Terminator: Genesis, which just began production in New Orleans last week, sounds crazier every time we learn more about it. We already know that it’s going to be pulling a Back to the Future Part II by weaving in and out of scenes from the earlier films — such as Arnold Scwarzenegger’s unforgettable “Laundry day, nothing clean” intro from the original Terminator. We know Arnie is returning as yet another T-800, this one having been active so long that the biological tissue surrounding its metal endoskeleton has “aged” to the point that he looks, well, his age. Now it looks like there’s going to be at least one more T-800 model in the fray, and this one won’t look like the former governor of California.
The eagle eyes at Terminator Fans spotted a likely bit of social media gun-jumping last week when bodybuilder Aaron Williamson posted — and then swiftly deleted — the following from his Facebook page:
Thanks to an amazing team of people who help me get better each week, both physically & creatively, I’ll be playing a T-800 (Terminator) in the upcoming production Terminator: Genesis. I’m extremely grateful & motivated as this new chapter begins to take shape.
Obviously, those claims haven’t been confirmed through official channels, but Williamson’s social media actions have all the hallmarks of a guy who got a little too enthusiastic about his new gig before realizing that he may have let a cat out of the bag that Paramount wasn’t quite ready to unleash just yet. But while his involvement was new, the fact that there will be more than one T-800 involved in Genesis wasn’t. Schwarzenegger already revealed that there will be a younger model T-800 in the mix as well, and that part of the story involves “what that model does later on when it gets reprogrammed, and who gets ahold of him.”
What we didn’t know was whether this would be another T-800 that looks like young Arnie — like the CGI’d version we got in Terminator Salvation — or if it’d be a cyborg killer sporting an entirely different face. Well, again, those details haven’t been confirmed or denied by Paramount yet, but this concept art, seemingly of Williamson’s face, leaked around the same time as his initial Facebook post, allegedly after Williamson had shared the image with his friends and family (but did not himself leak it, apparently).
Terminator Fans contacted Williamson to get an official statement about the whole shebang, and this is what the dude had to say:
I’m not really at liberty to discuss anything w/ regard to this part. My social media followers have been following my journey since I returned to the states from Iraq, which is why I shared that photo; my desire to overcome adversity has really moved people. Where I’m at in my life right now is destiny & it’s truly a blessing. I grew up as a skinny kid watching the original Terminator & was fascinated by Arnold which is the man who inspired my career in fitness. To be a part of this production is a dream come true & a very special moment for me.
Williamson is officially listed on IMDb Pro as a “Fitness Professional” on Terminator: Genesis, and he’s filled the same role on tons of earlier films and TV shows, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, American Horror Story, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation (seen up top, with Dwayne Johnson). It’s certainly feasible that he might get his shot at a bigger role as a T-800 in Genesis, however Terminator Fans also raises another possibility. Williamson certainly has the physique for the role, but it’s also possible he could be providing just the body for yet another “original model” T-800, with his face getting digitally swapped out with that of a young Arnie…again, just like what they did in Salvation.
However, assuming the concept art is legit, that certainly seems to suggest that we’ll actually get to see Williamson’s face on screen…at least before they blow all the flesh off it. Stay tuned to see how this all shakes out.
Terminator: Genesis stars Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, and Jason Clarke as John Connor. It’s set to hit theaters on July 1, 2015.