Why Terminator: Genisys Could Be The Last Nail In The Coffin For The Franchise

By Brent McKnight | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

Terminator 2The last two movies in the Terminator franchise, 2003’s Terminator: Rise of the Machines and 2009’s Terminator Salvation, left fans wanting. Some people absolutely despise them, but I’m rather middle of the road on both, which somehow actually feels worse (there’s a sense of catharsis in being able to just viciously hate a movie). As we approach the revamping of the series with next year’s Terminator: Genisys, we’re full of what’s best described as guarded optimism. We’re hopeful, and totally rooting for the Alan Taylor-directed film to succeed, silly name and all. That said, some new details that have come to light are making that more difficult, as they don’t sound all that promising.

There may be some light spoilers beyond this point, but the original report does its best to remain vague, and so will we. But still, if you’re looking to avoid such things, you may want to skip this one.

Over on Meet the Movie Press at Schmoes Know, some folks have been talking to their sources (unnamed, unofficial sources, talking off the record, so put as little or as much credence in this as you care to) and the early word is that things are not good. As the host, a self-identified rabid Terminator fan who claims to know the whole movie, states, “We’re in trouble.” He says it’s going to piss people off and be the last nail in the coffin of the franchise. Ouch. We certainly hope not.

Without getting too specific, some of the gaping problems are a villain that reportedly comes out of nowhere, a new kind of Terminator goes even far beyond Sam Worthington’s in Salvation, and that is being described as a “reach.” From the description, it sounds like they’re trying to do something big, trying to be really edgy, and it just doesn’t sound like they’re getting it right, where what people really want is a return to form.

We’ve heard that Genisys will involve more time travelling—that’s how you’ll get Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), John Connor (Jason Clarke), and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) all being roughly the same age—including revisiting key moments from the earlier films. That’s been floating around for a while, but this report says that the time hopping elements aren’t being handled particularly well, and that things are convoluted and confusing.

TerminatorEven if these things are true, and that’s a big if, it’s still early in the process, so there’s no reason to panic just yet. They have plenty of time to fix continuity and pacing issues before the release next summer. There are all manner of things they can do, from reworking the script to reshoots to editing workarounds to create a better flow. And these could very well be exaggerations or one person’s opinion. We won’t know for sure until July 1, 2015. But if this is a success, the studio has plans to film two more movies back-to-back for release in 2017 and 2018, before the rights revert back to James Cameron in 2019.

Also, one last, potentially spoiler-y thing: watching this podcast (is it a podcast? What qualifies as a podcast? I’m not sure), are they trying to say, without really saying, that there’s going to be a little kid Terminator? Or possibly that John Connor may be a Terminator? You get that impression. Huh? I’m probably just reading too much into two dudes bullshitting, but that made me worry.