Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher

Could it be a Jack Reacher sequel?

GOLDBERG: No, it’s not actually.

But I do wanna ask about a Jack Reacher sequel. I really, really dug Jack Reacher.

GOLDBERG: Thank you, so do we.

ELLISON: Thank you.

That was one of those movies where a lot of us were hoping for a sequel and then we were nervous it was not gonna happen, and now we’re hearing it will happen. What’s the current status of a sequel? Is there a timeframe you’d like to get it in theaters?

GOLDBERG: We hired Edward Zwick. Right now Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz are doing a rewrite of the original draft that was written by Richard Wenk. Again, going back to where we started this interview, it all comes down to the script. Our hope, Tom’s hope, Paramount’s hope is that we are shooting mid-October the sequel to Jack Reacher, but we haven’t read Ed and Marshall’s draft yet. All of the dominoes fall once that happens because if we like that draft and Tom likes that draft, we’re gonna be shooting in October.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

On IMDB, there is a synopsis which talks about Jack going home and he is looked at as a murder suspect. Is that the story you guys are still working on?

ELLISON: This movie, which has been publicly said is obviously based on the most recent book, and so there are obviously a lot of similarities which goes forward to that. Some stuff will be expanded on top of that, but it is not stuff we can…

GOLDBERG: Fair to say, the first Jack Reacher was based on One Shot and we used aspects of that book and changed aspects of that book. It’s fair to say this movie is based on Never Go Back. It’ll use aspects from that book. It will change aspects from that book.

T-1000 Terminator 2

Just talking about sequels, I would like to briefly go back to Terminator.

GOLDBERG: Please! I thought you were gonna say World War Z, I really did, but keep going.

I was wondering if we can expect any cameos from the original cast of Terminator 1 and 2, should the sequel go ahead, which it will.

ELLISON: I think all to be determined at this point in time. I can’t say what it is, but there is a particular part written into the second movie from somebody that you have seen in the prior film. Who it is we will have to wait to be lucky enough to make the next movie.

GOLDBERG: By the way, just so you know, we talked a lot about whether or not to do that for this film. I mean it isn’t something we just ignored or blew off, we actually really sensitively discussed it with Laeta and Patrick and Alan, whether or not we wanted to do that in Genisys. We ultimately decided not to because honestly we so want this movie to stand on its own two feet. Clearly we’ve all said it a hundred times, you’ve heard it in the last two days, how respectful and reverential we are of the Cameron films and how our movie obviously starts in a very similar place to T1 and then diverges and really our movie becomes its own. So we made the conscious decision to place somebody from one of the other films into this movie with an audience, let’s just say a brand new audience who’s never seen a Terminator film before could pull you out of the movie when half the audience is skittering and making comments about ‘oh, that guy!’ while you’re sitting there not knowing what they’re talking about, so we consciously made the decision not to do that. Should we be so lucky to get to a sequel, we might be on solid ground.

edward furlong t2

Was there any talk of bringing back Eddie [Edward] Furlong for John Connor since the franchise has changed?

ELLISON: Eddie Furlong’s performance in T2 is legendary and iconic. For us, we really wanted our version of John Connor to exist in the present day and I got to know Jason Clarke through my sister’s movie Zero Dark Thirty and will never forget watching that movie and just being blown away by Jason’s performance. From that moment in time, he was always the first choice to play John Connor because in our movie which you guys have all seen now, you have to fall in love with John Connor, the savior of humanity, in the first fifteen to twenty minutes of the movie, and that was really the tall task that was put upon Jason which was the audience needs to love you right off the bat as you’re being introduced so that when it turns, it’s as tragic for them as it is for Sarah and for Kyle. And Jason is that actor that has that tremendous amount of depth and we love him as our John Connor in this movie.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator Genisys

You’ve also got a cameo from young Arnold [Schwarzenegger]. Can you talk a bit about how that whole process all worked? I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.

ELLISON: We’re incredibly proud, and hats are really off to Janek Sirrs who is our visual effects supervisor and Shari Hanson who is our visual effects producer. The holy grail of visual effects has always been to create a walking living breathing synthespian. When you’re making Star Trek, the Star Trek Enterprise has absolutely gotten better in its renderings as the franchise has gone on, but nobody knows what it really looks like because it doesn’t exist. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most photographed men on the planet [laughs] and everybody knows what he looks like in the first two Terminator movies, particularly in Terminator 1. And the human eye is very, very adept to looking at something that it sees every day and saying ‘this is fake, this is not right.’ The common problem was the being dead behind the eyes and that uncanny valley and you really get into that. This was the first time we said ‘we’re gonna go for it, we’re gonna do it and we’re actually gonna make it happen.’ And the way that we built that scene was we built the Griffith Park set in New Orleans. Arnold played Guardian, and the Terminator, the young Arnold, was played by a bodybuilder by the name of Brett Azar. We scoured the earth and found one person that was almost as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger.

