J.K. Simmons is in Cannes at the moment with Whiplash, a film that already had a warm reception at Sundance and for which there's a new clip online here. But when we spoke to him about that, we asked a few questions about one of his upcoming roles, in 2015's Terminator: Genesis.
“I was leery of it when it first came my way, when my agent sent me the idea for it," said Simmons. "It's a small part, which they insist gets much bigger in the sequels. But I was very pleasantly surprised by the script itself."
That promise of a bigger role in two further planned sequels chimes with what we've been told about Matt Smith's also-unspecified role in the films, so they're clearly planning quite some distance ahead. Simmons, who had seen the first two Cameron films but not the later follow-ups, has some basis on which to compare this story to what has gone before.
"This, I think, is a reimagining. They don't want to call it a sequel or a reboot. It's the world that James Cameron created with Arnold [Schwarzenegger, obviously]. All the leading characters are characters who have existed in that world – the character I play is new to it."
"The script, I think, is very smart, and it's going to be a wonderful part for Arnold to do. Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke and Jai Courtney are already shooting – we did a table read a few weeks ago – and all of them are going to be great."
It's all in the hands of Thor: The Dark World's Alan Taylor, who Simmons has worked with before. "Alan Taylor is a wonderful director – I got to work with him on Oz a couple of times – so I'm optimistic that this can be one of those films. Y'know, it's a big action franchise, but it's also going to be a really intelligent, entertaining, enjoyable film.”
Fingers crossed. Terminator: Genesis also stars Byung-hun Lee, Sandrine Holt and Dayo Okeniyi, and is due out on June 26, 2015 in the UK and July 1, 2015 in the US.