At the recent Cinemacon in Las Vegas, Paramount Pictures revealed a piece of promotional imagery (shown below, courtesy of The Arnold Fans Twitter page) to promote the new Terminator movie that is development. Sadly the promotional material they used is nothing more than a color-graded image of Sarah Connor (portrayed by Linda Hamilton) taken from Terminator 2: Judgment Day, with the title "Terminator" using the same font that was developed for Terminator: Genisys. Because of the composition of the promotional imagery and because Paramount and Skydance Productions have yet to release the movies press release we, unlike some news outlets are claiming, seriously doubt the title of the movie will be "Terminator". As such, the title is likely a placeholder until a more marketable title for the movie is decided upon.
Recently we speculated that the recent casting of South American actors Diego Boneta, Gabriel Luna, and Natalia Reyes had led us to believe the movie may be set in South America. With Columbian actress Reyes portraying Dani Ramos, a reportedly key role in the movie together with the absence of any casting calls for a young male Caucasian actor, we further speculate the possibility that John Connor may not even feature in this movie. Considering John's integral role in the franchise this may seem strange, until you consider the varying reports from news outlets, with some calling the movie a reboot of the franchise, while others claim it will be a direct sequel to 1991's Terminator 2. Examining what little we know about the movie, it is possible that the new Terminator movie may be neither, and because of the use of time-travel, both. Confused? There's no need. Here is one way in which the new Terminator could be executed.
Terminator meets Edge of Tomorrow
We speculate that Reyes' character Ramos will be revealed to be the leader of the Human Resistance in a depiction of the franchises "original" timeline (the first run-through of events in which no time-travel incursions happened), a timeline of which John Connor was never born. However, we suspect that Sarah Connor may play still play an integral role in this timeline, mostly due to Skynet sending a T-800 Model 101 (Arnold Schwarzenneger's model) back in time to May 12th, 1984 to terminate her. This event, according to Terminator lore occurs July 11th, 2029 within Skynet's TDE (Time Displacement Equipment) chamber (pictured below), and we believe this will be the key moment of the movie, as this "event" would alter the past, creating a new timeline of events. In 2014's Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise's character of Major William Cage found himself reliving the same day over and over. This is called a time-loop. The new Terminator movie could use a similar trope with characters reliving entire years after each version of the "key event" is played out.
As such, following the "key event" mentioned above a new timeline could then be chronicled, one in which Sarah Connor was murdered May 12th, 1984 and in which Judgment Day occurred August 29th, 1997, because of Cyberdyne Systems engineer Miles Bennet Dyson's reverse engineering of the NNP (Neural Network Processor) from the Terminator sent back to kill Sarah Connor. In this second timeline Ramos would once again be the leader of the Human Resistance, but after witnessing the Terminator being displaced into the past would send sergeant Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor. This second iteration of the "key event" would again alter the past, which would then be chronicled to show Sarah and Kyle conceiving John Connor, whose foreknowledge of the Terminators would see him quickly rise through the ranks of the Human Resistance, becoming its leader instead of Ramos.
The repetition of the "key event" in each timeline could continue with more iterations of the past being played out until the timeline is chronicled in which Skynet sends a prototype T-1000 back in time in a bid to stop the reprogrammed T-800 that Connor will send back in time to June 8th, 1994. This would tie into the timeline as shown in Terminator 2. As such the movie would depict events both before and after Terminator 2. The trick would then be how to deviate away from events that would lead into Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation, and Terminator Genisys. There are many ways in which this could be achieved (such as a reprogrammed Terminator being displaced from 2034 to 2029), but it is likely this will be explored in any sequels, should this new Terminator movie prove critically and commercially successful.
The recent announcement that Brett Azar (pictured above), who featured as the young T-800 in Terminator Genisys, has joined the cast of the new movie suggests that one or more T-800's with young Model 101 skin sheathes will likely feature, which in turn would seem to support the possibility that the aforementioned "key event" set within Skynet's TDE chamber will feature. Using such a time loop focused narrative to tell the events of the Terminator franchise up to and including the first two movies would make the new Terminator movie a fitting "third" installment, that not only explores the franchise but also allows it to expand into the future war setting promised by James Cameron's groundbreaking movies that birthed the franchise.