Genisys will begin much as the original Terminator did, with John Connor (Jason Clarke) sending Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke) from a Terminator.
Genisys is the first in a planned trilogy of new Terminator films, and is directed by Thor: The Dark World and Game of Thrones alum Alan Taylor.
Despite the familiar sounding premise, the film promises a few twists on the Terminator formula.
“It’s like going on tour again if you’re Pink Floyd—the audience always wants to hear some of the old songs,” says Matt Smith, formerly the Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who, who plays an as-of-yet unnamed ally to John Connor.. “There are enough nods to the past that people will feel satisfied.”
One big twist has already been revealed. Sarah Connor is not the unsuspected, innocent woman she was when she was first introduced in Terminator. Instead, she was orphaned at age 9, her parents killed by a Terminator, and has instead been raised by the old T-800 played by Schwarzenegger, whom she calls “Pops.”
“Since she was 9 years old, she has been told everything that was supposed to happen,” says producer David Ellison. “But Sarah fundamentally rejects that destiny. She says, ‘That’s not what I want to do.’ It’s her decision that drives the story in a very different direction.”
Presuming that Genisys takes place in the same continuity as the original Terminator films, this would seem to suggest an escalating series of time travel missions, each going back further than the last, to either kill or protect Sarah Connor.
Terminator: Genisys opens July 1, 2015. Check out photos of the cast and a behind-the-scenes shot of a Terminator in the gallery below.