Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures (Her) bought the Terminator rights with the intention of rebooting the iconic sci-fi franchise, which originated with James Cameron’s (Avatar) first installment thirty years ago. The project also has producer David Ellison (Star Trek Into Darkness) onboard, with Paramount Pictures prepared to fund the whole operation – which, at different times in development, has been tentatively referred to as Terminator 5, Terminator (2015) and, most recently, Terminator: Genesis (note: the latter is not confirmed as the official title, for the time being).
Principle casting for Genesis is by and large complete at this stage, even as the previously-reported April 2014 production start date draws nearer and nearer. Arnold Schwarzenegger is reprising as the eponymous killing machine – his fourth time handling the role (not counting the CGI Arnold in Terminator Salvation) – along with Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) playing John Connor in the futuristic portions of the film, and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) – no relation – as young Sarah Connor in the past setting (either the late 20th century or early 21st century, one presumes).
Deadline is reporting that the shortlist for the final key character in Terminator: Genesis – Kyle Reese, a soldier in the post-Judgement Day war against Skynet and (unknowing) biological father to humanity’s future savior John Connor – is shorter now, with three of the five actors previously listed no longer being in contention for the role. As it were, the last two men said to be standing in line still are Jai Courtney (A Good Day to Die Hard) and Boyd Holbrook (The Host).
Courtney won’t take over the Die Hard mantle from Bruce Willis, but the actor may soon become part of a budding franchise – see his supporting role in next month’s YA best-seller adaptation Divergent - and thereafter, will costar in Angelina Jolie’s Oscar-friendly true WWII drama Unbroken. Holbrook, by contrast, has done quality character acting up to now (see: Hatfields & McCoys) and looks to continue doing so this year, with roles in the Natalie Portman western Jane Got a Gun, David Fincher’s Gone Girl movie and the Liam Neeson crime drama A Walk Among the Tombstones.
In truth, it’s not altogether clear how big a role the Kyle Reese character will have in the Terminator: Genesis script – written by Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) and Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry) – though, one could argue that Holbrook deserves to get this shot at playing in a tentpole sandbox, more so than Courtney, in part because the latter has already gotten a few chances – and, to be frank, he’s not yet managed to really shine in that area (see also: I, Frankenstein).
We’ll see what happens, though, as director Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) gears up to begin principal photography in a few months. Be sure and let us know who you would like to see play Kyle Reese in the upcoming Terminator installment (keep in mind, it could be the first movie in a three-picture commitment for the actor).
Terminator: Genesis is scheduled to open in theaters on July 1st, 2015.