Warning: There are spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “Terminator Genisys”
The latest instalment to the Terminator franchise, “Terminator Genisys,” completely flips the franchise on its head.
John Connor, who has always been the last hope for humanity in a seemingly endless war against machines, has suddenly become the greatest weapon of AI system Skynet.
If the twist appeared to go against everything you believed in with “Terminator,” the switch makes more sense if you think of it in an alternate universe.
We were surprised to learn that inspiration for that big twist came from one of the most critically-acclaimed Superman series.
During the press junket for the film, we asked screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patric Lussier about the choice to turn Connor into an upgraded model of the Terminator, the T-3000, and why Skynet would want Connor on their side.
“He’s [John] still a messiah — He’s just a messiah for someone else,” Lussier told Business Insider.
“That’s the thing that’s interesting about John,” added Kalogridis. “The gifts that he has are the gifts of the saviour … There’s a really great comic called Red Son, about Superman working for the Russians.”
“Soviet union,” Lussier interjected. “If you think of Skynet as an incredibly smart, uber smart … ‘Hey there’s nobody smarter than me’ Skynet. He’s gonna get tired of losing in the endless loop of time, because he gets to lose over and over again and kind of loops in on itself.”
“In Skynet’s real case, those pesky humans, have this real ringer that always let’s them win,” he added. “I can’t create my own ringer, so I’m going to steal theirs and make him mine.”
For those unfamiliar with “Red Son,” the three-part limited series released in 2003 asks, “What if Superman was raised in the Soviet Union?” This version of the Man of Steel fights for Stalin and socialism instead of truth and justice.
When asking Kalogridis if “Red Son” served as inspiration for Connor’s character she told us “absolutely.”
The change to Connor’s character in the film is so radical that initially many fans weren’t sure what to think when the reveal for his character in the new film was given away in multiple trailers.
However, Kalogridis and Lussier weren’t worried about backlash for altering the character, especially since he exists in an alternate timeline, not a replacement timeline as Kalogridis puts it.
“Any time you take a narrative risk, artistically, I think that’s more interesting than not taking a risk. Whether fans will accept it or reject it, ultimately comes down in my mind to execution probably more than anything else,” explains Kalogridis. “… Much like there would be no point to remaking the original “Terminator” because it’s about as close to perfect as I think you can get, and the second one is probably one of the greatest action films of all time and I think always will be … without question. I think if you don’t do something that is a little risky than you don’t justify why you’re doing anything at all.”
“Terminator Genisys” is currently in theatres.
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