Teetering on the eve of its release here in the States, July 1 will mark the end of a long and spoiler-heavy marketing campaign for Alan Taylor’s reboot-cum-sequel Terminator Genisys. For fans who have kept pace of the promotional pizzazz, it wasn’t long before the film’s major plot twist was revealed ahead of time via a theatrical trailer, and though it was a conscious decision on the part of the studio, Taylor has empathized with fans who have perhaps felt a little short-changed.
Speaking in an interview with Uproxx, the filmmaker admitted that he wanted to keep the character switch a surprise right up until Genisys‘ worldwide release, and that it was never his intention to disclose Jason Clarke’s real role lest it undermine the shock value.
“I certainly directed those scenes with the intention that no one would know. One of my favorite moments – and I think Jason Clarke did a great job with it – is when he walks into the hospital in 2017 and everything from there until the turn, you’re supposed to think, Oh man, this is great.”
Then again, in the wake of the sequel’s middling reception early on, Paramount was left with no choice but to showcase Terminator Genisys for the game-changer it hopes to be, and ultimately shift pre-release buzz back in the film’s favor. Such a decision fell at the hands of the marketing department, and though in an ideal world Taylor would have held back all of the blockbuster’s secrets, the director understood the eventual outcome.
I know there was kind of a challenging calculus going on in the heads of those who market this thing to decide that this was the right thing to do. I think they felt like they had to send a strong message to a very wary audience that there was something new, that this was going to new territory. They were concerned that people were misperceiving this as kind of a reboot, and none of us wanted to reboot two perfect movies by James Cameron. I think they felt they had to do something game-changing in how the film was being perceived.
Tell us, do you feel the on-the-nose marketing campaign for Terminator Genisys let the T-800-sized cat out of the bag too soon? Let us know your thoughts below, and be sure to check out our own thoughts on Taylor’s sci-fi actioner.