Terminator Genisys is something of a return to form for the franchise. Left in shambles after the previous two installments, Genisys honors what came before it, while taking the series in an interesting direction.
Myself and other members of the press where fortunate enough to sit down with the cast and crew recently. When asked about taking this iconic franchise in a new direction, screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis said the following; “I think to us, which is that if you are looking at it as a temporal nexus, which is branching out into alternative timelines, nothing that’s in canon is changed, those other timelines are preserved and they remain. We’re on an alternate universe timeline so we are not negating anything that came before us. We are hopefully just adding to it and creating another storyline with the same core characters and probably the biggest single advantage of that is that you’re not asking the audience to put aside anything they’ve seen before, you’re asking them to incorporate it, and imagine, okay, well, here are characters that you know and love, what if you saw them in a different situation, what about them is at their core that wouldn’t change, what about them would, if their environment was different, if you put a machine, and in some ways we’re sort of expanding on the idea of the learning chip, which ironically everybody knows about, even though the scene itself was cut out of the second movie, but everyone knows about it, even though we didn’t talk about it in this film. You take a T-800 model with his learning chip turned on and you put him there, and he’s in the middle of humans for decades, and he’s going to change, and that’s very much an exploration of something that I think always wanted to see done, from the first two movies, ‘cause it’s very much teased in the second film, and you never got to go there. A lot of this is about that. What do you love about the franchise? What can you take forward and do more with – that we just never got a chance to see.”
Arnold Schwazenegger himself chimed in on the changes this gave his iconic T-800; “. In this movie, it becomes a little bit more colorful, because now I am again back to destroy Sarah Connor, I’m still this vicious cold machine that is programmed to destroy Sarah Connor and nothing will get in my way, except in this story something does get in my way, which is another Terminator, one that has been around for a longer period of time. It’s also the T-800 model but he was programmed to protect Sarah Connor and the human race, so there’s obviously a major conflict between the two when they meet, and that’s what creates then this huge epic battle. And then of course the Terminators, depending on how long they have been around, some of them are just straight Terminator, as the one from 1984, but then the one that has been around longer, he has already adopted certain human behaviors, subtle. And so from a acting point of view, you have to be really be, you know, very wise the way you use that, and how you, you know, get that across, that he has human behaviors and he does have certain feelings and stuff like that, but also creates great comic relief when the Terminator tries very hard to be like a human and he fails miserably. You know, so you see also that in the movie.”
Newcomer to the franchise, Emilia Clarke, was also on hand and talked about the challenges of stepping into the shoes of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor. Said Ms. Clarke, “I’d grown up watching the Terminators and being continually inspired, especially by Linda’s incredible performance. So I jumped at the chance to be able to take on this role. And then it was kind of after that fact, the daunting realization of the enormity of the part, kind of sunk in. But yes, it’s just been an absolute joy as an actress to be able to take this on. And yeah, there are many elements of my work in Game of Thrones that were incredibly helpful to try and kind of harness the like inner badass. But the difference between the two is that in Game of Thrones I do a lot of delegating, and then here in this movie I really had to get down and dirty and like do a lot of the stunts and the gun work and everything, so yeah, its similarities, but Sarah Connor is a whole other kind of badass.”
Terminator Genisys is in theaters now.