Terminator update: new set photos, and a casting update

See that photo to the right?

It’s a picture — one of several published by the Daily Mail today — of Jai Courtenay playing Kyle Reese and Emilia Clarke playing Sarah Connor in the new Terminator movie. It is, in other words, a picture of John Connor’s parents.

And the first thing I find myself thinking is that either Courtenay is too big to be Kyle, or Clarke is too small to be Sarah. These characters weren’t this different in height in the original film, were they?

Well, if Google is to be believed, the Kyle actors are almost identical in height — Michael Biehn is 1.83m and Courtenay is 1.85m — while the Sarah actors are a bit more different, with Linda Hamilton’s 1.68m beating Clarke’s 1.57m. So a gap of 15cm in the original film has nearly doubled to become a gap of 28cm in the new film. (That’s a leap from about 6 inches to 11 inches, for those on the American system.)

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Terminator update: an aging cyborg and a grown-up boy

So this is what it’s come to for Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Austrian bodybuilder-turned-actor, who was one of the biggest stars in the world roughly 20 years ago, is now starring in a movie (Sabotage) that won’t even get a theatrical release in Canada when it opens in the United States this week.

Fortunately, for him, the sci-fi franchise that kicked his career into high gear is still around, and still wants him. And this week, Schwarzenegger explained how it is possible that an actor who was 36 the first time he played a cyborg from the future can still play a product of the robot assembly line at the ripe old age of 66.

Speaking to MTV, he said: “The way that the character is written, it’s a machine underneath. It’s this metal skeleton. But above that is human flesh. And the Terminator’s flesh ages, just like any other human being’s flesh. Maybe not as fast. But it definitely ages. Terminator deals a lot with time travel, so there will be a younger T-800 model and then what that model does later on when it gets reprogrammed, and who gets ahold of him. So it will be all kinds of interesting twists in the movie.”

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J.K. Simmons is playing a what in Terminator: Genesis?

The latest bit of casting news for Terminator: Genesis — the working title for the fifth film in the cyborg-assassin-from-the-future series — has me confused.

The Hollywood Reporter says J.K. Simmons is in talks to play “a weary and alcoholic detective who has followed a bizarre case involving Sarah Connor and robots for more than three decades (since 1984, which, not coincidentally, is the year the original movie, directed by James Cameron, was released).”

So, wait, in the timeline of this movie, it’s at least 2014 — maybe 2015, which is when the film comes out — and the war with the machines hasn’t even started yet?

To recap: In the timeline of the first two films, Judgment Day took place in 1997, but by the end of the second film, Sarah Connor and her son were able to prevent the nuclear bombs from flying — at least in that year. Then, in the third film, Judgment Day took place in 2004 — this time thanks to a computer-virus-spreading Terminator that came back in time from the 2030s to make sure the war happened.

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How old was Sarah Connor, anyway?

Longtime readers of this blog may recall that I wrote quite a few posts about the Terminator franchise during the lead-up to The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009) and Terminator Salvation (2009). Among other things, I tried to untangle the timeline of the first three films and show how Sarah Connor herself was partly responsible for the nuclear war, plus I devoted entire posts to screen-caps of all the actors who played John Connor, Kyle Reese and Dr. Silberman.

Well, it looks like I’ll have to gear up for another round of blog posts now. The Hollywood Reporter says the makers of the next Terminator film are looking for actors to play the “young Sarah Connor” and the “young Kyle Reese”, as well as the offspring of these two characters: humanity’s future saviour John Connor.

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Are the ’80s over… again?

Two weeks ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger scored one of the worst opening weekends of his career, as The Last Stand — the first film to star him in the lead since he became Governor of California a decade ago — opened to a mere $6.3 million. It was the lowest opening for any of his films since 1986, when Raw Deal opened to $5.4 million on a bit more than half the screens that The Last Stand had.

Then, this past weekend, Sylvester Stallone scored one of the worst opening weekends of his career, as Bullet to the Head opened to a mere $4.5 million. With the exception of a few films that played in only a handful of theatres, it was the lowest opening for any of his films since 1981, when Nighthawks and Victory opened to $2.5 million or possibly even less.

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