Terminator: Genisys seemingly channels T2: Judgment Day in its retooled origin story

killer robots

There’s been quite a bit of mystery surrounding the plot of Terminator: Genisys, the upcoming reboot of the Terminator franchise, with few details escaping from the project other than the confirmation that Arnold Schwarzenegger will reprise his role as a T-800 android sent from the future. This week, that veil of secrecy was lifted a bit, and the plot details that emerged hint at a very different spin on the time-twisting Terminator mythology.

The upcoming issue of Entertainment Weekly features a pair of covers dedicated to Terminator: Genisys, with one putting stars Emilia Clarke (Game Of Thrones) and Jai Courtney (Spartacus: Blood & Sand) front and center, and the other featuring Matt Smith (Doctor Who) and Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) standing in front of the metallic skeleton of one of the franchise’s iconic robot assassins. You can see the covers for yourself at EW’s site, but it’s the story details that are really generating some buzz online.

According to EW, Genisys will feature a very different origin story for the character of Sarah Connor, who was famously played by Linda Hamilton in the original films and will now be played by Clarke. (SPOILER WARNING: For those who want the plot of Terminator: Genisys to remain a mystery, you might want to stop reading now.)

Related: James Cameron explains how an aged Schwarzenegger appears in Terminator: Genisys

In the new film, Sarah Connor has been raised by a T-800 (played by Schwarzenegger) since she was nine years old. After her parents were killed by one of the android assassins, the girl destined to give birth to humanity’s savior in the war against the robots has been watched over by a cyborg she calls “Pops” that’s programmed to protect her instead of kill her. Naturally, her life with a robot dad has led her to become a bit antisocial, but develop some impressive survival skills along the way.

“Since she was 9 years old, she has been told everything that was supposed to happen,” said producer David Ellison of this significant twist in the franchise canon. “But Sarah fundamentally rejects that destiny. She says, ‘That’s not what I want to do.’ It’s her decision that drives the story in a very different direction.”

The outlet also reports that the early scenes of the film are set in the year 2029, with human resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke), Kyle Reese (Courtney), and an unnamed soldier played by Smith making the decision to send one of their own back to protect Sarah Connor from an android assassin. What Reese discovers when he gets to the year 1984, though, is a far cry from what he was prepared to deal with, according to the outlet.

Terminator: Genisys hits theaters July 1, 2015.