’t it have been able to sample and test it just by touching it alone???

                      And why is John Connor such a pansy?? How the hell does he lead the human resistance? Without KATE, he would have been dead 15 times in that movie because he can’t seem to run in a straight line without tripping and falling for crying out loud… I think in the alternate future Kate Brewster has to be the leader of the resistance. No way anyone will follow that boob they had in that movie… I saw the young 10 year-old, oh, sorry, 13 according to this movie, John Connor display more leadership initiatives in T2 than he did in this movie, did he regress???

                      And seriously, does the pointless chase scene in the middle of the movie really need to last that long especially given that it really got the plot nowhere?? I don’t think I’ve seen a more clear example of fluff than that scene… And speaking of which, I’m fairly certain a fire engine could not drive its ladder through buildings like that… smh

                      I’m sorry, I was super excited to watch the movie, I tried to give it as many chances as I could, I tried as hard as I could to like it simply because I’m a huge fan of the mythos and universe James Cameron created, but it turned out to be one of THE WORST movies I’ve ever seen with the sloppiest script I’ve ever seen. I’ve read scripts from college film majors with fewer plot holes than this movie. How the heck did the investors, producers, and everyone involved, ever let it get to the big screen in such a condition? It is a total wonder for me how so many people managed to miss so many mistakes…

                      But I’ve seen poor scripts get saved by good performances, but this movie lacked that as well… Kristanna Loken spent the whole movie walking around like she’s pretending to be a robot… Doing this really cheesy 1950′s stiff robot walk everywhere, and puckering her face like a bad parody. Then there was never any consistency over who is actually stronger, throughout a fight scene, one moment she is man-handling Arnold like he’s a ragdoll, then the next moment Arnold can stop her attacks and hold her back and throw her around like she’s made out of balsa-wood. Again, sloppy script writing… There’s a reason why James Cameron is one of my favorite directors. He is a perfectionist and he goes out of his way to include details in his movies that most casual movie-goers wouldn’t even notice, but he’s not the one to be lazy and overlook things like that… These are things that become very apparent in repeated viewings.

                      Anyway, I’ll stop ranting, I can go on about this, but apparently you’re pretty dead-set on this movie actually having a clever script and proper delivery…

                  • It’s called lazy script-writing. They knew that they can’t simply tell you a history lesson of Skynet, so they had to make the entire event that sparked it all, happen within the timespan of the movie, and more specifically, within the timespan of that scene. They dedicated 4/5 of the movie on the bad Terminator chasing the good guys and the good Terminator. Then they needed to show Skynet’s rise, and then turning against the humans, in a short little scene just to get that part of the story out of the way because they knew they needed to. It’s completely contrived and it’s amazing you don’t see that. :-D

      • I agree.. T3 wasn’t that bad at all. T4 just went down south! LOL

        • You’re right, T3 wasn’t bad, it was godawfully horrendous…

  2. Mr. Simmons won my respect as an actor for his portrayal of JJJ in the Spiderman movies (I was unfamiliar with him until then), so if he says good things about this Terminator script, especially if he was at first leery of it, then I will have to take him at his word that it is pretty good. I also like Cameron, and have not minded the previous Terminator movies so far, so I am sure I will be watching this one as well.

    • Keep in mind though, that he’s involved with the movie… He probably can’t go around saying bad things about it. I would believe it more if this was someone who was offered the role, read the script, but then couldn’t do it because of scheduling or something, so someone who isn’t currently involved with the project who read the script saying it was good. Then it might be easier to believe…

      • He took it for a reason though right? Maybe there will be something good about it

        • Yah, and he said it himself what it was. They promised the role will be bigger in the sequels. So he took the job for the $$. Just like why most people take any job they do…

        • Yes that reason being he needs to work. There are actors who choose what they do,
          and there are actors who need to work. He needs the work.

    • There’s never been one Spiderman movie. Ever.

      • Raimi’s 2 was.

