J.K. Simmons is playing a what in Terminator: Genesis?

The latest bit of casting news for Terminator: Genesis — the working title for the fifth film in the cyborg-assassin-from-the-future series — has me confused.

The Hollywood Reporter says J.K. Simmons is in talks to play “a weary and alcoholic detective who has followed a bizarre case involving Sarah Connor and robots for more than three decades (since 1984, which, not coincidentally, is the year the original movie, directed by James Cameron, was released).”

So, wait, in the timeline of this movie, it’s at least 2014 — maybe 2015, which is when the film comes out — and the war with the machines hasn’t even started yet?

To recap: In the timeline of the first two films, Judgment Day took place in 1997, but by the end of the second film, Sarah Connor and her son were able to prevent the nuclear bombs from flying — at least in that year. Then, in the third film, Judgment Day took place in 2004 — this time thanks to a computer-virus-spreading Terminator that came back in time from the 2030s to make sure the war happened.

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