When it comes to naming the worst installment in the long-running cybernetic sci-fi franchise originated by James Cameron in 1984, a lot of fans would plump for Terminator Genisys. In theory, it was a smart way to reinvent the property by layering time travel on top of time travel to refit the concept as a hybrid of a sequel and reboot. But the execution was painfully lacking.
Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney were hopelessly miscast as Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese, something they’ve both effectively admitted in the years since, while the big John Connor twist was blown in the trailers and ended up adding nothing to the mythology in the grand scheme of things. Genisys was only saved from box office disaster by a healthy performance in China, before plans for two sequels were quietly abandoned and swept under the rug, with Skydance moving on to another reboot instead.
In a new interview, director Alan Taylor said that he felt as though he was losing the will to live as a director during production, while also revealing that he persevered despite his unhappiness due to his deep love and appreciation of Cameron’s opening two installments.
“Well, [Taylor’s girlfriend and storyboard artist Jane Wu] read the script. She said, ‘You should be doing something you love right now, something that’s more personal’. All the voices in my head, and all the ones around me, were saying I should do it because who didn’t love the first two films? I thought we would go in and fix the script and everything could be great.”
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Terminator Genisys was the second time a brand new movie was touted as being the one to reignite interest in the brand and launch an all-new trilogy, only for it to fail. Then Dark Fate rolled along and made the franchise zero-for-three in the space of a decade. While the adventures of the T800 aren’t over for good quite yet, one more misstep and it’s surely game over for what used to be one of the most popular properties in the industry.