        B

        • Were

  3. Good News

  4. Isn’t it safe to say that the matrix trilogy is the ultimate conclusion to the terminator story?

    Think about it; the machines ultimately win and enslave humankind for energy purposes. That’s the Matrix!
    So one has to ask, how many times are we willing to see this same tired story play out when we know how it “should” end?

    • “Focus on the journey, not the destination.” Greg Anderson

    • I don’t care about Arnold or judgement day… I’d like a story centered around surviving during the terminator wars. The wars alluded to in T1 and T2… not the crap we got in Salvation.

      • @ CTO

        Same here.

      • I do agree with that, I would like to see that. The Terminator Salvation arcade game is more like what I wanted to see than the actual movie…

        • I forgot about the arcade game,id agree with that.

  5. “If not, well… the Terminator rights will finally revert back to James Cameron in 2019, so…”……GREAT :D

  6. After Salvation, my hopes were down for another film because i doubt i’ll ever see the final battle between the resistance & the machines grow desperate to send their killer/protector through the time displacement eqimpment, aswell as seeing laser guns being used as seen in T1 & T2 future sequences. So i hope this film In a way serves as a 5th installment somewhat when it has Arnold in it.

  7. They shld have John Connor say somethin to Arnold like,” so this is what u would look like if we kept you around. ” in regard to his aging and whatnot.

  8. Each time i see Terminator and Jai courtney in the same article, i cry a little.

  9. It would be interesting to see if the Machines in their own future sort of split up and form their own alliance because some Machines have a different oppinion of things.
    So they will eventually fight their own war (History repeating, or just the next step in the evolution).
    This way the human factor would be completely missing from the story. To counteract that it would be interesting to make the Machines dependable on a certain “human factor” that only real human can deliver. So they set up a venture to go back in time and bring human’s to so called “war”. That agent would be our well beloved T-800.
    How it could develop from this standpoint, I have no idea.
    But it would be something different for sure, while staying in the well trusted universe. Such things never happen to Hollywood. To broad a horizon to grasp.

  10. Well, I watch Terminator for Arnold not the human characters, so it’s all the same to me.

  11. I’m sick of the “kill John Connor” crap. We’ve seen it a million times. Let’s see the actual war between machines and humans. Obviously killing John Connor in the past doesn’t work because if it had, it would have happened that way in the first place and he never would have made it to adulthood. That’s how the idea of time travel works and why it’s literally impossible to change events via time travel.

  12. I’d like to see something like what Disney is doing with Star Wars, with a main movie featuring the prominent characters every two years, with smaller scale movies, featuring other stories, in the same universe in the years in between. And maybe there’s room for a t.v. show.

  13. I have to say, nothing about Jai Courtney says “Kyle Reese” to me. Emilia Clarke seems just about perfect as Sarah Conner, but Jai courtney not so much. Salvation may not have been the best movie, but at least, the guy who played Kyle Reese was spot on. Courtney seems about as far away from Michael Biehn as you could get. I hope I am wrong because i want this movie to be awesome!

  14. Jai Courtney really sucks. He’s a joke of an actor and I’m totally pissed he’s playing such an important and prominent role. I can’t believe they didn’t go further with Salvation. It’s not a BAD movie people! Christian Bale was a GREAT John Connor, even if some of the movie left more to be desired. It was much better than T3. Wish he was playing Connor still.

  15. You know what would have been really interesting in how this franchise could have turned out? While I honestly think it should have ended with T2, there are ways to argue around them destroying the data and the arm and chip. They could have actually made it a self-fulfilling prophecy, where after the events of T2, Sarah and John are fugitives, but they are not completely convinced themselves that their actions have completely prevented Judgment Day. So when they witness advances in technology, AI, robotics, and the government militarizing all of these new advancements, T3 could have actually had no Terminators, no time travel, but focused on their attempts to kind of sabotage the government’s development into this field, and somehow THROUGH THEIR ACTIONS actually set forth the events that leads to a new Judgment Day.

