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Terminator Genisys: Skynet Determined as Ever

By Andrew Burgon / phoenix@projectfellowship.com
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April 3, 2015

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Terminator Genisys: A Refreshing Start to a New Trilogy

“It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. There’s a storm coming. And it won’t be stopped.”
– John Connor

In the movie Terminator Genisys, the machines continue their ruthlessly determined pursuit of resistance leader, John Connor. It’s 2029 and his army unit, Tech-Com, is a bearer of ominous news. The powerful and unrelenting artificial intelligence system Skynet will attempt to yet again erase his existence by venturing into the past and attacking ‘him’ hard on two fronts.

With the resistance having almost won the war against Skynet, Connor sends his trusted lieutenant Kyle Reese back through time to 1984 to protect his mother’s life and ensure his own existence.

Reese finds though that the past is very different to what he expected. Skynet has already reached far back into the life of Sarah Connor leaving her orphaned at the tender age of nine. Her benevolent protector who she calls ‘Pops’ is an aged Terminator who has raised her since childhood. Instead of a scared waitress, he finds a highly skilled fighter who’s deadly accurate with a sniper rifle.

In the frantic days that follow Skynet closes on them with not one but three new robots. A T-950, a T-800 and the familiar T-1000. With the help of an old Terminator they desperately search for a way to stop Judgment Day from ever happening.

When we start to consider who is contributing to this movie there’s reason to hope that the movie will be more than a spectacle. That it will have some substance.

For one thing director Alan Taylor is at the helm. He’s already proved his directorial prowess in ‘Thor: The Dark World.’

Writers Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) and Patricia Lussier (Dracula 2000) have received much praise for their Terminator Genisys script.

JK Simmons of HBO’s ‘Oz’ in particular has been speaking highly of the script in interviews.

“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.”
– ComingSoon.net Interview

Terminator Genisys definately has some talent in the acting department. ‘Game of Thrones’ actress Emilia Clarke brings some metal to her character, Sarah Connor. It seems fitting that the ‘Mother of Dragons’ should play Sarah Connor in this movie. ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ star Jason Clarke takes on the role of scarred and war-torn hero John Connor. ‘Divergent’ actor Jai Courtney plays the part of Kyle Reese.

Academy Award-winning actor JK Simmons is along for the spectacle, too. He portrays Detective O’Brien, a weary and alcoholic detective, who has been persistently searching for Sarah Connor for a long time. When he finally arrests her though she convinces him of the annihilation to come. Hopefully, we’ll see him join sides with Connor’s gun-ho band of Terminator battlers.

The biggest star of all, of course, is Arnold Schwarzeneggar. He really is a man of his word! When he said, “I’ll be back” I don’t think anyone knew how serious he was! In fact, he recently revealed to his fans that he would indeed be back in Genisys’ sequel.

Despite being 67 years old he managed to beef up nicely for the role over a period of two months.

James Cameron, the director of the first two Terminator films, also made a small contribution to the movie. He met up a few times with the production company’s David Ellison to talk about Schwarzeneggar’s role and how to stay true to the original T-800 character.

Two sequels to Terminator Genisys have already been announced. The dates are May 19, 2007 and June 29, 2018.

Why No Terminator Salvation Sequel?

I’m sure there are some people scratching their head wondering why a sequel to Terminator Salvation was scrapped.

Terminator Salvation was indeed meant to kick start a new trilogy. Unfortunately, production of a fifth film was not only halted by legal troubles but the company who owned the rights to the franchise ended up filing for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11.

When it comes to making blockbuster movies you find that the rights to making a movie can change hands again-and-again. The names of famous directors, writers and actors that were associated with the launching of a movie can also change a lot. This was the case with Terminator Genisys.

After a bidding war between Sony Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment and the hedge fund Pacifor the latter clenched the deal. It then turned around and hired an agency to sell off the rights to the franchise.

Then in May 2011, Megan Ellison and her production company Annapurna Pictures secured the rights to make two more movies. It was decided then to start from scratch.

However, Annapurna Pictures suddenly announced that it was no longer financing the movie. Instead, David Ellison’s Skydance Pictures and Paramount would be the sole financiers.

Skydance Pictures is responsible for movies like True Grit, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Star Trek Into Darkness. I’m glad to hear they are on board for this blockbuster sci-fi outing. It’s a kind of good omen.

I think we have a lot to look forward to in this fifth installment of this billion dollar franchise. Arnold’s back in a big way. A great director at the helm who has a solid script and talented writers to work with. A good cast that includes an Academy award winner.

Are you optimistic about Terminator Genisys?

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Image by Ryan Fung from Hong Kong, China (Flickr) / CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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