Principal casting for the upcoming Terminator franchise reboot - unofficially known as Terminator: Genesis right now - appears to be done at this stage, with the key characters from the sci-fi property's mythology (Sarah Connor, John Connor, and Kyle Reese) having been cast anew for this relaunch of the series.
Rumor has it that the Genesis screen story - written by Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) and Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry) - will revisit key and/or iconic sequences featured in the series' first two installments (James Cameron's Terminator and T2: Judgement Day), albeit with the frame of a larger time-travel storyline.
The longstanding claim is that Genesis will feature Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a Terminator robot, who must protect the young Sarah Connor (Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke) from Skynet forces that attempt to kill her. Sarah, of course, is traditionally the mother of future human resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke), as was fathered by Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) - the human soldier who John sent back in time to save his mother.
THR is reporting that The Closer TV series alum J.K. Simmons - also known for playing J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and his voice-work as Jameson in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series (as well as for voicing Tenzin on The Legend of Korra) - is in negotiations to join the Terminator: Genesis cast. Furthermore, the report adds that he will play an "alcoholic detective," who has spent three decades following the strange case of Sarah Connor.
Reading deeper into that, it could be that the Terminator: Genesis script references events in Cameron's original Terminator installment (which now happens to be 30 years old, by no coincidence). That would be an intriguing approach, similar to how this year's Godzilla franchise reboot integrates events from the original 1954 film - as both a plot point and a meta-nod to the history of the property.
This new plot tidbit could also hint at how the Terminator reboot - the starting chapter in a new standalone movie trilogy which shall be accompanied by a tie-in TV series - will allow the 66-year old Schwarzenegger to reprise his iconic role in a logical fashion - one that doesn't require quite so much suspension of disbelief, that is.
In other words, if the machine played by Arnold has spent decades in the past keeping watch over Sarah Connor as she grows up (with Emilia Clarke playing the 30-year old Sarah in the present-day), then it would explain why his "biological exoskeleton" (read: human exterior) has aged significantly, by the time Genesis picks up.
Hence, Simmons' character would be useful as a plot device/exposition deliverer, as the detective who's been keeping track on all these bizarre events surrounding Miss Connor over the year - and thus, someone able to explain the whole thing to other characters.
Confusing? Most likely, but at this stage it's difficult to see how director Alan Taylor's (Thor: The Dark World) Terminator reboot is going to be able to clean-up the franchise's convoluted narrative continuity without pulling some crazy sci-fi/time-travel explanations (a la J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot). So long as the story - whatever it is - brings the franchise back to its more thoughtful sci-fi/horror roots, then I'm good with it.
Have you own thoughts/theories about the plot for Terminator: Genesis? Let us hear them in the comments section!
Terminator: Genesis is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on July 1st, 2015.