Terminator Genisys cast

The two covers of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly feature our first official look at four of the stars of Terminator: Genisys. and one skeletal robot. “How to Save a Billion Dollar Franchise” blares the the copy in text only slightly smaller than the magazine’s title and the movie’s name. Well, here’s a hint on “saving a franchise”: don’t debut the characters in photos that look like they were taken at a mall during a festival for cosplayers on a budget. See the two covers below.

We have EW to thank for these images, which grace the magazine’s two latest covers. I can’t believe Skydance and Paramount approved these. I’m dying to see the ones the companies did not approve.

These photos range from not very good (Matt Smith’s cover) to really quite terrible (the other one). Do they mean the film will be bad? Nope! We’ve seen plenty of terrible photos for good films — these don’t even come from Paramount, but were likely shot by EW’s photographer. But it’s not the best move to debut these are the first thing most people will see for the movie. Let’s hope the footage is more compelling, when we see a trailer.

Oh, but wait. Here’s some of the plot. EW also offers this synopsis of the opening of the film.

The beginning of Terminator: Genisys, the first of three planned films that Paramount hopes will relaunch the beloved sci-fi franchise, is set in 2029, when the Future War is raging and a group of human rebels has the evil artificial-intelligence system Skynet on the ropes. John Connor (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Jason Clarke) is the leader of the resistance, and Kyle Reese (Divergent‘s Jai Courtney) is his loyal soldier, raised in the ruins of post apocalyptic California. As in the original film, Connor sends Reese back to 1984 to save Connor’s mother, Sarah (Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator programmed to kill her so that she won’t ever give birth to John. But what Reese finds on the other side is nothing like he expected.

And if you want to know what that “nothing like he expected” looks like, here’s some info that could be considered spoilerish, if it hadn’t been approved by the studio for a first-look magazine feature. This stuff will probably all be in trailers.

Twist No. 1? Sarah Connor isn’t the innocent she was when Linda Hamilton first sported feathered hair and acid-washed jeans in the role. Nor is she Hamilton’s steely zero body-fat warrior in 1991’s T2. Rather, the mother of humanity’s messiah was orphaned by a Terminator at age 9. Since then, she’s been raised by (brace yourself) Schwarzenegger’s Terminator—an older T-800 she calls “Pops”—who is programmed to guard rather than to kill. As a result, Sarah is a highly trained antisocial recluse who’s great with a sniper rifle but not so skilled at the nuances of human emotion.

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