Emilia Clarke is Relieved That Terminator Genisys Flopped

Solo: A Star Wars Story’s Emilia Clarke comes clean about her starring role in the underperforming 2015 sequel, Terminator Genisys.

Emilia Clarke may play Queen Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones, but her attempt at action franchise splendor in the soon-to-be-forgotten 2015 sequel, Terminator Genisys, didn’t exactly receive a royal welcome from moviegoers. However, as Clarke awaits the release of her debut in another franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story (read our review,) the actress appears to look back on her Terminator role with candor.

In a lengthy cover story interview with Vanity Fair, Emilia Clarke fielded inevitable questions about the highly-publicized behind-the-scenes tumult of Solo: A Star Wars Story (the director swap, acting coach rumors, etc.). Consequently, there was a natural topical transition to another tumultuous film of Clarke’s in 2015’s Terminator Genisys; a film that ultimately underwhelmed, earning $89.76 million domestic, though boosted by $350.84 million overseas. Indeed, the interview reveals that Clarke was “relieved” by the film’s failure, since it meant she would not have to return for any sequels.

It’s a far cry from the once-promising… well, genesis of Genisys, which showcased the at-the-time exciting idea of the Mother of Dragons, Clarke, inheriting the role of the Mother of the Future, Sarah Connor; a role played by Linda Hamilton in the first two Terminator films and, coincidentally, by Clarke’s Game of Thrones co-star/onscreen-rival, Lena Headey on the 2008-2009 Fox TV series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. While Clarke embraced the role of a more-badass and self-reliant version of Sarah who comes from an altered timeline, the role didn’t leave much room for a more distinguishing performance.

Yet, Genisys seemed to have other things going for it with the acquisition of Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor, the return of signature star Arnold Schwarzenegger, a very-public stamp of approval from franchise creator James Cameron and ambitious timeline-altering plans designed to keep the franchise fresh… all while touting a very un-Terminator PG-13 rating. However, those plans didn’t quite resonate. Indeed, Clarke, who recalls watching Taylor get “eaten and chewed up” during the Genisys shoot confesses, “He was not the director I remembered. He didn’t have a good time. No one had a good time.”

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Interestingly, Clarke also reveals that as reports of the Terminator tumult started making the news cycle, the crew of another (nearby-shooting,) contemporaneous controversy-plagued production in Fox’s Josh Trank-directed Fantastic Four reboot poked some fun at the expense of Genisys, stating that they had jackets made that read, “At least we’re not on Terminator.” – Ouch!

However, things appear to be more promising for Clarke personally. Her introduction to the official Star Wars film canon as Qi’ra will showcase a more mischievous side, and her return next year as Daenerys on Game of Thrones Season 8 will, by most accounts, be a monumentally emotional conclusion to the character’s arc. She will also be seen in the upcoming crime thriller movie, Above Suspicion.

Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 25.