GOLDBERG: Arnold likes to say ‘almost’.

ELLISON: He was the only person who had the fifty-inch back that Arnold had at that point in time, but if you really get into it, the biceps and the quads are smaller than Arnold was at that point in time. You shoot the sequence live-action, cut it as you would live-action, and that way Arnold has something to play against, and you can actually shoot the fight sequence, you can frame better, and you get that real human interaction when two people are pushing off of one another. Once you cut it, then it gets handed over to Janic and Shari and thousands of visual effects reviews and the team at NPC, and they built a model of young Arnold exactly as he was in the 80s which took about a year and a half to construct and then you actually hook that up to the live-action performance and then further adjust that through key frame animation to where every single movement is animated and you light it and texture it and truly go through hundreds and hundreds of revisions getting the skin tones right, the jaw line shaped appropriately, the glint in the eyes that you need as the reflected. It was the first thing that we started working on and the very first sequence that was turned over, and it was the last thing that we finished, the last two young Arnold shots were delivered at 11:30 at night when we were in color correction and we had to finish the movie at midnight or we wouldn’t make our release date and we finished at 12:03am. I’ll say a very special moment for me was when we got to screen the movie for Jim who has pretty much stretched the bar in every movie that he’s made and what’s possible for visual effects and when he looked at me and said, ‘You guys did it. The young Arnold is flawless,’ was pretty amazing. The credit really goes to the team at NPC and Janek Sirrs and Shari. It was wildly, wildly complicated. It was the most challenging visual effect we had on this movie and we’re very proud of it.

GOLDBERG: The irony is that Janic and Shari both said to us when we first started, in addition to saying ‘it will be the last thing we finish, don’t kid yourselves’ is that ‘the irony is that if we do it right, if we succeed, no one’s gonna think it’s a visual effect. Everybody’s just going to think we grabbed the footage from the first movie and cut it in.’ And we heard that a lot and we think it’s hilarious that that, which is a complete visual effect people are gonna think is real, and the bus flipping on the bridge, which a completely practical real element, everybody thinks is a visual effect.


I’ve heard that too, which is funny. People think the bus flip is just some effect.

GOLDBERG: It happens twice.

ELLISON: The Terminator movies have been built on both groundbreaking visual effects and tremendous practical action, and visual effects should be used to do the things that are impossible. Arnold in the 1980s is impossible without visual effects. You can flip a bus, and so we built a five hundred foot section of the bridge in New Orleans and we flipped a bus.

James Cameron Terminator

You mentioned James Cameron and I feel like our readers are very cynical, and they’re like ‘oh, he got paid to say that’ or ‘he’s a producer on this film’, and I know that’s not the case. Can you talk a little bit about that?

GOLDBERG: Can I answer bluntly and then you’re gonna talk longer?


GOLDBERG: Seriously, if we’re gonna have this conversation, what amount of money does anybody think somebody can offer James Cameron that is going to make a damn bit of difference or to get him to stand up and give an opinion that he doesn’t believe in? It actually just boggles my mind, really, like what is that amount? Absolutely not, that is so not the case, the man is not making a dollar off of this movie or because of the comments he’s made in support. [To Ellison] Go ahead.

ELLISON: [Laughs] First, everything she said is 100% true. I mean I’m done talking about it and I’ve said it and it’s fortunate enough to be true, James Cameron is my favorite filmmaker of all time, so when we got the rights to the franchise, I absolutely reached out to Jim out of respect and the dream was to make a movie that he felt belonged in the universe that he created because personally that’s what meant everything to me, so I screened the movie for him at his house and he throughout different times would make comments watching the movie where I’d be like ‘okay, I think he’s actually liking the film.’ And for him to come out and say publicly that he thinks the film is the true sequel to Judgment Day and that it actually deserves and belongs in the universe that he created means everything to me, and everything to everybody involved. The really special thing about making this movie, whether it was Hans Zimmer or Janek or Shari or Alan or Dana or Laeta and Patrick—Laeta wrote Avatar with him—but what most people don’t know is Hans Zimmer when he was writing his very first score, literally they were recording the track for Judgment Day at the time, and the machine broke. And he was the engineer that went in and fixed the mixing stage so they could mix that movie. Everybody on this movie…

GOLDBERG: Roger Barton.

ELLISON: Roger Barton. His big break was getting to edit Titanic for Jim. So everybody on this film loves those first two movies and for the entire group involved to know that it’s a film that he loves, and has publicly stated, means the world to absolutely all of us, because we are fans.

Thank you so much.

GOLDBERG: And guys I’m giving you one more comment because we didn’t talk about it and no further thing other than this, mark my words: Juan Antonio Bayona doing World War Z 2 is gonna be epic.

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