Ready or not, we’re getting another addition to a beloved robot-centric franchise that began in the 1980s. And no, we’re not talking about the RoboCop remake, that’s a discussion for another place. No, we’re talking about the upcoming, Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring Terminator: Genesis, the fifth chapter in the cybernetic family. We know that the former ruler or California will be back, and that one of the key roles, that of Sarah Connor, has already been cast. Thus far, the majority of the other casting rumors we’ve heard have all centered around her love interest, Kyle Reese. It sounds like Paramount’s hunt his drawing to a close, and the latest reports say the race is down to two key contestants: Jai Courtney and Boyd Holbrook, both of whom have been in the running for some time.
Deadline reports that these two are the finalists to play the heroic soldier who comes back from the future to save Sarah Connor from the first incarnation of the Terminator, and then knocks her up so she can give birth her son, John Connor—played by Edward Furlong in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Nick Stahl in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Christian Bale in Terminator: Salvation, and Thomas Dekker on the TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles—who just so happens to be the savior of the human race.
If either Courtney or Holbrook do wind up in this role, they’ll star opposite Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke, who has already been cast as the mother of savior. Zero Dark Thirty star Jason Clarke, no relation, is also attached to play John. There are also reports that Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn, the original Sarah and Reese, are in discussions to reprise their roles as well. If this pans out it seems to indicate that there will be multiple time lines in play for Genesis, and that there could be some additional time travel in mix.
This should be a pretty sizeable role, and as there is a proposed trilogy in the works, this also figures to continue through multiple movies that will, in theory, see the conclusion of humanity’s epic struggle against Skynet and the machine armies. Who knows, they could also make an appearance on the accompanying TV show that’s in the works.
I’m honestly not too familiar with Holbrook from anything other than The Host—the angsty teen one, not the giant monster one—and though that’s not much of an endorsement, he has a resume that includes Milk, Behind the Candelabra, and David Fincher’s upcoming adaptation of Gone Girl. That said, I’d have to give him a slight nod over Courtney, based solely on appearance. Holbrook just looks a bit more like Michael Biehn, enough that it would be easier to buy him as a younger version, especially if the two appear in the same movie. Courtney, who is coming off of A Good Day to Die Hard and will be seen shortly in the teen dystopia Divergent, has a very distinct head shape, and based on exteriors, would be a harder sell as a young Reese.
Scheduled to begin filming in New Orleans this summer, Terminator: Genesis opens on July 1, 2015.