Aside from the rather awful title change to Terminator: Genisys, it’s been a while since we heard anything about the fifth Terminator flick. We know the story once again involves Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), a grown-ass John Connor (Jason Clarke), and Arnold Schwarzenegger as an aging cyborg. There are rumors that it will weave in and around the events of the earlier movies, sort of like Back to the Future II. Now actor J.K. Simmons has revealed that Genisys (ugh) will hearken back to the original film in another way: it will tell a love story.
Actor J.K. Simmons is probably best known for playing J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies or the brutal white supremacist Vern Schillinger in HBO’s prison drama Oz. In Genisys he’s playing an alcoholic detective who’s been tracking Sarah Connor — and the strange events that surround her — for years. Speaking to Coming Soon, Simmons initially assumed it would be the usual disposable action movie script — “yadda-yadda-yadda then cut to the stuff blowing up” — but instead he found himself impressed by the script. He told Coming Soon:
I found the script to be really much more intelligent and fun and funny and well-rounded and heart-felt. It’s a love story. It’s a really interesting script. They got great actors. I wrapped that in August, so that was another movie that ended up being really satisfying on all levels. I have a much smaller part in that but it was really a fun thing to be a part of.
That’s good to hear, as it’s been a while since we’ve had a really good Terminator movie. The bit about the love story is what has us intrigued, however, as it confirms something I’d been assuming would be a factor. After all, the intense but brief love affair between Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese was an important part of James Cameron’s original Terminator — without it, we would have no John Connor, and thus no story at all. We’ve known for a while now that Genisys was giving Reese a major role alongside Sarah, so it seemed pretty much inevitable that there would be a romantic element. All signs point to Genisys being a sort of soft reboot like Days of Future Past did to the big-screen X-Men continuity earlier this year. If so, maybe that means Reese isn’t destined to die this time around, so maybe he and Sarah won’t have to love “a lifetime’s worth” in only a couple of hours.
Of course, if past events are in flux, then I suppose nothing is a sure thing at this point. Presumably Sarah and Kyle still have to knock boots at some point so that John can enjoy the luxury of continued existence, but for all we know that might happen in one of the already-planned sequels. Maybe they’ll just spend the first movie engaged in Moonlighting-esque bantering.
The bigger question, of course, is how anybody can hope to outdo Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn in the roles they were so damn good in back in the day?