While, for most film fans, the term “reboot” is still akin to making medically inaccurate remarks about their mother’s anatomy, I have to say that I’ve had my hope for reboots slightly buoyed by the recent, surprisingly decent Robocop. There’s another major sci-fi franchise from the 80’s/90’s that’s soon also getting the reboot treatment, and based on these supposedly leaked plot details for Terminator: Genesis, this actually may not be too bad at all.
Now before we continue, we have to do the obligatory disclaimer. This story comes from Movie Hole, who clearly state that they have never seen the script, or spoken to anybody on the production, but that their info comes from a “really reputable source” who is in some position to know these details and has 100% reliably fed them scoops in the past. So while this is just an unsubstantiated rumour at this point, it could turn out to be true – in which case, SPOILER WARNING – or it could turn out to be nothing more than some gabby movie exec who’s had one too many early morning margaritas.
So now that we’ve got that out of the way…
We already know that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be returning as the titular Terminator, but according to this report he won’t be the only original character that we’ll be seeing again. It seems that director Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World) and writers Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island, Night Watch) and Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry) have been studying the JJ Abrams Guidebook on How to Reboot a Franchise Without Pissing Off Old Fans, as according to this report the film won’t be a remake but a “fresh reboot” much like JJ Abrams’ Star Trek, with Arnie’s Terminator acting as “the connecting tissue, in the way Leonard Nimoy’s ‘Old Spock’ reprise was to that movie”.
So how’s that going to work? Here’s how Movie Hole describes it:
“Our source, however, says a better comparison title – than Abrams’ “Star Trek” – is “Back to the Future Part II”. By that, he/she means that while “Genesis” encompasses an original plot, it also – like “Back to the Future Part II”, which saw Marty and Doc having to revisit the events of 1955 again for the film’s last quarter – returns to and revisits some of the most memorable moments from the first two “Terminator” movies.
The writers have apparently found a brilliant way of playing tribute to the two greatest films in the “Terminator” series, while introducing us to a new scenario, and even new characters (there’s a couple that the torch may be passed to for future installments), that enables the franchise to press restart on itself with no complaints.”
Now this approach actually ties in to previous reports that current franchise rights holders Annapurna Pictures were looking to spinoff a TV series from the movie, during which an event from the 1984 original film would be revisited, and something would be changed creating an alternate timeline which the movie and the proposed TV series would explore.
And thanks to Movie Hole’s source, we may just have received a list of contenders for exactly when this timeline split would occur, as they have given a list of scenes that Terminator: Genesis would revisit.
“Thanks to that ever-dependable alternate timeline device, and time-travel (which has always been a part of the series), Taylor’s film will take us back and forward between the future, 1984 (“The Terminator”), 1991 (“Terminator 2 : Judgement Day”) and other important and influential time periods in the life of the Connor family.
Firstly, we will indeed be revisiting the events of the original 1984 film again. The ‘Terminator’ from the future will arrive on earth, attack some punks (keen to see who they get to play ‘Bill Paxton’), and then slaughter his way through a bunch of Sarah Connors’ – until he finds the correct target. And all the characters that appeared in the Cameron original, like Detective Hal Vukovich (played by Lance Henriksen in the original), Lieutenant Ed Traxler (played by Paul Winfield way back when), Sarah’s roomie Ginger (Bess Motta in the ’84 film) and, yep, even Pugsley the Iguana, return. So, yep, we’ll likely get to see Schwarzenegger back in the leather jacket and cool sunglasses he wore in the original. And, of course, Kyle Reese (Courtney) volunteers to go back to 1984 and save Sarah – just as he did first time around. But don’t expect everything to work out like it did in the original.. something is going to play out different.
And then, we’ll also be taken back to the events of the sequel. The scene where the T-1000 (played by Robert Patrick in “Terminator 2 : Judgement Day”), posing as a cop, visiting John Connor’s home, where he meets – and consequently kills – foster parents Todd (Xander Berkeley) and Janelle (Jenette Goldstein), is in there. As are several other key moments.
And then we’ll be going back to moments we haven’t seen on film before – such as scenes with young Sarah and her parents.”
As Movie Hole notes, one of the concerns with this approach is how they’re going to deal with Arnie’s age, as he clearly doesn’t look like the killer robot from the future that was originally killing all those Sarah Connors back in 1984. I’d be guessing that a whole lot of make-up and post production work is going to be called for.
But aging Austrians aside, I have to admit that this actually sounds like it has plenty of potential to not in fact suck. Hell, it may even be quite good. Taylor has proven himself a very dependable action director, while Kalogridis and Lussier has done some great stuff in the past. Then there’s also the exciting young cast with Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) playing the young Sarah Connor, Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) playing John Connor and Jai Courtney (Spartacus, Jack Reacher, A Good Day to Die Hard) taking on the role of Kyle Reese.
Frankly, all the elements are here for this to actually work, and kick off this planned new trilogy of Terminator goodness. But then again, we could have said the same thing about Terminator: Salvation and look how that turned out.
Terminator: Genesis is scheduled for release on July 1, 2015.
Last Updated: March 4, 2014