The never-realized sequel to Terminator Genisys would have explored cyborg John Connor, actor Jason Clarke has revealed. Released in 2015, Terminator Genisys attempted a franchise reboot by recasting key characters from the original films and introducing a new timeline (a job made easier as time travel was already an integral part of the series). Arnold Schwarzenegger did return as "Pops," a reprogrammed T-800 who mentors and protects the film's new Sarah Connor, played by Emilia Clarke.
In Genisys' time-bending plot, John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) on his mission from the first Terminator movie, just as the evil Skynet nabs Connor himself. Later, John Connor himself shows up in the past but - in a shocking twist - he has been turned by Skynet into a cyborg T-3000 made of "machine phase matter." Though T-3000 is ultimately defeated and the evil designs of Skynet seemingly foiled, Genisys nevertheless concluded with a tease of more to come.
In an interview with Collider, John Connor actor Jason Clarke revealed that had Terminator Genisys actually received a sequel, the second movie would have gone deeper into the T-3000 John Connor character. Clarke said:
No, they had an idea. What I remember was that second one was going to be about John’s journey after he was taken by Skynet…like going down to what he became; half machine, half man. That’s where the second one was going to start, and that’s about all I knew.
Though Genisys did rack up a decent $440 million worldwide, its $89 million domestic gross convinced Paramount to ditch the new franchise path kicked off by the film. Thus, we'll never find out what happened to John Connor as he underwent the transformation into a T-3000. Instead, the planned Terminator 6 will ignore Genisys, as well as Terminator: Salvation and Terminator 3, in favor of a completely rebooted timeline that follows from the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton will return for Terminator 6 to provide a bridge to the original films, along with producer James Cameron. The story will take place in Mexico and involve a new central heroine encountering a new Terminator.
By and large, Terminator fans came away unimpressed by Genisys and its re-imagined versions of the original movies' characters. Ultimately, the film's attempt at a Back to the Future II time travel double-down only resulted in a sense that the entire story had reached a dead end. And it seems unlikely that doubling back again for a story focused on John Connor becoming a Terminator would have rescued them from that particular jam. So, it's probably just as well that Terminator Genisys never got a sequel. Terminator 6, however, sounds like it will take a very different approach, stripping things back to basics in hopes that the franchise can pass off to a new generation of characters. Maybe going less complicated, and reintroducing the elemental woman vs. machine plot of the original film, will result in the Terminator brand finding new life.