Terminator Genisys is a 2015 American scifi-action film, directed by Alan Taylor and written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier. The fifth installment in the Terminator franchise, the film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, reprising his role as the eponymous character, along with Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, and Jai Courtney. The film's plot follows soldier Kyle Reese (Courtney) in the war against Skynet, an artificial general intelligence seeking to destroy the human race. In a sequence of events similar to 1984's The Terminator, John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the Human Resistance, sends Reese back in time from 2029 to 1984 to protect Connor's mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), who is being targeted by Skynet. However, once Reese arrives in the past he discovers the timeline has been altered, and Sarah has been raised by a reprogrammed Terminator, known as the Guardian (Schwarzenegger), since her childhood.
Megan Ellison and her production company Annapurna Pictures acquired the rights to the franchise in May 2011, and the following year the production of another installment in the series was set up in collaboration with Skydance Productions, owned by her brother David Ellison. The Ellisons made sure to ask for the input of Terminator creator James Cameron, hoping to create something that would get closer to the spirit of the original film and sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Principal photography occurred mostly in New Orleans, while also taking place in the on-screen setting of San Francisco. Six companies handled the film's visual effects, while the prosthetic make-up and animatronics were created by Legacy Effects, a studio founded by the alumni of Terminator veteran Stan Winston.
The film was released by Paramount Pictures on July 1, 2015, in standard digital format, RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D. Terminator Genisys was not well-received by critics, who found the story and performances unsatisfactory, though Schwarzenegger's return to the franchise was praised. It has grossed over $440 million worldwide, making it the second-highest-grossing film of the franchise and Schwarzenegger's career after Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and is intended to be the first of a trilogy.
In 2029, Human Resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke) launches a final offensive against Skynet, an artificial general intelligence system seeking to eliminate the human race. Before the Resistance wins the offensive, Skynet activates a time machine and sends back a T-800 Terminator to 1984 to kill John's mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke). John's right-hand man, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney), volunteers to travel back in time to protect her. As Kyle floats in the machine's magnetic field, he witnesses John being attacked by another Resistance soldier (Matt Smith). He then has visions from his childhood about events in 2017.
Upon arrival in 1984, Skynet's T-800 is disabled by Sarah and the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a reprogrammed T-800 sent to protect her when she was nine years old. Kyle arrives a short time later and is immediately attacked by a T-1000 (Lee Byung-hun). Sarah and the Guardian join Kyle and destroy the T-1000 using acid. Sarah and the Guardian reveal they have constructed a makeshift time machine similar to Skynet's, and that Sarah plans to travel to 1997 – the year Skynet becomes self-aware. Realizing the timeline has been altered, Kyle is convinced that the future has changed due to the warning he received in his childhood vision. He persuades Sarah to travel to 2017 instead to stop Skynet.
In 2017, Kyle and Sarah materialize in the middle of a busy San Francisco highway and are apprehended by city police. While being treated for injuries, Sarah and Kyle learn that Skynet is called "Genisys", a soon-to-be-unveiled global operating system that is being embraced by the public. John Connor appears and rescues Sarah and Kyle, but the Guardian appears and immediately shoots John, revealing that John is an advanced T-3000 Terminator. While Kyle was being sent back through time, a T-5000 (Smith), the physical embodiment of Skynet disguised as a member of the Resistance, attacked John and transformed him into a Terminator. John was tasked with ensuring Cyberdyne Systems' survival and traveled back in time to assist them with the development of Genisys.
Able to escape to a safe house, Sarah, Kyle, and the Guardian make final preparations to destroy Cyberdyne's Genisys mainframe. They head toward Cyberdyne's headquarters with the T-3000 in close pursuit. During an airborne chase, the Guardian divebombs into the T-3000's helicopter, causing it to crash. The T-3000 survives the crash and enters the Cyberdyne complex, where it advances the countdown from 13 hours to 15 minutes. Kyle, Sarah and the Guardian plant bombs at key points in the facility while holding off the T-3000.
In a final battle, the Guardian traps the T-3000 in the magnetic field of a prototype time machine. Both are destroyed, but just prior to the explosion, the T-3000 throws the remains of the Guardian into an experimental vat of mimetic polyalloy located nearby. Kyle and Sarah reach a bunker beneath the facility, and the explosion sets off the bombs, successfully preventing Genisys from coming online. The Guardian appears, upgraded with mimetic polyalloy components similar to that of the T-1000, and helps them find a way out of the debris.
