‘Terminator: Genesis’ Kyle Reese Actor Shortlist Revealed

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terminator 5 genesis kyle reese actor Terminator: Genesis Kyle Reese Actor Shortlist Revealed

Can the Terminator franchise compete in the current age of blockbuster entertainment, when it shares so much in common with other series – be they sci-fi properties and/or modern superhero genre installments (for example, time travel, dystopian futures and dangerous robots – all of which will be part of X-Men: Days of Future Past this year)?

It’s a fair question that’s been raised on the Screen Ran Underground Podcast before, but it’s safe to say that Paramount, Skydance and Annapurna Pictures’ Megan Ellison (who now owns the Terminator rights) believe the answer is “yes.” Hence, we’re getting a film reboot – under the working (and possibly final) title Terminator: Genesis – that is meant to kickoff another trilogy, in addition to a new television series that will directly tie in with the rebooted movie continuity (unlike its predecessor The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the first four Terminator features).

Plot details for Terminator: Genesis are under-wraps for the time being, but we know the story will again revolve around Sarah Connor – ordinary 20th century working-class gal (maybe early 21st century in Genesis) turned deadly warrior for humanity – and her son John, who leads the war against the machines in the future. Arnold Schwarzenegger is reprising his iconic role as a cyborg killing machine, while Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) is set as young Sarah Connor and Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) looks to have secured the role of grown-up John Connor.

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Variety is reporting that the last key role to fill will be Kyle Reese – the soldier who adult John Connor sends back in time to protect the young Sarah Connor from being killed by Skynet in James Cameron’s original Terminator movie (unaware that John is, in fact, his own son).

Paramount originally had its eye on a more established 20-something year old to play Kyle Reese, like Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road) or Garrett Hedlund (Inside Llewyn Davis). However, Variety claims that on Monday, the studio will instead test a collection of lesser-knowns for the role, including: Wilson Bethel (Hart of Dixie), relative newcomer Tom Cocquerel, Boyd Holbrook (The Host) and Sam Reid (Hatfields & McCoys).

Additionally, Jai Courtney will be in contention for the Kyle Reese role. Courtney, though far from an A-lister, has a decent fan-following already, thanks to his roles on Starz’s Spartacus TV series and roles in films like Jack Reacher and A Good Day to Die Hard (he played Bruce Wills’ grown son in the latter). That said: Courtney has yet to headline a blockbuster on his own, so his star is still very much on the climb.

A Good Day to Die Hard Review Die Hard 5 starring Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney Terminator: Genesis Kyle Reese Actor Shortlist Revealed

Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney in ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’

The Reese character was portrayed by Michael Biehn in Cameron’s original 1984 film, a couple decades before the role was recast with Jonathan Jackson on the Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series and then Star Trek Into Darkness‘ Chekov (Anton Yelchin) in the most recent movie installment, Terminator: Salvation.

Since we don’t know yet how essential Kyle Reese is to the Terminator: Genesis narrative – featured in the script by Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) and Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry) – it’s difficult to get too worked up over any possible casting selections, much less those involving lesser-knowns who are looking to breakout (save maybe Courtney).

That said, the confirmed casting for the film thus far reads as pretty solid on paper, and director Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) appears intent on some course-correction and bringing the series back to its roots – a franchise that is driven by proper sci-fi/horror concepts, but has a humanist core. Let us know if that’s encouragement enough for now, and your thoughts on the casting for the film (be it finalized or potential).


Terminator: Genesis opens in theaters on July 1st, 2015.

Source: Variety

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  1. My prediction on this movie/franchise reboot… DOA. The ideas and concepts have been recycled so many times and unless this is a more radical departure from canon.. Which has it’s own inherent risk.. I just dont see people caring about this anymore.

  2. Bring back the kid from Terminator:Salvation he was real good in the role.

    • I totally agree. Anton Yelchin was the only good part of Salvation in my opinion. Sadly since this is a semi-quasi-reboot, It would be weird for him to come back at this point.

  3. I’m still confused about how you can reboot a franchise with the star of the franchise.

  4. I hope this reboot has loose connections to the previous 4 films by time traveling allowing this film’s events to happen instead of The Terminator’s – on up events. That way Terminator 1-4 events did happen before this new film. I hope that’s what this reboot is doing.

  5. Sebastian Stan would be perfect

  6. Someone please explain to me how John sends back Reese, if Reese is his father? I’m talking about the first instance time travel was ever used, who was john’s father when he sent Reese back in time? It could not have been Reese since John’s already born.

    • I don’t want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we’re going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws.–bruce willis in looper

    • It’s a movie. Time travel isn’t real, at least to the extent that someone could ever go back and visit long-lost mom and dad.

      Still, I get your point.

    • Grandfather Paradox.

      John sent Kyle to the past to protect his mother, unaware Kyle will get her pregnant during that time. Kyle dies, John is born 9 months later, grows up not knowing who his dad was then when he gets his hands on time travel when humans are desperate and losing the war, he sends his best soldier – Kyle Reese – to the past on a mission to protect his mother after learning that Skynet sent a machine back to kill Sarah in the hopes it would prevent John from being born and rising up against them.

