A Detailed Look at Selected Moments from the Terminator Genisys Trailer
After months of silence and rampant speculation, and tons of totally unconfirmed story details which have caused some fans to prematurely bury Paramount’s reboot of the Terminator franchise; we finally have the first Trailers, both Domestic and International. I have chosen a selection of screen shots out of the 600+ I took to discuss elements shown to us by Paramount in their first trailer for next July’s release. They will be discussed in the order they appear in the trailer.
So let’s get cracking.
The opening shot shows a burned out Los Angeles and Environs, an ash heap of destruction, painted in an almost noir-like lack of color. This perfectly captures a daylight look at the wasted, nuked, visions of the future described by Jim Cameron. Three newly designed aerial H/K’s move through the scene towards the towering, shattered, spires of the Los Angeles metroplex. How this connects to the other Future War scenes we don’t yet know but it sets a tone of desperation, something some would argue that was missing from RoTM and Salvation. I’ll discuss machine redesigns later.
Here John Connor (Jason Clarke) prepares to fire a mounted Phased Plasma Weapon, behind him we see for the first time on film the red laser nets marking the place of battle to be at least in part a Human Detention Camp. You can also notice the beautiful purple nature of the phased plasma bolts from T1 and T2 is back. It looks like the Resistance will be using both scavenged tech, and modified human tech made Plasma capable.
This looks like Cameron’s Future War or at the very least as close as we are going to get unless Cameron does re-imagine the series after the rights return to him in 2019. On the right we see waves of endoskeletons, and coming in from above and the ground on the left human resistance forces. It is clear from the helicopter that humans use both conventional and plasma weaponry. It is quite possible that in this future humans find it hard to replicate/procure/manufacture plasma weaponry on helpful scale.
We can also see the laser nets, but the detail I find most interesting is the crystalline/angular designs of the machine buildings. This kind of design was prevalent in Cameron’s sketches of machine architecture so it’s very nice to see it fully realized on the screen.
Let’s discover more after the break!
Here Connor on the left and Reese (Jai Courtney) on the right ground pound while other soldiers engage both endo (left/right rear) and aerial (H/K) center top. John also takes on an enemy ahead and to the right. This marks the first time we’ve seen John leading the charge on the battlefield and it’s exhilarating and bad ass.
The kind of pyrotechnics shown here are highly reminiscent of those in T1/T2 and T2-3D heavily invoking once again the ascetic of Cameron’s future war.
Each Resistance soldier has their own salvaged and scavenged armor. Here Reese looks appropriately nervous as he’s facing down a massive Skynet machine with Connor.
One of the issues that people have with the new Reese is that he looks too buff, you know unlike Michael Biehn’s portrayal.
If I were a soldier I’d find some way to keep myself in good shape, also this is once again not that Kyle Reese but the reinterpretation for the Genisys arc of films. They want a fitter, more muscular version and I see no problem with that.
In a first for the series is a realization of the Centurion (Gunpod) another of Cameron’s machine designs from the extended future war scenes story boarded but not realized for T2. In fact this trailer is filled with imagery from those scenes, brought to life for the first time by director Alan Taylor.
This machine is obviously defending something very important.
In the trailer this moment passes unresolved it will be interesting to see how the danger is averted.
This shot also is the first one where I noticed the elements of the shot clearly set up to take advantage of the 3D treatment that Genisys is going to receive. Genisys will also have a run on Imax a first for any Terminator film.
The CGI elements in all of the Future War shots looks very very nice especially considering that we are 8 months out from release- and they were only started around I month ago.
A combination of puppetry and performance capture overlaid by cgi was used to bring the endo skeleton armies to life, Because of this the movements and actions of the endo units will be much more individualistic and “natural” and this enables the battles to be much more dynamic as evidenced by this short shot.
Some have complained that the machines in these shots look too “new”, once again if the film makers choose they have plenty of time to dirty and scar the machines. Another option, a likely one, is that Skynet has simply put out machines fresh from the factory to the battlefield.
We do not have the context of this scene.
John Connor addresses the troops likely before the battle that we’ve been witnessing. His facial scarring is evident and looks better in some light then in others. Depending on how he received the scars will depend on how they look now, so while the scars are more gruesome and “intense” it doesn’t mean they are overly so.
I think with Jason Clarke we could be getting a great version of General John Connor.
Once again delving into the unrealized extended future war scenes Jim had planned but never filmed, I for one am glad to see them being treated with respect.
This is the cold storage for Terminator units, in this case T-800 Model-101.
Held in racks ready to be unleashed at Skynet’s command…as is this one.
Here is the Time Displacement Equipment (TDE) as realized quite well. It is machine designed, wholly strange and alien. In this shot the Original Bad T-800 prepares to step into the device.
Another angle of the Bad T-800 stepping within the machine before it’s powered up to send him to the past.
With Skynet taken offline Humans maintain power to send through at least one person to the past. Kyle Reese.
As the machine powers up Kyle is left suspended in space.
This is similar to Cameron’s original designs where the whole floor peeled away to leave the object being sent back suspended over an unfathomable abyss.
The machine ticks up to speed, rings within rings spinning faster and faster.
A chronoportation sphere surrounds Reese as the machine prepares to send him back.
Within the sphere Kyle floats as if in the womb grasped by timeitself ready for departure and rebirth in the past.
We can see Kyle within the sphere as it materializes high above the ground.
Each film in the series that featured time travel improved the effect as special effects improved. The change was most noticeable from T2 to T3. In T3 they introduced a reflective sphere that was divided into a grid before it dissipated.
Here we see Kyle within the sphere in a somewhat distorted state and the effect is pretty spectacular with only a month or less of time spent on it thus far.
