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'Terminator Genisys' trailer: What's up with John Connor?

'Terminator Genisys' trailer: What's up with John Connor?
Watch the second trailer for "Terminator Genisys." (Paramount Pictures)

The latest trailer for the sci-fi tent-pole "Terminator Genisys" shows a side of John Connor that moviegoers haven't seen before — and not simply because the future savior of humanity is played by a new actor, Jason Clarke.

Warning: plot details follow.

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Previous glimpses of "Genisys" have teased that the film will offer a new take on the story of Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), the woman marked for death by time-traveling robots because her unborn son is destined to lead humanity in a war against them. (Arnold Schwarzenegger is back too, natch.)

But the latest twist of the "Terminator" tale, revealed about a minute and a half into the new trailer, is that Clarke's version of John isn't exactly human — and he may not even be a good guy.

After showing up unannounced in the present day and recovering from a gunshot wound in decidedly creepy fashion, John ominously tells his mother, "Survival is what you taught me." John 2.0 looks to be pretty much indestructible and composed of high-tech nanobots. "Not machine, not man — I'm more," he says.

Reimagining a familiar hero as a cybernetic antagonist is at the very least a bold move for director Alan Taylor and studio Paramount Pictures, who are hoping to rejuvenate the $1.4-billion "Terminator" franchise and launch several sequels. It would seem to be the biggest gamble yet for a film that has already ruffled the feathers of some dedicated fans by tinkering with the series mythos.

Then again, as John's new guise argues, sometimes survival calls for reinventing oneself.

"Terminator Genisys" hits theaters July 1.

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