Terminator Genisys is shaping up to be one of this summer's biggest blockbusters, with Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to the Terminator franchise as his iconic T-800 cyborg, although much has changed in this version. Much like the original Terminator, military leader John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to the year 1984 to protect his mother Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), although nothing is quite what he expects. Sarah has actually been raised by an "aging" T-800 cyborg known as The Guardian for several years, as Kyle finds himself with a new mission, to reset the future. Jai Courtney has recently been doing press for The Divergent Series: Insurgent, in theaters tomorrow, and during an interview with Hero Complex, the actor revealed he didn't pay any attention to Michael Biehn's original portrayal of Kyle Reese in The Terminator, because this character has changed quite a bit.
"To be honest ... I don't pay any attention, really, to how the role has been played before. I might watch [previous works] for a point of reference as far as the world or the style [and] genre of filmmaking, but I [have been] asked if I studied Michael Biehn's performance [as Kyle Reese] in the first Terminator and I'd be crazy to go and do that. It's not going to translate, and I wasn't hired for the job to emulate someone else's performance. It's a standalone film and the character's changed. The writing's changed.
It's not to say we abandoned all the setup. He's still a soldier in John Connor's army fighting the resistance, and he still has the task of saving Sarah Connor, but that's virtually all that links the two. I just can't see it being interesting as a performer nor it being interesting for the audience if I was trying to go in there and just steal things from someone who'd played that role already. I think there's archetypal similarities you'll get with doing a role like that, and you can pluck influence from other actors or other performances, but it certainly wasn't a concern of mine to try and hit specific things.
If you're talking about a biographical figure it's different. We know certain things about certain people in history that define them. But I think there was enough in the writing and enough in the character brief that provided the actors in Terminator to kind of go with that, but then completely make it their own."
While fans have been responding favorably to the trailers that have been released thus far, many are wondering if Terminator Genisys can bring the franchise back to its glory days of James Cameron's The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, after critical missteps such as Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator Salvation. Paramount is already developing Terminator 2 and Terminator 3 projects, which are untitled at this time but set for release in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Naturally, we'll have to wait and see if Terminator Genisys is even a big enough hit to warrant these sequels, but we'll know for sure when it hits theaters on July 1.