The trio travels to Kyle's childhood home, where Kyle tells his younger self about Genisys and instructs him to repeat the warning in a mirror – critical insurance that the events lead to their arrival in 2017. Sarah, Kyle and the Guardian drive off into the country. A mid-credits scene reveals that the system core of Genisys was located in a protected subterranean chamber and has survived the explosion.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator/T-800/"Pops"/The Guardian.
- Brett Azar as young T-800 (body double).
- Jason Clarke as John Connor/T-3000.
- Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor.Template:Refn
- Willa Taylor as young Sarah Connor.
- Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese
- Bryant Prince as a young Kyle Reese.
- Lee Byung-hun as T-1000.
- J. K. Simmons as Detective O'Brien.
- Matt Smith as Alex, an advanced T-5000 Terminator serving as the physical embodiment of Skynet.
While Terminator Salvation was intended to begin a new trilogy, production on a fifth film was put on hold because of legal issues with franchise owner The Halcyon Company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2009. In an effort to avoid bankruptcy, Halcyon later decided to sell the rights to the franchise and claimed the property was valued at $70 million. On February 8, 2010, the franchise auctioned for $29.5 million to Pacificor, a hedge fund company who was the largest creditor in Halcyon's bankruptcy proceedings. The deal erased Halcyon's debts owed to Pacificor and guaranteed Halcyon $5 million for each additional Terminator sequel produced to pay off other outstanding debts. Pacificor sold the franchise again in May 2010.
In August 2010, Hannover House announced plans to develop a 3D animated film entitled Terminator 3000. Pacificor responded with a cease and desist letter and declined a $20–30 million offer from Hannover for the rights to produce the film. In February 2011, Universal Studios considered investing in a fifth Terminator film, with Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to the title role, Fast Five director Justin Lin behind the helm, and Chris Morgan as the screenwriter. In late April 2011, a proposed Terminator package which dropped Morgan and added producer Robert W. Cort was circulated among Universal Studios, Sony, Lionsgate, and CBS Films.
The package was eventually picked up by Megan Ellison and her production company Annapurna Pictures in May 2011, after they won an auction for the rights to make at least two more Terminator films, including Terminator 5. The deal was finalized on December 4, 2012. The final price was reportedly less than the auction pledge, because new copyright laws had raised concerns that the rights would revert to James Cameron in 2019. Ellison's brother, David Ellison, and others from his Skydance Productions company signed on to co-produce the film. Lin had to back away from the project because of his involvement in Fast & Furious 6. Two screenwriters – Laeta Kalogridis of Shutter Island and Patrick Lussier of Drive Angry – were commissioned to write the screenplay in January 2013. Kalogridis and Lussier initially turned down the project three times, but were convinced to write the screenplay by James Cameron.
Paramount Pictures, which has a financing and distribution deal with Skydance, was confirmed as the distributor in June 2013, when they and the producers co-announced a release date of June 26, 2015. Rian Johnson, Denis Villeneuve, and Ang Lee were each approached to take over the directing role from the departed Lin, but eventually Thor: The Dark World director Alan Taylor was selected in September 2013. In January 2014, Megan Ellison announced that her production company was no longer financing the film. Instead, Skydance and Paramount would provide funding, though Megan would retain credit as an executive producer.
After she acquired the rights to the franchise, Megan Ellison asked James Cameron for input on the new film. Cameron later held several meetings with David Ellison, where they discussed Schwarzenegger's role and how to stay true to the original T-800 character. On August 6, 2014, Schwarzenegger posted a picture to his Twitter account of himself sitting in a production chair on set. The picture revealed the correct spelling of the film's title Terminator Genisys.
On June 13, 2013, Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would return for his fourth film as the Terminator/T-800. By early November 2013, Garrett Hedlund and Tom Hardy were under consideration for the role of Kyle Reese. In November 2013, the choice for Sarah Connor was narrowed to Emilia Clarke, Tatiana Maslany, and Brie Larson, and Clarke won the role in December. The same month, Jason Clarke entered talks to play John Connor. In February 2014, the studio considered Jai Courtney and Boyd Holbrook for Reese, and later that month Courtney was confirmed for the role. J. K. Simmons began talks for the role of Detective O'Brien in March. Announcements in late March said that Dayo Okeniyi would play Danny Dyson, and that Lee Byung-hun, Michael Gladis and Sandrine Holt joined the cast, Lee in a lead role. Matt Smith joined the cast in May, and Douglas Smith joined in June.
Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier were invited to do the script while working on another project with David Ellison and Dana Goldberg. Both only accepted to do a Terminator film once James Cameron, a personal friend of Kalogridis who worked with her in Avatar, gave them his blessing. The starting point on the script was to retain Schwarzenegger as a central character, unlike the Star Trek reboot bringing Leonard Nimoy as an older Spock with a minor role. Thus they had to figure out how to write in the actor now being 67, and followed a suggestion of Cameron regarding the Terminator living tissue exterior being vulnerable to ageing, and their own idea of Skynet sending a Terminator after an infant Sarah Connor. Then they extended to featuring the core characters of Kyle, Sarah, and John Connor despite each being from a different time period. While the writers reported to have enjoyed Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, they opted to escape said film's suggestion that Judgment Day is inevitable due to a causal loop, instead considering that all Terminator timelines exist simultaneously in a multiverse. To properly map out the different timelines and help write the plot, Kalogridis and Lussier had five whiteboards "covering every wall in the office". Eventually they got to a central plot thread, where the Skynet of one universe, which had knowledge of being defeated in various timelines, sent the T-5000 to the Genisys timeline hoping to ultimately beat the humans by "having the best weapon that humans have", John Connor. The first draft of the screenplay, used to attract a director, was delivered on July 2013.
Principal photography began on April 21, 2014 in New Orleans, and ended on August 6, 2014 in San Francisco. Legacy Effects, successor to Stan Winston Studio, created the Terminator robotic and make-up effects, led by John Rosengrant who had worked on the previous four Terminator films. However, Jeff Dawn, lead make-up artist on the first three installments, did not return.
The production tried to match the cinematography of the first two Terminator films. Sequences set in the year 1984 favored blue, green and black tones to match the look of The Terminator, while scenes set during the future war against the machines were modeled after similar scenes in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Fictional Cyberdyne/Genisys headquarters were based on the headquarters of Oracle Corporation, which was founded by the Ellisons' father Larry Ellison.
Visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs oversaw approximately 1,200 visual effects shots generated at Double Negative, Moving Picture Company (MPC), Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Lola VFX, One of Us, and Method Studios. Double Negative was the leading company, with 900 shots that included the T-1000, T-5000, and T-3000 Terminators, the helicopter and bus chase sequences, and the Cyberdyne explosion. The complexity of the T-3000, which had to be constantly shown as a living mass of nanomites and had its transformation in successive layers instead of the T-1000's straight blend, at times would require. 20 hours to render a single frame. The mechanical cells aimed to resemble the material on stealth aircraft, with a result described as "more matte than metal", resembling a slightly iridescent ceramic carbon. Given that the T-3000 was a man transformed into a robot, the design aimed for a human shape streamlined for better combat efficiency. The T-1000 was built out of fluid simulations, with the environments being filmed with high-resolution cameras to ensure proper reflection. Its acid destruction was realistically depicted following studies on acids burning metal and ingots of aluminum. Double Negative's artists shot many reference plates of San Francisco, including scans of the Golden Gate Bridge, to ensure the city was recreated properly in the bus and helicopter chases.
MPC's most elaborate effect was the digital recreation of the original Terminator, which required 12 months for 35 shots which were completed just 30 minutes before the final print was submitted to the studio. Performance capture was only used for facial animation, as Schwarzenegger was scanned reading his lines. The studio's artists studied various archive footage of Schwarzenegger, focusing mostly on The Terminator and Pumping Iron, and were given a plaster cast of him made in 1984. On-set, the fight between both Terminators at a time had Schwarzenegger and Brett Azar, a bodybuilder chosen for his physical similarity to the actor in 1984, and on more dangerous scenes Azar and a stunt double, requiring effects artists to replace the face of the Guardian as well. MPC also handled the future battle, adding set extensions, and Skynet robots and vehicles, based on the practical models made by Legacy Effects. Industrial Light & Magic did both the opening scene where San Francisco is wiped out during Judgement Day, which drew inspiration from the Los Angeles nuclear destruction of Terminator 2, and the Terminator vision.
