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It has long been believed that Alan Taylor’s upcoming sequel Terminator Genisys would be the start of a new trilogy, essentially resetting the timeline that had been established in four previous films and moving forward with new versions of the series’ classic characters. However, during a Q-and-A in New York City that we attended, Arnold Schwarzenegger pumped the breaks ever-so-slightly on Genisys sequel talk and advocated a wait-and-see approach.
Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke with media members who’d just screened Alan Taylor’s Terminator Genisys, the first Terminator sequel since 2009’s Terminator Salvation (directed by McG). The original Terminator was asked about Genisys launching an eventual trilogy of new films, to which Schwarzenegger replied:
The studio is maybe thinking so. But I, myself, I always think of one at a time. … To me, it’s [more] important that the people go and see this movie, that the movie’s successful, that it gets good reviews, that people enjoy it, and that the demand of you all creates a desire for us to do another one, rather than to be presumptuous and to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do two more.’"
That answer generated a hearty round of applause from a pack of film journalists – usually a cynical bunch. As part of the reply, Arnold talked at length about how difficult it is to make a blockbuster of this magnitude, and then to go out and promote it. He mentions that while they are on the U.S. leg of the promotional tour for Terminator Genisys, the cast had just returned from South America, Australia and Europe before bringing the sequel to the States. By this point, I’m sure that the cast and the creative team behind the sequel are just anxious to have audiences see the movie, so they can gauge whether or not they pulled off a story that is going to please long-time fans of the Terminator franchise.
Time travel continues to play a heavy role in the new Terminator, with multiple warriors from the distant future being sent back in time to disrupt the past. Not only does John Connor (Jason Clarke) send Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time to rescue his mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), but we learn that a much older Terminator – named The Guardian – has been sent back to Sarah’s childhood to defend her, creating an alternate timeline that changes a lot of the events we have accepted as canon.
It is believed that Terminator Genisys is laying the foundation for a new set of stories, which may or may not include Arnold’s timeless Terminator character. But I love his sentiment that fan-enthusiasm should drive the series forward, not a studio’s interest in the bottom line. Don’t you agree?