'Terminator: Genesis' begins shooting today in New Orleans
By Mike Scott, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
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on April 21, 2014 at 10:03 AM, updated April 21, 2014
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back. "Terminator: Genesis," the fifth film in the popular sci-fi action franchise -- and one that comes on the heels of 2009's "Terminator: Salvation," the only film in the series that didn't star Schwarzenegger -- begins principal photography today (April 21) in New Orleans.
"I was upset that I couldn't be in the fourth Terminator, because I was governor (of California)," Schwarzenegger recently told MTV about the prospect of returning to the role that helped make him a household name. "So they did the fourth one without me. It made me cry a little bit -- but I did say, 'I'll be back,' so now I'm back again and it's going to be really terrific."
The film is being directed by "Thor: The Dark World" director Alan Taylor. In addition to Schwarzenegger, it will star Emilia Clarke ("Game of Thrones") as Sarah Connor, Jason Clarke ("Zero Dark Thirty") as John Connor, and Jai Courtney ("A Good Day to Die Hard") as Kyle Reese. They are joined in the cast by Byng-hun Lee ("G.I. Joe: Retaliation"), J.K. Simmons ("Juno"), Sadrine Holt ("House of Cards") and Dayao Okeniyi ("The Hunger Games").
As far as plot details, studio Paramount Pictures is keeping things under wraps, although there's no shortage of rumors and speculation online. Adding to it recently was Schwarzenegger, who in that interview with MTV provided a bit of insight into what the story will entail.
" 'Terminator' deals a lot with time travel, so there will be a younger T-800," he said. "And then what that model does later on when it gets reprogrammed, and who gets ahold of him. So it will be all kinds of interesting twists in the movie, but I feel so good."
It's also worth noting that Okeniyi will be playing Danny Dyson, the son of Miles Dyson, a key character who was played by Joe Morton in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." It was also in that 1991 blockbuster that audiences first met the character of Danny, then a 7-year-old played by the young actor De Vaughn Nixon.
It's unclear how Danny will figure into the plot of "Terminator: Genesis" or if any other characters from the "Terminator" mythology will figure into the story, although his is described as a lead role.
The "Terminator" films tell the story of a cyborg (Schwarzenegger) who is sent back in time first to kill -- but then to protect -- John Connor, a boy who would grow to become a military leader and a key cog in mankind's fight against an army of sentient machines.
As for Schwarzenegger, he said he's excited to be once more be playing the killer-cyborg-turned-hero, although he admits that the action scenes will probably be a little harder for him this time than they were in 1984's original "Terminator" film.
"It will be challenging because it will be a new director, and it will be a really action-packed movie," Schwarzenegger said. "And sometimes it does get more difficult when you're 66 years old and doing this kind of action, versus when you're in your 30s or in your 40s."
The film, which is reportedly envisioned as the first in a new "Terminator" trilogy, will mark a return to New Orleans for Schwarzenegger. He previously shot the 2013 thriller "Escape Plan" in town with Sylvester Stallone.
The production is scheduled to shoot through Aug. 1, with a planned release date of July 1, 2015.
"Terminator: Genesis" is produced by David Ellison, whose resume includes such titles as "World War Z" and "Star Trek: Into Darkness." Ellison also produced the action sequel "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," which shot in New Orleans