Terminator Genisys emulates certain events from T1 and T2 but after those events, heck even during them, things go in unexpected directions. The cop in this Cruiser for instance isn’t just a regular Joe.
In the store instead of Reese escaping and seeking out Sarah (Emilia Clarke)…it’s Sarah who finds Reese. “Come with me if you want to live!”
Instead of it being just an ordinary cop that tracks Reese after his arrival it is the T-1000 (Lee Byung-hun)!
Once again not to belabor the fact but these are early CGI FX and will improve vastly as the film gets closer to release.
Here we have a look at Sarah’s Weapons Cache, she seems exceedingly well prepared. Wonder why that could be?
Oh well this looks familiar. As do all of the other reproductions, but not exactly the same and nor should they, since this is a similar yet different timeline.
Wait one second…who is that? Could it possibly be?
“I’ve been waiting for you.”
An older T-800 blasts the original Bad T-800 with a shotgun…multiple times. And is apparently working hand in hand with Sarah Connor.
We are informed in a title card that the rules have changed and then this series happens.
Peppered by gunfire the T-1000 makes blade arms as he strides forward, he then brings up his left slicing through his right blade arm…
The spear/javelin of liquid metal (early CG) reminds us that pointy things will poke in 3D…I like it. It arcs across and then falls into his right hand…
Catching it he hurls it towards Kyle and Sarah.
That’s new, badass and highly dangerous.
I might have the next two shots in reversed order.
First shot from 2017 and Sarah Kyle and The Guardian are on a roof for some reason.
To the left we see the Old Arnie heavily damaged turning on the power supply to a locally designed time machine made using scavenged Technology from the future. (Apparently Skynet has been sending back a lot of tech in this version of events making stopping it next to impossible).
This time machine is apparently in the present. Whatever the latest “present” year represented in Genisys is. We do know that Kyle and Sarah end up time traveling to 2017.
This shot and the next are from when the Terminator saves Sarah (Aged 7) from a Skynet attack on her family. Her parents are lost, and she is subsequently raised by her savior the Terminator, which explains about how much of a badass she’s become.
This also continues to explore the strange family motif that Cameron brought out in T2.
For the record in unfilmed scenes from T1 Sarah wanted to take the fight to Skynet right away and Kyle dissuaded her. So this is taking that option and following through on it big time. Both Skynet and Sarah are being far more aggressive in this parallel time line.
T-1000 fully chromed in pursuit riding on the hood of a Police Cruiser. For early visual effects it’s really already very well realized.
From the year 2017 Sarah and Kyle loaded for bear approach a monitor showing the word Genisys. Are they here to stop Genisys from coming on line? Has humanity welcomed Skynet without realizing it? Is it already too late?
Sarah and Kyle are in a vault of some kind and something is seriously breaking things outside to try and get inside perhaps.
To differentiate between 2 Kyle’s Sarah shoots into the air and the real Kyle gets out of dodge, how will they take out the T-1000?
Back to the amazing looking Cameron inspired Future War.
I said I would talk about re-designs. The most obvious one is the Aerial H/K. In T1 and T2 the models though well designed and detailed lacked the rotating thrusters needed to portray the kind of flight maneuvers they could accomplish in the films. It was one of the most frustrating aspects of the design for me because it would take me out of the moment.
In T3 they added Omni-directional Thrusters and flight control surfaces that made the movements and capabilities realistic, salvation continued that trend.
In Genisys we have Omni-directional thrusters for certain. These sorts of redesigns are needed to enhance the reality of such aircraft or ground based vehicular designs.
In 2017 Old Arnold (Possibly referred to as The Guardian) crash tackles someone who looks perhaps like John Connor through the wall. Or is it just the T-1000 emulating John Connor.
Nearing the Golden Gate Bridge Arnie Jumps his Harley onto a moving School Bus. Inside the School bus are Sarah (driving) and Kyle with a pistol, and an unknown third person with an assault rifle.
Sarah looks back front to see something smaller directly in her path…
In typical Terminator fashion things go crunch and then right after…
If you said the minivan good job, you are paying attention. This shot is past the crash with the minivan, in fact the minivan isn’t even in the shot. Do you know what else isn’t in the shot? All the equipment used to flip the bus. And something else is also missing from the shot…
Oh that’s right, whatever machine from the future caused the bus to flip in the first place.
Why am I noting this, because a great many people are making the mistake of saying the crash with the minivan caused the bus to cartwheel, which they call really stupid, to put it nicely.
But it is clear that the bus has traveled far enough for the minivan to be out of shot before the bus is caused to cartwheel. So what has caused the bus to cartwheel? Something that will be added to the shot later as we’re only one month into SFX, CGI and post efx production.
This will be the case with a lot of the shots in San Francisco including the cable car shots that weren’t even in the trailer. You see at both locations (and probably more) one of my favorite dudes was on the set. He comes in with a metallic sphere on a pole and holds it there to get lighting measurements.
This is so that the Digital Effects/CGI Gurus can make whatever the script calls for to look perfectly integrated into the final composite of the shot.
So why include such a unfinished shot in a teaser trailer? One it’s epic in an of itself. Two if used in each consecutive trailer you can easily see the additions and improvements being made to the scene in sequential trailers.
Yeah some monumental, nowhere near completed mayhem happens on the Golden gate.
Arnold with very white hair, announces that he’ll be back…
The Machine turns into a hum…er…machine missile…
And plows into a SFPD Helicopter presumably piloted by the T-1000!
End of trailer.
Overall, I am now totally looking forward to this film. It looks epic. Ballsy. And the exact kick in the pants Paramount told us we were getting with their new Trilogy.