One of the most interesting things about the Terminator franchise is that it has, to date, generally revolved around characters attempting to reboot their own future. Now the filmmakers on the sci-fi series are joining the fun, by rebooting the series’ continuity with the upcoming installment, tentatively known as Terminator: Genesis.
Official details are scarce on the script for the next Terminator movie, though it’s expected that Genesis will return the franchise to its sci-fi/horror roots, based on the backgrounds of screenwriter/producer Laeta Kalogridis (Bionic Woman, Avatar) and writer/director Patrick Lussier (Dracula 2000, Drive Angry), who co-wrote the Genesis screenplay together. Additionally, Arnold Schwarzenegger is starring in the movie as a version of the T-800 model robot seen in previous Terminator films; in this installment, however, Arnold’s age has been incorporated into the character - meaning, the main T-800 seen in Genesis will have an aged bio-exoskeleton (for plot-based reasons that have yet to be explained in full).
Filming is officially underway on what is the fifth Terminator movie overall, in addition to being the first chapter in a planned standalone film trilogy; a developing TV series will further expand the rebooted sci-fi universe and/or fill in the story cracks on forthcoming Terminator movies. Skydance Productions has marked the occasion by releasing an image, showing a slate that properly identifies Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) as the Terminator: Genesis director, in addition to paying respects to the late camera assistant Sarah Jones (who was killed on-set while filming the biopic Midnight Rider).
On a less somber note, images have also emerged from the set of the new Terminator installment (courtesy of The Arnold Fans), with one such photo – included below – depicting Schwarzenegger out of costume. While the iconic action star (who turns 67 this year) has been more willing to show his age in recent films like Escape Plan and Sabotage, here it appears that Arnold is going for his more traditional Terminator look, in terms of his hair color/style. That makes sense enough; an older version of the T-800 probably wouldn’t have much reason to alter its appearance over the years (unless it just got really bored while it wasn’t actively protecting the Connors).
Speaking of the Connors, in Terminator: Genesis the Sarah Connor character – mother of
dragons humanity’s future savior John Connor – will be portrayed by Emilia Clarke, who’s collaborated with Taylor before when he was still working on HBO’s Game of Thrones TV series. Meanwhile, Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) is portraying the grownup John Connor, Jai Courtney (Divergent) has been cast as Sarah’s guardian-turned lover/John’s father Kyle Reese, and Dayo Okeniyi (The Hunger Games) is playing Danny Dyson – the son of the scientist responsible for developing the technology that eventually gave rise to the artificially-intelligent Skynet.
How all of these characters fit into the Genesis storyline – whatever that may be – remains to be seen. Potential clues about the plot have surfaced, like how J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) has reportedly been cast an an alcoholic detective, who’s spent years trying to wrap his head around the strange incidents that keep happening in connection to Sarah Connor. There’re also the supporting players to take into consideration, like South Korean action star Byung-hun Lee (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) – who could just as easily be playing another deadly Terminator as he could a regular human.
Terminator: Genesis opens in U.S. theaters on July 1st, 2015.