Spoilers for Terminator Genisys below.
Terminator Genisys is getting some of the worst reviews of the entire Terminator franchise, but critics generally agree that the presence of Oscar winner JK Simmons is one of the troubled fivequel’s most prominent bright spots. And recently, while speaking with Slash Film, the actor revealed that he’s set to reprise his role as the series’ newly anointed stealth MVP in any future sequels.
Asked if his character, O’Brien, survives the events of Genisys (the movie makes this somewhat uncertain), Simmons responded:
“Yes, we are told O’Brien does [survive]… in fact, we went back and did a little added shot on the roof of the whole helicopter sequence to make sure that we see that after Arnold throws me away so that he can save people, I’m one of those that he saves, and I’m still alive and watching whats happening.”
With that understood, Simmons is gung-ho about the possibility of playing the character down the road:
“I am signed on, so if there are sequels I will by God be there.”
Of course, in addition to myriad other weaknesses, Genisys was very guilty of underusing Simmons, so any appearances in sequels would continue to explore the character:
“There are a lot of ways we could go with O’Brien and we’ve actually have had those discussions already, so I do know where it goes — but thats part of the fun of the character, he’s the only guy in 2017, in the regular world, that has a clue whats going on. Nobody believes him, but he does sorta know whats up, or is beginning to figure out what the whole story is here. So I think if we make the sequels as they continue, I think O’Brien’s credibility level will develop.”
The key word here is if. Though two Genisys sequels have already been written, the green-light depends on this new installment doing well at the box office, and it is currently opening lower than the studio had predicted (and below other newcomer Magic Mike XXL, which is surely embarrassing for those studio execs who’ve long seen Terminator as a reliable blockbuster brand).
Still, the pic is tracking bigger internationally, so it’s fully expected that Paramount and Skydance will recoup the budget if not make a solid chunk of change on Genisys. That alone may be enough to convince them that moving forward with sequels is a good idea.