Entertainment & Arts

‘Terminator Genisys’ producers on their dysfunctional family and ‘robot dad’

If the first “Terminator” movie was a love story and the second an action flick, what does that make “Terminator Genisys”? “A dysfunctional family” story, says producer David Ellison. 

Ellison’s reveal was one of the moments from the special Imax preview screening with Hero Complex on June 29 at AMC Century City and Imax in Los Angeles. 

After the viewing, Ellison joined co-producer Dana Goldberg and actor Jai Courtney (the new Kyle Reese) onstage for a Q&A. And that’s where we found out that one of the major themes in “Terminator Genisys” was centered on a robot dad and his crazy, time-traveling family. But it’s not a sitcom; it’s a “Terminator” movie.

“One of the themes that we wanted to explore that was really the heart of the movie was the notion of this dysfunctional family,” Ellison told Hero Complex. “There’s Sarah Connor with the weirdest robot dad that you could ever meet who is not so approving of the now would-be suitor.”


Ellison continued, “The first movie [“The Terminator”] doesn’t function without the line, ‘I came across time for you, Sarah.’ That was something that we really wanted to be a part of this movie. But to kind of turn it on its head a little bit. In a sense that, that relationship solely exists for the production of John Connor. And fate and whether or not you can change your fate. And the notion of free will is a huge part of the Terminator franchise. One of the questions we wanted to ask was, ‘If John Connor was compromised, can Sarah and Kyle rise up to take that place? And can you have free will?’ At the end of the movie when they end up together for the first time and the whole family is off, as opposed to the ending of the first movie, which is much more tragic, is all stuff that we enjoyed playing with and hope resonated.” 

Sounds like it’s time for someone else to be the new savior of humanity. Other highlights included Courtney revealing his struggle to become the softer version of the Kyle Reese character. The producers “were constantly trying to bring the boy out in me, as opposed to the man,” Courtney said. “I would have to stifle my instinct to try and be too cocky and have too much swagger.”

Check out the video clips and special moments from the Q&A in the above gallery. “Terminator Genisys” is in theaters now. 

To find out first about upcoming films that will be featured in the Hero Complex Screening Series, follow us on Twitter: @LATherocomplex.