Lorne Balfe composed the movie's score. Balfe aimed to create a soundtrack that stood in its own given the film's status as "not a prequel and not a sequel", while also employing the iconic theme written by Brad Fiedel for The Terminator, "have a nod to the past but also bring it into the future." Chinese pop singer Jane Zhang and hip hop artist Big Sean contributed the single "Fighting Shadows", released by Def Jam Recordings on June 30, 2015, as a bonus track on the film's soundtrack. The bonus track is Zhang's first recording for English-language listeners and Big Sean’s musical debut for a feature film. A music video of the single produced and directed by Robby Starbuck featured footage from the film.
The premiere for Terminator Genisys was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on June 28, 2015. The film was released in ten markets on June 25, and the following week debuted in 35 countries, including the United States, in regular, RealD 3D and IMAX 3D formats. As of July 26, the film was playing in 64 countries outside of North America. The film was released in China on August 23, 2015.
On December 2, 2014, Paramount released the first motion poster for the film, showing a T-800 disintegrating into dust before the logo appears. A trailer preview was released the following day, showing brief clips of the film accompanied by Ten Years After's song "I'd Love to Change the World", covered by Jetta. A break from past Terminator releases, the preview featured somewhat forced-looking camera motion in aerial effect sequences and a first look at the color-grading used to invoke the look of past films. The full trailer debuted on December 4. The second trailer, released In April 2015, was noted for spoiling the plot twist where John Connor becomes a Terminator, a decision criticized by Alan Taylor and the writers, who intended to keep this a secret.
WWE's WrestleMania 31 event on March 29, 2015 promoted the film with an elaborate entrance stage for Triple H in his match against Sting. The stage featured Triple H donning a Terminator-style outfit and a video of Schwarzenegger telling fans that "Judgment Day is here. It's time to play the game."
On June 14, 2015, Schwarzenegger visited the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton for an advanced screening of Terminator Genisys. On June 16, 2015, the mobile navigation app Waze added the voice of Schwarzenegger, in the role of a Terminator, as an option for the voice navigation. On June 19, 2015, Schwarzenegger and Emilia Clarke were featured on The Graham Norton Show to promote the movie. That same day, Schwarzenegger released a video of himself walking around Hollywood dressed as the Terminator, including posing as a wax model at Madame Tussauds Hollywood. The video promoted a fundraising contest in support of charity After-School All-Stars, which would bring selected donors to the Terminator Genisys premiere.
Several YouTube personalities starred alongside Schwarzenegger in a YouTube miniseries produced by Heresy and released on June 22, 2015, entitled Terminator Genisys: The YouTube Chronicles. Consisting of videos uploaded by Machinima, Toby Turner, and Lilly Singh, the series also featured Olga Kay, Sean Klitzner, Lloyd Ahlquist, and Matthew Santoro, among others.
Template:Asof, Terminator Genisys has grossed $89.7 million in North America and $350.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $440.2 million. Only Terminator 2: Judgement Day earned more at the box office in the Terminator franchise. Given its $155 million production budget and the $50–100 million analysts estimate was spent on marketing, Bloomberg Business estimated that the film would have needed to earn at least $450 million during its theatrical run to break even. In August 2015, Forbes highlighted Terminator Genisys as the first American film to earn $400 million worldwide without also crossing $100 million in North America, a distinction only shared with French film The Intouchables.
United States and CanadaEdit
In the United States and Canada, Terminator Genisys opened on July 1, 2015, the same day as drama-comedy Magic Mike XXL, across 3,700 theaters, and was previewed in Tuesday night showings on June 30, 2015, across 2,527 theaters. The films, along with holdovers Jurassic World and Inside Out, were each projected to earn approximately $45–55 million over the Independence Day weekend and approximately $27–30 million over the three day weekend.
Box office analysts noted that Terminator Genisys would have to compete with Jurassic World, and to some extent Ted 2, for male moviegoers. They expected the film to have the upper hand with its replacement of Jurassic World in IMAX theaters, but it was expected to have to earn a large haul overseas to make up any deficits. It made $2.3 million from Tuesday night preview showings – the highest for Paramount Pictures, breaking the $2.1 million record set by Hercules (2014) – and $8.9 million on its opening day (Wednesday). It went on to finish with $42.4 million over the 5-day opening stretch, including a weekend haul of $27 million from 3,758 theaters, placing it in third place at the box office behind Jurassic World and Inside Out. Scott Mendelson of Forbes suggested several possible reasons for the poor box office performance: bad marketing, negative reviews, competition from the family-friendly Jurassic World and Inside Out, the decline of Schwarzenegger's star power and the fact that Americans have become apathetic to another Terminator movie.
