Terminator Genisys, the fifth film in the sci-fi franchise kicked off in 1984, was supposed to be both a continuation of the familiar series hallmarks we knew and a kind of fresh start. Through a mixture of time travel and character alterations (neither of which is at all uncommon for this franchise), Genisys shifted the Terminator timeline, giving filmmakers a somewhat clean slate on which they could chart out a new story for Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), John Connor (Jason Clarke), and the T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger).
Alas, the relative financial and critical failure of the film meant that whatever was supposed to come after will never make it to the big screen, but one of Genisys' stars remembers at least a little of it.
SPOILERS for Terminator Genisys ahead!
While promoting his new film Chappaquiddick, Clarke responded to a question about the planned trilogy that Genisys was supposed to launch, specifically a question about whether there was any kind of grand plan for the series beyond the first film, or if it was more of a wait-and-see situation. Clarke recalled that, at least as far as the drastically altered John Connor was concerned, there was some kind of plan for the sequel.
"No, they had an idea," Clarke told Collider. "What I remember was that second one was going to be about John’s journey after he was taken by Skynet… like going down to what he became; half machine, half man. That’s where the second one was going to start, and that’s about all I knew."
Genisys viewers will recall that, just before Kyle Reese was sent back in time, he witnessed John being attacked by a fellow Resistance fighter (Matt Smith) who turned out to be a T-5000 Terminator who was basically the avatar of Skynet itself. John was then captured, transformed into a T-3000, and sent back in time to 2017 to convince Sarah and Kyle to join up with Skynet before the Genisys operating system came online. He was then apparently destroyed by Sarah's reprogrammed "Guardian" Terminator (Schwarzenegger), who seemed certain that John Connor was no more... perhaps a little too certain?
Despite his arc in the first film, Clarke's recollection of where the Genisys sequel would have taken him hints at both a lot of time in the grim Skynet-ruled future and, ultimately, a redemption arc for the character in some form. Whatever would have happened beyond this kickoff to the sequel, though, isn't clear, and we'll likely never see it. James Cameron and Deadpool director Tim Miller are already at work on a reboot that will ignore every sequel in the franchise beyond Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which means the very best the world of Genisys can hope for now is alternate timeline status.
What do you think? Was closing the book on Genisys the right call, or was there still potential in this story?