To date, all of the announced casting for the Terminator reboot, Terminator: Genesis, has been for characters who already existed in the original film: Emilia Clarke will be taking over the role of Sarah Connor, while Jason Clarke will play the grown version of her son, John Connor, and Jai Courtney will play Kyle Reese, the man sent back in time by John to protect Sarah from robot assassins who look like former Austrian bodybuilders. (Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back as the Terminator as well, though I don’t know how they plan to address his advanced age. I’m guessing they just say someone forgot to Rust-Oleum his hyper-alloy combat chassis and he started to droop.)
But the latest addition to the cast, via The Hollywood Reporter, is a bit different. J.K. Simmons will play “a weary and alcoholic detective who has followed a bizarre case involving Sarah Connor and robots for more than three decades (since 1984, which, not coincidentally, is the year the original movie, directed by James Cameron, was released).” Previously, Genesis has been vaguely described as a reboot of the franchise. This, however, suggests something a bit more complicated, a reboot mixed with new storylines that combine different characters from different timelines, with Clarke and Courtney in the past and Simmons (and maybe Clarke?) in the present. THR says Genesis “will thread together multiple ideas from the previous movies as it relaunches the story of a cyborg from a future where computers gained intelligence and waged war against mankind.”
Even as a Terminator and Schwarzenegger fan, I was a bit skeptical about this project. Hasn’t this franchise suffered enough? Why doesn’t someone from the future send a robot back in time to prevent any more Terminator movies from happening? On the other hand, the casting of Simmons—and the description of his role—has me a little more curious. I definitely don’t want to see the original Terminator rehashed. But I could be up for something that mucks with the original concept in a fresh way.