A new crop of photos has emerged from this summer’s time-bending bonanza of cyborg-on-cyborg violence in Terminator Genisys. While the film had seemingly put most of its cards on the table with a plot-heavy full trailer that hit a few months back, it looks like this film still had at least one surprise up its sleeves; the presence of a recent Oscar winner. Yes, in what seems to be an odd afterthought, the robust J.K. Simmons will add some intensity to what already appears to be a wanton rampage of explosiveness. So, what’s his role in all of this?
The newly released crop of photos serve as a preview for the upcoming May issue of Empire Magazine (coming to us via ComingSoon,) and are actually, for the most part, uneventful. However, one photo of note kind of drops an unexpected bomb, giving us our first look at J.K. Simmons, fresh from his Oscar-winning, perhaps career-defining performance in Whiplash, looking on at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s aged and beaten-to-hell "Guardian" Terminator as he wields a threatening object that’s possibly a samurai sword. (Why? Samurai swords never need explanations.)
Simmons will play a role that, at this point, has simply been identified as "Detective O’Brien." Yet, exactly WHAT significance his role will play in the greater scope of this time-slicing cinematic assortment of ‘splosions remains to be seen. Simmons’ character seems to be using his status as a police detective to help Schwarzenegger’s older T-800 Terminator, indicating that he may be "in" on the ridiculous set of circumstances of the current crisis.
Regardless, fans expecting Simmons to give an eviscerating, self-esteem-destroying speech to either the villainous, digitally de-aged T-800 or the new T-1000 (Byung-hun Lee) will most likely be disappointed. Simmons’ role is clearly only in a supporting capacity, as the film will focus on Emilia Clarke’s rendition of "1984" Sarah Connor, who is the product of a seriously altered timeline after another Terminator was sent to protect her as a young child, altering her upbringing into a curriculum of badassery.
The other photo of note from this new group depicts a T-800 Terminator endoskeleton driving a truck. Which makes sense, since they’re slow as molasses when stripped of their flesh. Could this be the result of what has become the Terminator franchise’s obligatory moment when a Terminator commandeers a vehicle, bluntly telling its occupant to "get out," in a rare moment of mercy? Or, perhaps it’s just a look at the future where Skynet has relegated these obsolete models to a mundane, non-Unionized career behind the wheel.
Terminator Genisys will look to prove that there is no fate but what we make for ourselves when it "makes" a completely retroactive continuity at theaters on July 1.