    Meaning, let’s say the government makes unmanned aircraft that flies with a perfect record, and all of these “good” things that Skynet would have originally done in its original form, and maybe in its original form, its learning capabilities are somewhat limited and its ability to attack its own people are inhibited by some kind of code, or command, but because of their attempts to sabotage them, maybe the government alters the code to allow for the autonomous drones to attack on our home soil because they want to use that technology to hunt down John and Sarah. But because John and Sarah keeps outsmarting the drones and machines, now they alter the code some more to allow it to learn their tactics and adapt quicker. And through these actions, that’s when Skynet “learns” that killing your own people is ok, and it also “learns” important military “hunting and killing” tactics. Sarah Connor is killed after the machines get increasingly smarter, show them using a technique they used before to outsmart the machines, but this time one is waiting for them, and it takes out Sarah.

    And at the end, John is actually captured by the military with the machines close behind, but when the machines do not back down when the military tries to take John into custody, Skynet communicates about how it wants John dead for “trying to kill me.” Military officials and scientists start to get really nervous (after realizing that Skynet is self-aware), their uneasiness makes the regular soldiers who might be already nervous around these new “smart” killing machines, open fire on the drones, and then the scientists and the government basically scramble to “pull the plug” on Skynet. Their actions effectively knocks out the drones and most of Skynet’s physical abilities, but they don’t completely knock out it’s virtual presence. That is when, without the drones to defend itself, Skynet is forced into plan B, launching America’s nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles toward Russia. Cut to Russian command centers who have been tracking the USA’s increased military operations. “Incoming bogies!” As they all scramble to find out what is happening, their attempts to contact US government officials are blocked by Skynet, the Russian command reluctantly and with obvious knowledge of the mutual destruction that is to follow, orders to launch their own missiles toward the USA… End the movie right then and there…

    So at the end of the movie, John is in the custody of the US Military, which is the perfect way to explain how he survives the nuclear war that follows. T4 would pick up from there, explaining how John was in a military bunker when the nuclear war happens, and in the aftermath, people, including the military soldiers where he was held as prisoner (which explains how the resistance seems trained in military tactics), decides to follow him, well, don’t just decide to follow him, he has to prove himself to them somehow, like maybe they are in their bunkers and a man approaches their blast door, claiming to be a survivor, looking for refuge. Of course this would be months, or even years after the last scene shown in T3. The military leader at that time decides to allow the man in, John insists they do not do that, knowing he can be an infiltrator model Terminator. Make the man a “normal” looking man, not Arnold sized, which is what Cameron wanted for the first Terminator, and what they eventually got in Terminator 2 with the T1000. Arnold was originally casted to play Kyle Reese, and Lance Henriksson was supposed to be the Terminator, he intended them to be able to “blend in” with normal people, not look like a huge body builder. But Arnold insisted he wanted to play the Terminator, so the rest is history. But anyway, this time, a normal sized man is at the door, John is telling them not to open the door to him, but they do anyway, all hell breaks loose, in the fight, the current military commanding officer is killed, and John kills the Terminator infiltrator somehow. And from then on, the rest of the soldiers realize he knows more than they do and decides to follow him as their leader. They have to abandon their bunker because maybe the blast door is damaged in the fight with the Terminator or something.

    And from there I don’t know if it could all be in one movie or not, but it should kind of slow-burn from smaller scale battles similar to Terminator Salvation, but without the gimmicky “new” Terminators, keep it gritty, believable, and realistic. No “cool swimming snake” Terminators, no “cool motorcycle” Terminators, not “cool giant Terminators.” Stick to what Skynet could realistically produce using manufacturing equipment that it takes control over.

