The Terminator franchise is getting a reboot in the form of Terminator Genisys, a movie that brings back Arnold Schwarzenegger for a revisit to the original Terminator movie via some yet-unexplained time travel mechanics that are currently best explained with vague comparison to Back to the Future Part II, X-Men: Days of Future Past or J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot.
Arnold will play a T-800 who has somehow been involved in the Terminator saga since the first film (hence his aged flesh exterior) but has somehow not yet been seen in the franchise. Joining him will be Die Hard 5 star Jai Courtney as a new version of Kyle Reese, Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke as a young Sarah Connor, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes star Jason Clarke as the new John Connor.
Also rounding out the cast is fan-favorite actor J.K. Simmons (Oz, The Spider-Man Trilogy), whose role has yet to be revealed (one of Genisys’ many mysteries) except for the notion that it could be a role that starts out small, but expands in the planned Genisys sequels coming in 2017 and 2018.
Simmons (like Schwarzenegger and other cast members) has been particularly vocal about how the quality of the script and cast led him to the project – a sentiment he is re-iterating while doing rounds to promote his acclaimed new film, Whiplash:
It’s a gigantic movie and that was such a surprise when they sent that to me and asked me to do it. I thought ‘Well, obviously it’s a gigantic movie and on that level, it’s something most actors would want to be a part of, but is it just going to be the formulaic yadda-yadda-yadda then cut to the stuff blowing up?’ But I found the script to be really much more intelligent and fun and funny and well-rounded and heart-felt. It’s a love story. It’s a really interesting script. They got great actors. I wrapped that in August, so that was another movie that ended up being really satisfying on all levels. I have a much smaller part in that but it was really a fun thing to be a part of.
…most of my stuff was with Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke and Arnold was very involved or rather I was involved in a fair amount of stuff with Arnold. I spent very little time actually with Jason Clarke, but yeah I got to work with all four of the leads of the film and from the table read on, I was just favorably impressed by everybody’s work. Also everybody’s attitude and what they brought to work with them every day and how there was no BS and diva tantrums. It was a good experience overall.
With so much of the plot still unclear, it’s hard to tell where and how Simmons fits into the picture – but he’s generally a great addition to any cast, so there is a certain amount of assurance in having him onboard with this. However, the actor was also quick to correct earlier statements about his return in sequels (either because he was misquoted, or wasn’t supposed to reveal that info):
No, I didn’t say I look forward to being IN the sequels. Maybe I was just looking forward to WATCHING the sequels.
Clarification or back-tracking? You decide.
The one thing you can look at Terminator Genisys and say is that it’s a curiously good sign that Arnold returned, and that we’re talking about actors like Simmons, Clarke (Jason AND Emilia) and Courtney – all solid or rising talents – signing on as well.
Since the beginning, the quality of the script by Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) and Patrick Lussier (Dracula 2000) has been a consistent focus of every interview with the cast, producers and director Alan Taylor (Thor 2). Even James Cameron gave blessing to the film.
I say all that to say: Terminator 3 & 4 this does not seem to be…
NEXT: Terminator Genisys Set Photos
Terminator Genisys will be in theaters on July 1, 2015.