[WARNING: This trailer SPOILS key plot points for Terminator: Genisys!]
When Terminator Genisys was announced, fans were trepidatious about what another semi-reboot approach to the franchise would offer, after so many viewers were left unsatisfied by the experience of Terminator Salvation. Genisys made the bold moves of pulling franchise star Arnold Schwarzenegger back in for a story that basically sees the timeline of the first two Terminator films skewed by a temporal anomaly that resets the playing field.
…And, as Terminator Genisys trailer #2 reveals, that the anomaly is something that could make (or utterly break) this film’s chances with audiences.
If you don’t want to encounter MAJOR SPOILERS, do NOT watch the trailer above, or read on below.
A Different Kind of John Connor
The obvious big twist that this trailer reveals is that John Connor (Jason Clarke), savior of humanity, has actually been converted into some kind of advanced cyborg. Now that Paramount and Skydance Pictures have decided to play this decisive card in the film’s marketing, I can finally say: we learned of the twist (by accident) while visiting the Terminator Genisys set, and have been wondering ever since how fans would respond to the news.
Here’s what Jason Clarke had to say about his take on John Connor when we interviewed him; obviously his quotes can be taken in much different context, now that the big secret about his character is out:
…All I can say…you guys don’t want to know too much. John is at the heart of what this conundrum is. Anytime you’ve gone beyond, say, the apocalypse we know that is always hanging over us, there is a battle for who is going to run the shop. Where do we want technology to go? What is it going to be? And what are we giving over?
I truly do say that John is psychologically at the heart of that. It’s what makes it a role that freaks me out each day.
…The role is believable. He wasn’t John Connor who is lost in iconography or lost in Type A. …It was a character I really thought I could do and have some fun with, and enjoy, and potentially spend some time… and the effort to flesh out a number of films. I’m not going to get lost in trying to top something. I’m not trying to match something. The story is going to place which is going to keep me hired for a number of films.
Director Alan Taylor added the following, when discussing the film’s central themes:
Alan Taylor: [It is a] Dysfunctional family story? I like the way you went straight to the core of what appeals to me and sort of why I feel like I can step into this a little bit, and I think what appeals to most people, about what Cameron created, is those intense relationships.
The first film was a love story. It was also a horror film. The second one was a father/son story, but it was also a beautifully built thriller. The fact that he’s [James Cameron] taking a solid genre and putting powerful family stuff into it is the challenge we’re trying to rise to.
I think it’s a dysfunctional family, but the father theme plays really strongly in ours. We have sort of mirroring father figures in this that have to be dealt with, and they are very difficult relationships. Again, there is a love story at the core of it. Outside of that, there is the issue of family. I guess we’re trying to draw on things that were present in both the first two films.
This John Connor reveal is not even the only big twist that’s been rumored in the film. A certain plot point about Dr. Who star Matt Smith leaked online and was immediately pulled down by the studio, indicating that it, too, has validity. We won’t spoil that twist here (a quick Google search will probably help you out…), but we can say that it is just as bold (and risky) as taking the franchise’s iconic savior and making him into a villain.
Time to rant: How do you all feel about this remix of the Terminator mythos?
- Terminator Genisys set visit Summary
- Why Arnold Schwarzenegger Returned to the Franchise
- What Director Alan Taylor is doing Differently
- Emilia Clarke’s Sarah Connor Challenge
- Recreating Kyle Reese and his Nike shoes
Terminator: Genisys will be in theaters on July 1, 2015.