As of the weekend ending August 2, 2015 it was playing across 65 countries including the U.S. and Canada with China being released on August 23, 2015. For the film's overseas box office performances, comparisons were made with Paramount's own Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011), along with Pacific Rim, Lucy, and World War Z, instead of its predecessor Terminator Salvation (2009) and other previous Terminator films. The film was released in ten countries ahead of its North American debut starting from June 25, 2015, earning $8.4 million in its opening weekend. In its second weekend, the film expanded to 46 countries — adding 36 new countries — earning $73.3 million, debuting at first place at the international box office for one weekend before being overtaken by Minions the following weekend. It eventually topped the box office outside of North America for four non-consecutive weekends.
It had the biggest opening in the franchise and the best for Schwarzenegger in Singapore ($1.4 million) and Colombia ($1.3 million), both of which were above the opening of Terminator Salvation and in 28 other countries, including Russia, Korea and Mexico, Likewise, the film also went number one in Peru, Vietnam, Turkey and in 28 other countries. the biggest for Paramount in Argentina ($2.3 million), the biggest July opening and the fifth biggest of all time in Russia and the CIS with $12.5 million. In the UK and Brazil, it opened at number two earning $5.8 million and $3.9 million respectively, both behind Minions, also in France with $3.8 million behind Les Profs 2. Other notable openings were in South Korea ($11.2 million), Mexico ($6.1 million), Japan ($5.4 million), Australia ($4.4 million), Germany ($3.1 million) and India ($3 million). Its largest markets outside of the U.S. and Canada are South Korea ($23.5 million), Russia ($21.8 million), Japan ($19 million) the U.K. ($16.1 million) and Brazil ($11.1 million). In China, it earned $2.2 million in midnight showings which is the fourth biggest of all time and $27.4 million on its opening day (August 23, 2015), which is the fourth biggest opening day of all time for a Hollywood movie in the market behind Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Transformers: Age of Extinction. It eventually topped the international box office just by a day gross from China. It went on to earn $82.8 million through its 8-days opening week (Sunday to Sunday), $58 million (Monday to Sunday), and $23.4 million through its 3-days opening weekend (Friday to Sunday). Rob Cain of Forbes attributed its successful opening in China due to Schwarzenegger's popularity there, the audience's appeal for movies featuring robots, disasters and machines, and for being the first Hollywood movie to be released after the nearly 60 days blackout period in which non-Chinese movies were barred from going to general release in the country. As of September 12, 2015, it has grossed approximately $112.8 million in China.
The Los Angeles Times said critics found the film to be a "messy sequel" that was a "convoluted retread" of past films. According to TheWrap, critics found the time travel storyline to be "convoluted" and that the performances were "unremarkable" aside from Schwarzenegger reprising his role. The film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes surveyed Template:Nowrap and, categorizing the reviews as positive or negative, assessed 56 as positive and 161 as negative. Of the Template:Nowrap, it determined an average rating of 4.7 out of 10. It gave the film a score of 25% and summarized the critical consensus, "Mired in its muddled mythology, Terminator: Genisys is a lurching retread that lacks the thematic depth, conceptual intelligence, or visual thrills that launched this once-mighty franchise." The similar website Metacritic surveyed Template:Nowrap and assessed 24 reviews as mixed, 12 as negative, and 5 as positive. It gave the film a weighted average score of 38 out of 100, indicated by the website as "generally unfavorable reviews". In CinemaScore polls, cinema audiences gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal gave the film a negative review, saying it "plays like the worst of all outcomes." Similarly, James Rocchi of The Wrap compared it negatively to The Terminator, saying that Genisys "comes back from the past to water down a whole season of summer moviegoing." Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune criticized the unoriginality of the film, stating that it is "simply business and dull business at that."
After having watched a prerelease screening of the film, James Cameron voiced his support for Terminator Genisys, characterizing it as being respectful of the first two films, and saying he felt like "the franchise has been reinvigorated". Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post reviewed the film favorably, stating that "Genisys goes back to what made the franchise work in the first place: not the machine inside the man, but vice versa". Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair also gave the film a positive review, stating that it "makes a surprisingly compelling case" for itself. Mark Hughes of Forbes went further, calling many of the negative reviews a result of "cynical nostalgia" that "distrusts change and anticipates failure", and branding the low ratings at aggregate websites as "ridiculously and undeservedly low".
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