So yesterday a new trailer for Terminator: Genisys dropped. It was exhilirating, action packed and full of fantastic character moments that stoked my excitement to crazy high levels. And I sincerely hope you DID NOT watch it.
The reason for my contradictory negativity is because somehow (I blame drugs) Paramount thought it would be a good idea to reveal what is clearly supposed to be a gigantic plot twist right there in the trailer for all to see. This aggravates me to no end as this reveal would have been jaw dropping had it been done in-movie only – especially since there hasn’t been even the smallest hint of it before now. But now it’s out there, and admittedly it’s an incredibly intriguing development that turns much of what we know about the franchise on its head, so it’s definitely worth discussing. And who better to talk about it than the person at the centre of it all!
NOTE: FROM HERE ON OUT, IT’S SPOILER TERRITORY, SO DON’T SCROLL PAST THE POSTER BELOW IF YOU WANT TO GO INTO THE MOVIE FRESH!
So what’s the fuss about: Well in the trailer it’s revealed that John Connor (played by Jason Clarke) the man who has been behind and at the centre of all the time travel shenanigans to ensure humanity’s future seen in the entire franchise thus far, is actually a damn evil robot himself. Or at least he is some kind of new human-machine hybrid. The point is, he’s now the bad guy, and a pretty powerful one at that.
EW spoke to Clarke about this new development and exactly why this twist happened in the story.
“To quote Spinal Tap: “It turns it up to 11.” It takes it from a typical machine chasing the good guys to giving it a bit more complexity within the same realm.”[John’s] freed from being a messiah, freed from the burden of knowing the future is set and nothing can change it forever. He’s full of possibilities now that he’s not fully machine, not fully human. He’s something else. He’s still evolving. There are still surprises as to what exactly John is ultimately. Is he controllable or not? He’s the last throw of the dice by Skynet and he is something that is a lot more than we’ve ever seen but nobody really knows just where it can go.”
From what we can see in the trailer, it looks like John’s melding with the machines has a bigger endgame, some plan that he has apparently worked out with Skynet. Just what that plan is is unclear, but it certainly appears that it’s not as black and white as it may appear initially. This blurriness presents Clarke with an interesting challenge on how to portray John. Is he man or is he machine? Is he good or is he bad?
“[It’s] not just [about] the good and bad of one man but the good and the bad of man and machine. Technology has become more and more engrained inside of us and John becomes the ultimate realization of that. It was a lot of fun to play and it was a lot of fun as a group to work out what the boundaries are of that. A lot of it they are still designing.”
“When John gets shot, he experiences the pain, and even though he is a machine at that point, he hasn’t experienced the benefits of what he can do. It was a kind of learn as you go. He was aware of it, but he was still experiencing it, still harnessing it, and learning how to dictate it.”
Clarke even took that one step further in changing how he actually moves.
“It did [change] a little bit in terms of focusing, particularly fighting with Arnold.”
The premature unveiling has provoked a very intriguing response from the public. From what I’ve personally witnessed in a few online forums and comments sections, longtime fans of the franchise who were genuinely looking forward to this movie before, are not taking this revelation too kindly as they feel – like I do – that it would have had far more impact if it was just dropped on an unwitting audience. However, I’ve also seen several people who were previously a bit “meh” about just another same-old same-old Terminator movie, who suddenly found their interests piqued by this unexpected turn of events.
So what does Clarke have to say to that first group? Should they remain invested in this movie?
“I’d say, just hang on. Don’t turn off too soon or you’ll miss the ride—literally, you know. Just bear with it. It does pay off.”
Just what that pay off may be is unclear. For all we know, this twist is merely a plot to setup an even bigger, more unexpected twist. After all, despite him being billed in the main cast and a big fuss being made about his addition to the film, we still have no idea who or what Matt Smith is playing. Since those first godawful promo pics, he has not appeared in a single image or frame of footage since. Clearly there’s still some big secret there.
Terminator Genisys is out July 1 and also stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Matt Smith, Michael Gladis, Sandrine Holt, J.K. Simmons, Byung-hun Lee and Dayo Okeniyi. Alan “Thor: The Dark World” Taylor directs.
Last Updated: April 15, 2015