Ever since photos started leaking from the set of Terminator: Genisys, fans have been wondering just what was up with Arnold Schwarzenegger not only returning, but also playing a T-800 that looks like it's aged. After all, we're used to robotic killing machines that never age a day in their lives, and outlive us meat bags by a larger margin than our lifespans could ever accommodate. Well, now we have a reason why the T-800 is looking ready to go to the old bots home, and it's all because of the man who started the apocalyptic dream at the heart of the series: James Cameron.
Deadline spoke with Cameron and Terminator producer Gale Anne Hurd at L.A.'s Egyptian Theater during an event for the 30th anniversary of The Terminator's original release, and while Cameron naturally explained that he was not a part of the production in any official capacity, he did give some friendly advice to producer David Ellison. This advice, recapped below, tells us how Arnold Schwarzenegger is set up for not only this Terminator film, but also any others in the future.
"I pointed out that the 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."
This is the type of stuff you integrate into a film like Terminator: Genisys if you want to keep the fans around, as well as the lead actor that made the series what it was 30 years ago, but has undeniably aged since that time. That's not to say that Schwarzenegger looks all that horrible in his advancing age, but with the preconceived and heavily trafficked notion that robots don't age due to synthetic skin, this is the simplest and best explanation to why Arnie would look a bit aged. On a side note: this could also explain how the series is being reset, as this new T-800's existence outside of the traditional span of events would change the time stream irrevocably.
Though this does begin to make us wonder what the T-800 could have "learned" in the years before his assignment that could have made him go from killing machine to protector. Not to mention, there's the bonus round of scrutiny that borrows from Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines, and poses the question of how off the mark would the T-800 have to be to not kill or protect Sarah Connor? Keep in mind, the T-X was sent back to kill John Connor and his lieutenants, who were still around high school age. Not to mention the T-1000 was sent back to take out John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, so it's not like Skynet cares how old its targets are.
The explanation given by James Cameron is exciting enough to make Terminator: Genisys sound like a good movie, but makes us ask enough questions to make us wonder if the logic is going to be more wibbley than it's ever been before in the renowned robotics/time travel franchise. We'll find out which side wins out as Terminator: Genisys makes its mark on July 1, 2015.