[This post contains SPOILERS for Terminator: Genisys]

With so many major franchise revivals taking place over the next couple of years, filmmakers are actively trying to find a way to balance the old with the new. When handling a beloved property like Terminator for instance, there’s an onus on the director to honor the history of what came before while also putting a new spin on the material to help differentiate the modern film from its classic predecessors. Usually this is done by updating character costumes or continuing the story with new leads, but sometimes, they go for something a little more drastic.

Count this week’s Terminator: Genisys among those ranks. When one of the film’s biggest reveals (that John Connor is a Terminator hellbent on destroying humanity), many longtime fans of the series cried foul. The notion that John (Jason Clarke) was not leading the resistance against Skynet was deemed as sacrilege and completely against what made the character great. But what if there’s more to it than that? When Krisily Kennedy sat down with Clarke to discuss the film, the twist was a key part of the conversation.

Congratulations.

Thank you very much.

This was so much fun to watch.

Good! I love it when I hear that and when people say that.

I love that you were able to perfectly balance getting the audience to really feel for you and then getting the audience to really be angry with you. that’s like a sweet spot to be able to walk that line.

We’re going to get on! I love the fact that you picked up that! I mean, yes, absolutely. People have to…if not understand where John’s coming from, want to think about it and explore it and see, you know, the reasons for it being. That he’s no longer going to stand by and just let the same thing happen again, and again, and again. Now that he’s become part of the machine, it feels good. And there’s a million possibilities and ways to go now that we can move on. [whispers] “If only they would come with me.”

I love that they did that with this movie. The possibilities are endless now. They gave us nice snippets of the old movies, but they also opened it up for so much more.

Yes. I mean who’s to say John’s still not the savior of mankind? It’s just not going to be mankind as we know it.

Jason Clarke Terminator Genisys Interview Jason Clarke Talks Terminator: Genisys Plot Twist


Right. I know. And we’re already talking about sequels. Is that something you really want to be a part of?

Yeah. I mean you want to be part of something which is well-written and which has depth and complexity to it. it was very clear from the beginning with David, and Paramount, and Laeta and Patrick, who wrote it, that we weren’t just throwing this one up on the wall to see how it goes. There’s a blueprint for a whole story here, this being a part of it. and technology and the heart of the question of what’s going on in Terminator, it’s not just…it hasn’t reached its Zenith. It hasn’t run out. it gets deeper and much more morally complex and, you know, good and bad. There are no right and wrong because we love our technology. We enjoy our technology. We’re our own worst enemy with technology. But then it also does a lot of good as well as cause problems.

That’s so the truth. It’s like the blessing and the curse.

Yeah. You were talking about your relationship with your car this morning! Well, there ya go!

That’s it! It’s terrible!

What’d you do to your car to make it nicer?

Apparently I didn’t wash it enough. I thought it was interesting, too, and I don’t know if you were a part of this, was that in the beginning, when we came out for set visits, your character’s demise was top secret. That changed and we started to see that in the marketing. Were you a part of that decision?

No. [laughs] That’s above my paygrade.

Jason Clarke as John Connor Terminator Genisys Jason Clarke Talks Terminator: Genisys Plot Twist


Yeah. I always wondered what made that turn, because it was an interesting change.

Yeah. It was. I remember as well when it came out, people were saying, “Oh my god!” I said, “Well, OK. Everybody knows now.” That turn is not the be all and the end all in this film. There’s a lot more to think about as well as just, “Hey, John’s a bad guy.” Or is he a bad guy? I think that’s where good sci-fi…the sci-fi part of this story really lands. There’s plenty of meat on this bone to chew.

And they leave it to us to question. I love it.

Yeah. Absolutely.

Thank you so much. It was so great to talk to you.

Thank you very much. Lovely to talk to you.

Terminator: Genisys is now playing in theaters.