Matt Smith, fresh off the most successful sci-fi television show in 900 years of time and space, the BBC’s Doctor Who, has now joined the freshest ranks in the next chapter of one of America’s most troubled sci-fi franchises, Terminator: Genesis.
Smith, who left the Eleventh Doctor’s bow tie on the floor of the TARDIS when he exited the four year role in the 2013 Christmas special The Time of the Doctor, was announced earlier today by Deadline to be officially cast in the 5th Terminator film with “a major role that will grow in the second and third films”.
The original announcement offered only the tiniest bit more of insight into Matt Smith’s new role by simply stating that “Smith will play a new character with a strong connection to John Connor”.
Smith is the latest entry in an already interesting grab-bag of a cast.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning as the iconic titular cybernetic killing machine villain turned cybernetic killing machine hero, the Terminator T-800 series. To explain why a robot would go from looking like a 37 year old former Mr Olympia to looking like a 66 year old former action movie titan, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 has apparently received the latest Apple update and now has all the benefits of the typically non-robotic ability to age.
Jason Clarke, from the Oscar-winning (in a just world, the win would have been for “Best Picture” and not “Best Sound Editing”) Kathryn Bigelow-directed film Zero Dark Thirty and the cancelled after one season (and deservedly so) 2011 Fox series The Chicago Code, will be the new face of John Connor, a role held in previous films by Edward Furlong, Nick Stahl, and an obscure English actor who goes by Christian Bale.
John Connor’s time-traveling dad, Kyle Reese, originally portrayed by Michael Biehn and later (although, via the wonders of non-linear storytelling, it was a younger Kyle Reese) by Anton Yelchin, will look remarkably like Australian actor Jai Courtney this time around. Courtney most recently appeared in Divergent.
JK Simmons was reported in March to have join the Terminator: Genesis cast as “a weary and alcoholic detective who has followed a bizarre case involving Sarah Connor and robots for more than three decades”. Emilia Clarke, also known as Daenerys Targaryen from HBO’s Game of Thrones, will be playing Sarah Connor.
This leaves one to ponder the biggest question about Matt Smith’s casting: Who (wink wink) exactly will he be playing? Are we talking a good guy or a bad guy here?
Smith has more than filled the shoes of a good guy (and to some degree, a not-so-good guy) in Doctor Who. His upcoming role as “Bully” in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut Lost River and a recent turn as definitely a bad guy (or maybe just a delusional troubled guy) Patrick Bateman in a stage production of American Psycho both suggest Smith could easily and very capably be a villain.
What do you think? What side will Matt Smith be on in Terminator: Genesis?