The first full day of CinemaCon opened with the usual State of the Nation panel that was accompanied by the first studio presentation from Paramount Pictures, which mostly focused on their two summer tentpoles, Terminator Genisys and Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, but also debuted the first footage from the under-the-radar comedy Daddy’s Home and name-checked movies going into 2016.
After showing the normal sizzle reel of 2014’s top-grossing movies and speeches from MPAA President, Senator Chris Dodd and NATO President John Within, they went to the Paramount presentation which kicked off with the unmistakable voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger saying “I told you I’d be back” and as spotlights flashed in the audience, Schwarzenegger came out in full black leather wearing the Terminator sunglasses to introduce 12 minutes of extended footage from his return to the franchise, Terminator Genisys.
The footage was mostly extended from what we’ve seen from other trailers basically setting up the plot for the film and showing snippets of the biggest action sequences. It opened with a voiceover by Jai Courtney’s Kyle Reese talking about how the world was destroyed by Skynet on Judgment Day when the machines took over and how he was born after the event and found by Jason Clarke’s John Connor. Kyle’s narration was accompanied by a lot of great footage of the nuclear explosion that ended the world of man and a few battle sequences between John Connor’s human rebels and the robot factions, which include the familiar Terminator robots carrying machine guns and a few new machines we haven’t seen before.
We then see Reese and a bunch of soldiers approaching a building where minutes earlier, we watch Schwarzenegger’s naked humanoid Terminator (in one shot, we see that there are many of them) is sent back in time using Skynet’s “tactical time weapon” to kill Sarah Connor. They decide to send Reese back in time after him and he arrives in the alleyway naked similar to Arnold in the original The Terminator. Once there, he’s cornered by an Asian police officer who turns out to be a T-1000 complete with blades for arms, and we see them fighting before Reese shoots him and as he walks away, the T-1000 reforms.
The chase continues into a closed department store and just as Kyle is found by the T-1000, a truck crashes through the wall and it’s Sarah Connor driving who gives him the “Come with me if you want to live” line. He freaks out when he sees the Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator in the back of the truck (whom we’ll call “Schwarzenator” from here on). We see some interaction between them as they continue to be chased by the T-1000.
The trio realize that the only way to fix the future is to stop Skynet from launching Judgment Day and they call upon J.K. Simmons’ detective to help get them into Skynet.
This where it really gets into SPOILER territory if you haven’t seen the most recent trailer, but John Connor shows up and says “Hi Mom” to Sarah, but before they can say too much, he’s shot by the Schwarzenator and we realize that he’s also been turned into a robot by Skynet. So now they need to stop Skynet but also figure out how to change Connor back.
So basically, this looks like a reboot/relaunch/remake or whatever you want to call it of the original two movies where we see a lot of the same events but with a few twists (most notably the John Connor Terminator). Since this is the start of a new trilogy–and honestly, I expect this movie to do well enough worldwide to warrant the sequels–it will be interesting to see where it goes from there and if the future ends up looking like what we saw in the original movies or something different. (It’s probably safe to say that Terminator Salvation has been completely written out of the continuity and canon for the series with this movie.)
Noticeably missing from the footage, at least that we could tell, was Matt Smith’s character, so they are obviously saving a few surprises for release.
After the footage, Schwarzenegger introduced Paramount Vice President of Distribution Rob Moore, who took control of the presentation from there, mostly talking about the movies coming out over the rest of the years and into 2016 where he brought up next year’s sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 and showed the first images of the characters Bebop and Rocksteady, who will be introduced in the new movie coming out June 3, 2016.
Moore then introduced the next special guest who would present the first extended footage from Paramount’s potential summer blockbuster Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation… Mr. Tom Cruise! He came out joined by his co-stars Simon Pegg and Rebecca Ferguson to set up the two clips that they’d be showing that day. he first clip is Cruise’s Ethan Hunt first encountering Ferguson’s Ilsa after being captured by the film’s bad guys, while the second involves a chase through the streets of Morocco.
The first clip opened with Hunt waking up shirtless with handcuffs on his hands and feet as he was strapped to a large steel pole in a cement room. In walks Ferguson, who starts pulling out a number of glass vials and syringes she places on a table nearby. She then removes her high heels and places them on the table and rolls up her sleeves and walks towards Cruise, but before she can do or say anything, a couple thugs come in and one of them is clearly going to do his own work on Hunt. Cruise recognizes him as someone named Ventura or “The Bone Doctor” and he opens his case which includes a heavy mallet and a saw. Ventura starts punching Cruise in the gut to try to shut him up and pulls out his saw. Before he can use it, we see that Ilsa is walking towards them with the key in her hand and she throws it to Ethan before grabbing the mallet and using it to take out some of the other thugs. This leads to a really visceral and violent fight sequence as she takes on most of the men. Cruise is able to kick up with his feet to knock Ventura away and starts working on his cuffs, but unable to get them off, he shimmies up the pole and joins Ilsa in the fight (although she’s doing quite well on her own).
The next sequence starts with Jeremy Renner and Ving Rhames in a Range Rover in Morocco looking for Ethan and Simon Pegg’s Benji and we see the two of them getting into a fancier sports car with Benji concerned about Ethan’s state and being able to drive because “he had just died.” Ethan gets behind the wheel and he drives off after someone in black on a motorcycle, but before they get too far, they run into Renner/Rhames and they’re all surprised to see each other. Then, six or seven figures on motorcycles come out and start chasing after Ethan and Benji as they go after the first cyclist. Of course, they all have guns and start shooting at Ethan and Benji’s cars and in one scene, Ethan is driving the car backwards down an alley with one of the motorcycles in pursuit before the car goes jetting backwards over a staircase.
The two clips were followed by a montage of footage that went by way too fast to be able to describe much, but after the footage, Cruise and Moore came back to the podium to talk about the amazing A400 plane stunt we’ve seen in the trailer and to show that Cruise really did that stunt himself. Cruise talked a little bit about how they did it, saying that they had to shoot the stunt eight times to get all the right angles, before showing raw footage of the actor harnessed to the side of the plane by a single wire as he held on with both hands and did his best to act as the plane got up to speed and left the ground, although he admitted that he was “scared sh*tless” while doing it.
You can read our break down of every thing else screened at Paramount’s CinemaCon panel by clicking here.