It’s been a week full of Important Casting News, and it’s not over just yet. Matt Smith, he of Doctor Who fame, has just joined the team of the upcoming Terminator reboot, Terminator: Genesis, taking a role that doesn’t have much information behind it besides “a strong connection to John Connor,” according to the press release from Paramount.
Though not much is known about Smith’s place in the cast, there’s a good reason to believe that his role could be pivotal, as the rest of the cast has been previously announced; waiting to announce Smith, even if they haven’t quite announced who he’ll be playing, could indicate something big. He’ll be joining a varied and talented cast that includes the OG Terminator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke (John Connor), Emilia Clarke (Sarah Connor), Jai Courtney (Kyle Reese), J.K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi (Danny Dyson) and Byung Hun Lee.
Terminator: Genesis, directed by Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) and written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier, is the fifth film in the franchise. While the major plot details are still being withheld, a rumor report has suggested that the new film will amplify the time travel factor by tenfold as the “Back to the Future II” of the series. As in, the new film will jump between the events of the first Terminator films, and possibly go back further than that to visit Sarah Connor’s childhood. Again, this is just a rumor, but the extreme time travel route does seem to make sense when you look at the casting choices — you’ve got Jason Clarke, a man twenty years her senior, playing Emiliar Clarke’s son (cute choice on casting two actors with the same last name to play family members). Something is clearly afoot here.
The question of the day is where the Eleventh Doctor will fit into the puzzle. Clearly, after playing a Time Lord for three seasons on Doctor Who, the man is a seasoned professional at traveling throughout time and space; he’s going to have no problem fitting into another themed franchise — even if it’s a little less whimsical and more full of, oh, bloodlust and lasers and murderous sentient machines. No biggie. As “someone with a strong connection to John Connor,” as that press release so very helpfully lets us know, Smith could be playing virtually anyone at this point — a figure of spiritual guidance, a protector against the machines, a scientist just trying to figure out where it all went wrong, so horribly wrong…I could keep going, but I’ll be back when more information gets released about his part.
Terminator: Genesis hits theaters July 1, 2015.