How Terminator: Genisys Explains That Really Old Looking Arnold Schwarzenegger
As excited as we are to once again see Arnold Schwarzenegger in his natural habitat—playing a futuristic robot killing machine—we’re curious how the upcoming Terminator: Genisys (every time I read that title I still wonder how many people at the studio had to sign off on its ridiculousness) is going to deal with the fact that the T-800 now looks very much like a 67-year-old man who was once the governor of the state of California. But don’t worry, there’s and explanation, and it comes from series creator James Cameron, so you know it has to be right, right?
2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the original, 1984 Terminator, and to mark the occasion, the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood hosted a special screening of the film, complete with a Q&A with both Cameron and fellow producer Gale Anne Hurd. Deadline recorded many of these stories to share with the general public, and the subject of old ass Mr. Schwarzenegger came up.
Cameron apparently talked to David Ellison, who is producing Genisys, and got the lowdown on the situation. Cameron says:
[T]he outer covering (of the Terminator) was actually not synthetic, that it was organic and therefore could age. You could theoretically have a Terminator that was sent back in time, missed his target, and ended up just kind of living on in society. Because he is a learning computer and has a brain as a central processor he could actually become more human as he went along without getting discovered.
So the T-800 looks old and weathered because, well, it is old and weathered, much like the star. With the Terminator rocking his new age-inappropriate look, it will tie in with everyone else in the movie, whose ages are also going to all jumbled up thanks to time travel. For instance, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) is going to appear to be younger than her son, John Connor (played in this incarnation by Jason Clarke, no relation). That awkward moment when you realize that you’re older than your mother, we’ve all been there, right?
More than the look, I’m curious to see how Genisys uses Schwarzenegger in an action capacity. If you watch Kim Ji-woon’s The Last Stand, his first post-politics return to the genre that made him famous—and a movie I actually enjoy—he’s not moving all that well. It’s not as bad a Dolph Lundgren in Battle of the Damned or anything (you knees hurt just watching him try to hobble around), but the former Mr. Olympia isn’t exactly fleet of foot anymore.
Terminator: Genisys, silly name and all, opens up July 1, 2015. Assuming it’s successful, which we imagine it will be, they plan to shoot two more installments back-to-back, with releases already penciled in for 2017 and 2018, before the rights revert back to Cameron in 2019.