The Terminator franchise began as a brutal, imaginative science fiction franchise in 1984, and has continually evolved over the course of the last thirty years. In 1991, Terminator 2: Judgment Day morphed it into a critically-acclaimed effects powerhouse. 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines seemed to change it into a sadly unnecessary story persisting past its sell-by date, and 2009’s Terminator Salvation seemed to cement the once thought-provoking and acclaimed franchise as something that lost the basic elements that made it special. The TV series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” ultimately didn’t do the franchise many favors either, and while the cast was acclaimed, the show was ultimately cancelled after producing only 31 episodes across two seasons.
Paramount is the latest studio that is trying to revive the franchise yet again with next year’s strangely titled Terminator: Genisys. With Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) playing the fully-formed John Connor, Emilia Clarke (no relation, from “Game of Thrones”) playing a young Sarah Connor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger himself leading the cast, it seemed at the outset that the odd, and perhaps perceived-to-be-unnecessary project might have something going for it. Now, audiences can make up their minds on that a little more ahead of the film’s release by scrutinizing some new plot details and images that are making the rounds.
The images are of new Entertainment Weekly covers that feature many of the principle cast members. This is our first early look at the aesthetic for the film, and fans will likely find them immediately encouraging or quickly disconcerting, depending on where your tastes lie. Some details, like John Connor’s facial scars, get it right, but other fans might see some details that seem to be…off.
The bigger story out of this concerns new plot details that have been making the rounds. EW posted these details along with the covers, including some detailed looks at the plot that are frankly kind of surprising to know this far ahead of release. First, the basic premise:
The beginning of Terminator: Genisys, the first of three planned films that Paramount hopes will relaunch the beloved sci-fi franchise, is set in 2029, when the Future War is raging and a group of human rebels has the evil artificial-intelligence system Skynet on the ropes. John Connor (Jason Clarke) is the leader of the resistance, and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) is his loyal soldier, raised in the ruins of post apocalyptic California. As in the original film, Connor sends Reese back to 1984 to save Connor’s mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator programmed to kill her so that she won’t ever give birth to John. But what Reese finds on the other side is nothing like he expected.
From there, you might think that this could be classified as a remake, to a degree, of the original film. That possibility is blown out of the water, though, by the next detail which may be considered a spoiler. Don’t read on if you wish to be surprised.
Okay, here it is:
Sarah Connor isn’t the innocent she was when Linda Hamilton first sported feathered hair and acid-washed jeans in the role. Nor is she Hamilton’s steely zero body-fat warrior in 1991’s T2. Rather, the mother of humanity’s messiah was orphaned by a Terminator at age 9. Since then, she’s been raised by (brace yourself) Schwarzenegger’s Terminator—an older T-800 she calls “Pops”—who is programmed to guard rather than to kill. As a result, Sarah is a highly trained antisocial recluse who’s great with a sniper rifle but not so skilled at the nuances of human emotion.
Terminator: Genisys will be released on July 1st, 2015, and will be directed by “Game of Thrones” and Thor: The Dark World helmer Alan Taylor from a screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier. What do you think of these fundamental changes to the franchise? Be sure to sound off below, and keep a tab open to GeekNation for the latest on what’s shaping up to be a divisive fifth entry in the Terminator franchise.
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