How the ‘Terminator Genisys’ Costume Designer Got Nike to Recreate Kyle Reese’s Old Shoes
After watching the first trailer for ‘Terminator Genisys,’ and after downing some Aspirin to deal with the headache of trying to sort out that wacky timeline, you may have wondered about the level of detail that went into recreating the past settings and costumes from the ‘80s. They probably just did some CG magic or cheated the best they could to replicate key moments and details. According to the film’s costume designer, that’s not the case. In fact, she was so insistent on replicating the original costumes that she had Nike drop what they were doing just to make her a pair of shoes for Kyle Reese.
Susan Matheson is the costume designer on ‘Terminator Genisys,’ and she doesn’t just know clothing—she’s also a bit of a shoe expert. As you may recall (or probably don’t), in the original ‘Terminator’ film Michael Biehn’s Kyle Reese is wearing a very specific pair of Nikes. They’re actually the original Nike Vandals, which the company no longer produces.
io9 visited the set and talked to Matheson, who explained that when she tried to get Nike to send her a pair of the original Vandals for Jai Courtney's Kyle Reese, the company tried to pass off a fake version of the shoe, created with parts used on their other sneakers. Matheson was not even having it:
I’m a sneaker person and I know every single base of every sneaker. The Air Force One base is not the same as a Nike Vandal. So I said, ‘No. I’m not going to do that. I need you to make me the real sneaker … Everybody watching this movie is going to know if it’s the real sneaker or the non-real sneaker.’ Anyone who is a fan of ‘Terminator’ knows that sequence and knows the photo booth, and knows him grabbing the jacket, and knows that he’s taken the pants off the bum in the alley. We all know this, because I’ve watched this movie in slow motion frame by frame over and over and over. This is the entire reason I went into moviemaking, was a combination between ‘Terminator’ and ‘Mad Max’. Those two movies made me decide that I wanted to do costumes. So for me, if I can’t give you the real sneaker, then I might as well not do the movie, right?
That is some serious commitment to a detail that not many people would notice unless their more ‘Terminator’-obsessed friends pointed it out to them. Whatever your feelings are regarding ‘Terminator Genisys’—especially after that first trailer—you can at least give the movie’s production team props for such insane dedication to perfectly recreating the original film’s details.
‘Terminator Genisys’ hits theaters on July 1, 2015.