The next Terminator installment – rumored to be titled Terminator: Genesis – is being referred to as a “reboot” of the franchise by Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. However, that term is a tad misleading, when applied here; not only is Arnold Schwarzenegger back from previous installments and reprising his iconic role as a cyborg killing machine – albeit one whose bio-exoskeleton has aged – it’s also heavily rumored that the Genesis storyline overlaps with those from past Terminator movies.

Genesis has been described as a Back to the Future Part II-esque “reboot” of the Terminator brand, in the sense that the (unconfirmed) plot details leaked so far point to Arnold’s old T-800 being present at events depicted in the previous films – excluding Terminator Salvation, which takes place in the post-apocalyptic future. It would be the first time that screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis – who co-penned the Genesis script with Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry) – has played this sort of time-travel story game – though, she does know a thing or two about crafting narratives full of trickery and winks, after having scripted Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island. That experience ought to be applicable here.

Such familiar characters as Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese, and adult John Connor are part of the Genesis storyline, though here those roles have all been recast. The Daily Mail has posted set pics from the Terminator film’s set, which offer not just an early look at Schwarzenegger’s old T-800 – but also Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) in the Sarah Connor role, Jai Courtney (Divergent) playing Kyle Reese, and even Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) as Sarah’s grown-up son, John. Well, we get to see the back of Jason Clarke’s head, anyway.


These Terminator images certainly raise some intriguing questions, in the absence of any context for the scene being filmed. For one, the sequence appears to take place in the present-day – and yet, the grown-up John Connor is there, indicating that it won’t just be Kyle Reese and the Terminators who get to hop around through time in this installment. Why, exactly, John has gone into the past and why Reese and the young Sarah Connor are dressed up as hospital workers – that remains to be seen.

It’s also worth noting that in the Genesis set photos, Schwarzenegger is wearing a coat that bears a resemblance to that which he wore in the very first Terminator movie (see below) – something that may signal the scene being shot here takes place during the events depicted in the 1984 film that started it all. (That would also explain why Reese is still alive and breathing, at this point.) Of course, if Genesis is rewriting the history of the Terminator universe, then it might change the fate of certain characters – meaning, we might be in for some surprises, in terms of who’s left standing by the time this movie is done.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘The Terminator’ (1984)

Other pieces in the Genesis puzzle that have yet to be revealed in full, include Dayo Okeniyi (The Spectacular Now) as Danny Dyson – the computer genius son of programmer Miles Dyson (Joe Morton in T2) – and Doctor Who alum Matt Smith as a new character, who shall make his debut in Genesis – before he goes on to play a “major role” in subsequent Terminator movies, should they happen.

If nothing else, these early glimpses at the resurrection of the Terminator brand from director Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) have got us interested in learning more about what all of this is building towards. And thus, to find out if costar J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man) – playing a booze-loving detective who, according to previous reports, has been investigating all these strange events surrounding the Connors for decades – really is telling the truth, when he claims that Genesis is a smarter re-imagining of the Terminator mythology than some people may be expecting.

Terminator: Genesis opens in U.S. theaters on July 1st, 2015.

Source: The Daily Mail