    And either stick to that theme or time-progress the movie to show an escalation in the scope and size of the battles to eventually be what we see in Kyle’s flashbacks from T1 and the opening scene in T2. And literally end the movie with Kyle successfully defeating Skynet, but not before he notices Skynet sending 2 Terminators through a time machine. In which, he sends Kyle Reese and a single T800 unit they managed to hack and reprogram.

    And end T4 right there. Everything comes full circle. I think that would have been a pretty interesting way to continue the series after T2, not the T3 and T4 we actually got… Anyway, those are just my ideas… I’m sure professional writers and script writers could think of something better or more polished.

    • Good stuff man, I like it.

  16. What Ken says about T3 is spot on. John Connor spends the movie whining and moping. The John Connor we see from T1 and T2 was a badass. T3 should have been:
    The movie opens to a world where the military is testing remote controlled robotic prototypes. John Connor tries to intervene (a la T2) but is arrested and taken to a bunker for serious questioning because it’s obvious he knows stuff he shouldn’t. Skynet strikes while he is in the bunker (how else would he survive the nukes?) and he escapes because he is a bad ass and he saves the people that imprisoned him and starts the resistance. Fighting the prototypes should have been the majority of the movie. T4 should have been a gritty bloodbath about fighting the machines and eventually some degree of victory. T5 should have started with Kyle Reese going back and then explained how Skynet, in desperation, utilised superior technology (time travel, T1000s) to strike back.

    There is progress in Skynet. The first Terminators are easy to spot, then there are the T800s, then the T1000s. And there is time travel. Self awareness doesn’t equal scientific and technological brilliance. A really good continuation of the Terminator series would have explored Skynet a whole lot more than “it’s a computer virus”.

    Or you could take it another direction, whatever, but in no way is it believable that Nick Stahl played the John Connor that saves humanity. A great military leader isn’t one that gets on the telephone and reassurres everyone, it’s someone who shows everyone how to fight back by doing it. We were robbed of that character that James Cameron made central to the story.

    • @JVD

      Yah man, that is kind of how I envisioned they could have continued the series after T2 (read my ideas for the sequels above) and yah, it was a disservice to us all what they did with the Terminator franchise after James Cameron lost control over it… I am actually pretty mad about it because I really felt like there are so many interesting ways they could have continued it, but in their attempt to grab as much money as they can from a well-known franchise name, they’ve completely ruined it and ROBBED us all of a potentially epic series of movies. As you can tell from my avatar, I’m a huge Terminator fan, and it’s not just because it was “cool” and had big explosions, it was so much deeper than that. I really feel James Cameron crafted as near perfect of a film as is possible in Terminator 2. A great action film that also made you think, and how Cameron predicted a lot of things that are coming true now. Even the science behind everything is pretty sound. In a deleted scene, Miles Dyson is talking to his wife and they discuss why this CPU they are working on is so revolutionary, and one thing they mentioned was how it was a “superconductor at room temperature.” To the normal crowd, that’s just mumbo jumbo. And 99% of movie makers would have just put random techy sounding words together that really mean nothing knowing that the majority of the viewers wouldn’t know the difference. That’s pretty much what they did in the Skynet reveal in T3… Anyway, but not James Cameron. Superconductivity is a real-world goal, something that could change the face of microcomputing. It is actually achievable with some materials, I believe a ceramic polymer is one. But the problem is, it can only be achieved at EXTREME low temperatures. In the current state of technology, they can get things to be superconducting but only after being put into liquid nitrogen. So to make a computer processor with those qualities will be very hard. They need to get all of the molecules to line up in a way, and that only works at extreme low temperatures. If they could figure out how to make something superconductive at room temperature, that’s a nobel science award right there. And to imagine, this is 1991 when the movie was made, 23 years ago and Cameron is talking about something that scientists are working hard to accomplish now… Seriously, where else do you find a director that puts that much detail and attention to the plot??? I don’t care what people think about Avatar, I personally wasn’t a huge fan of it either, but that doesn’t at all change the fact that James Cameron is one of the most brilliant directors ever…