Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, and now Terminator. Take a popular film franchise and a new cast to tell a different story that takes place in an alternate timeline. In the case of Terminator: Genesis this means recasting key roles we’ve seen played by others before, and now time-traveling future soldier Kyle Reese has found his new face.
Variety reports that actor Jai Courtney (aka Sam Worthington 2.0) has been cast to play Kyle Reese in the new Terminator trilogy. Actors Boyd Holbrook, Nicholas Hoult, Garrett Hedlund, Wilson Bethel, Sam Reid, and Tom Cocquerel were all rumored for the role, but I guess Skydance Productions and Paramount Pictures went for the most boring choice.
Jai Courtney is Mr. Dullsville. He played the forgettable John “Jack” McClane, Jr. in the terrible A Good Day to Die Hard last year. Courtney will also appear in the upcoming Divergent, which will be released on March 21, and has put in appearances in I, Frankenstein and Jack Reacher. Courtney’s biggest claim to fame was on the swords-and-sandals series Spartacus: Blood & Sand on the premium cable network Starz.
Courtney joins Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) as Sarah Connor and Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) — no relation — as her son, John Connor. Arnold Schwarzenegger is also cast in the film, but it’s still unclear if he’ll reprise his role as the T-800, or if he’ll play a human protector of Sarah Connor, as has been rumored for months.
Courtney is 27 years old, while Jason Clarke is 44 and Emilia Clarke is 26. What kind of wacky timeline are we dealing with here? Considering the big age difference between the actors who will play mother and son, it’s going to be interesting to see how time travel will play into the reboot. Incorporating more leaps through time into the Terminator franchise could give the new installments their own identity without negating the original films.
Recently, producer Megan Ellison and Annapurna Pictures left the Terminator reboot project, but left the series in the capable hands of her brother David Ellison and his production company, Skydance. It was unclear why she was involved with the project in the first place. Annapurna Pictures usually deals with art-house movies such as The Master, Her, Zero Dark Thirty, Spring Breakers, and American Hustle. It just seemed like an odd pairing.
Screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis (Avatar) and Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry) penned the film’s screenplay, and the pair will serve as executive producers on the Terminator TV series that will tie into the reboot trilogy. Screenwriters Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller (X-Men: First Class, Thor) will write episodes for the show and will most likely be the series’ showrunners. Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World) will direct the film.
Terminator: Genesis hits theaters everywhere on July 1, 2015.