      Basically, it’s a never-ending loop that will always happen, no matter what. They can’t prevent the war from happening because the fact that Kyle is John’s father means that for John to exist, Skynet HAS to go rogue and the war HAS to begin.

      It’s hard to really explain well but luckily, it’s also the easiest form of paradoxial time travel methods we have in fiction to understand once you get your head around it.

      Did you see the Futurama episode when Fry goes back to the 1940s to find out who his grandfather was, has sex with an attractive woman then finds out that woman is his grandmother?

      Same thing. Once you get into a loop like that, it’s difficult to change history because no matter what happens to deviate from the timeline, the end result will always be the same. In this case, Kyle will always be John’s father and the war will always exist in John’s lifetime.

      I suspect they’ll use that slight deviation method to make this soft reboot into an alternate timeline with things happening slightly differently but always resulting in the war/Kyle being sent back. That way, both the original 4 movies and the new set of movies/TV show can exist in the same continuity.

    • By the laws of Doctor Who, Reese was always Conner’s father. He created himself essentially.

      • Damn shame my comment didn’t show up because I explained it in detail about an hour ago.

        Giving up on this site now.

    • There are several theories. One is the grandfather paradox that Dazz describes. Another involves multiple timelines. It’s very complicated, but basically, the first timeline is set before the first terminator movie…Sarah Connor, with no knowledge of the future, gives birth to John Connor. He grows up and becomes the leader of the resistance; Kyle Reese is not his father. The machines send the T-800 back and John sends Kyle back to protect his mother. Here’s where the timelines diverge.

      Reese protects Sarah Connor and she destroys the T-800. He impregnates Sarah and becomes John’s father. He dies while fighting the terminator and 9 months later, John is born. This is the timeline we see in the first movie.

      That timeline continues into terminator 2 with the T-1000 being sent back to kill John as a child. Another T-800 is sent back by John to protect himself. Kyle Reese is still John’s father, and Sarah is sent to an institution for being insane. This time, they destroy Cyberdyne and supposedly avert Judgement Day.

      There are way more divergences and events, but that sums up the first two movies and how Kyle Reese is sent back by John. At least according to that theory.

    • But the Fun part is, if he does not send him back, he will never get born.
      Nice Paradox there.

    • It’s called a paradox. Embrace the paradox!

  7. Jonathan Jackson was great in TSCC but of course that’s never gonna happen, they could try and get his half-twin Aaron Paul I guess.. I’d like Austin Nichols too..

  8. I was very excited for this film. But I feel like it is the same story that has been told 5 times already. Why cant we get a movie about the creation of the first “Terminator” aka Arnold, and have Arnold be a scientist who builds a Terminator to destroy Sky net but it backfires and he creates the very thing he wanted to destroy for them

    • No one knows the full story yet. Something like that could very well be part of it…

  9. How is Sam Claflin not on this list? He is the perfect person to be a young Kyle Reese!

  10. Why couldn’t they just continue with the future war. I want to see an end to the original story before a rebooted new trilogy

  11. Not feeling better about Terminator Genesis

    Jason Clark as John Connor? Emelia Clarke is a great casting choice for Sarah Connor’s Mum because I heard that this film was going to be set in in he forties to prevent Sarah Connor from being born. This film sounds like a wasted opp in my opinion.

  12. No Arnold. He looks haggard. No way he passes as an unstoppable killing machine. If he’s human–why? He could never really act. Just start fresh.

  13. Was Sam Reid Cap Hatfield?… Maybe I should just google it huh

  14. Tbh I don’t care about this rummor and speculation stuff. The only thing that matters, and the only reason why people will see the movie is Arnold.

  15. No!! Not Jai Courtney, please.. There will be nothing else on the screen but his freakishly large head in every scene he is in. The only plausible character Jai could play with his huge cranium, is an early model cyborg, with a flawed in the design. Too big head.
    I’m just saying.. :-)

  16. I would cast Luke Mitchell (currently starring on The Tomorrow People). That guy looks and acts like the original Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn).

  17. The fact that John Connor is alive in the year 2029, pretty much sums up everything u need to know…

  18. Just about a week or so ago I started watching The Sarah Conner Chronicles on Amazon. I tried watching it when it aired but lost track of the show after the first few episodes so I’m starting from scratch and it’s a decent show but I have to force myself to not think about the films. Every so often something will be mentioned and there are call backs but if I start trying to make sense of it all the next thing I know 10 minutes has passed and I’m more confused than ever.
    Then Salvation was thrown into the mix which muddies the waters even more and if this new trilogy will try to make sense of it all we are in for a serious mind bender.

    To get to my point I just wish this new trilogy would be it’s own thing. I understand why the studio and producers would want to use Sarah, John and Kyle for name recognition but there’s already been 4 movies and a TV series with these characters and now with this it seems like an impossible task to make sense of.

  19. I heard from a homeless guy that the Terminator Robots will be from Krypton.

  20. They should have Michael Biehn play the older John Connor.

  21. Dave Batista should be the evil Terminator!