Over the last 30 years, the Terminator franchise has jumped back and forth through time often enough to make even the most meticulous fan a little confused about the continuity of Skynet’s apocalyptic rise to power and subsequent eradication of life as we know it. So it probably makes sense that the upcoming reboot of the franchise, Terminator: Genesis, saw fit to add a Time Lord to the film’s cast.
Announced via press release today, former Doctor Who star Matt Smith has joined the cast of Terminator: Genesis in an unspecified role, and the announcement indicates that he’ll play a new character with “a strong connection to John Connor.” This iteration of the franchise will feature Zero Dark Thirty actor Jason Clarke as human resistance leader John Connor, the role previously played by Edward Furlong in the first two installments, then Nick Stahl in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines , and finally, Christian Bale in 2009’s Terminator Salvation.
According to Deadline, Smith’s role is expected to not only be significant in the first film of a planned Terminator trilogy, but will also grow with each subsequent film in the series.
Smith joins franchise veteran Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi, and Byung Hun Lee in the cast of Genesis, with Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke in the role of Sarah Connor (previously played by Linda Hamilton) and Spartacus actor Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese (previously played by Michael Biehn in the first film, then Anton Yelchin in Terminator Salvation). Schwarzenegger will once again play a T-800 model of the deadly Terminator android, though he’ll be joined in the film by bodybuilder Aaron V. Williamson, who recently revealed (via a piece of concept art he posted online) that he’ll also be playing a T-800 Terminator.
Little is known about the plot of the film at this point, but age discrepancies between several cast members — namely, Jason Clarke and Emilia Clarke — would seem to indicate that a time-travel element will once again come into play.
Terminator: Genesis is scheduled to hit theaters July 1, 2015. The film is directed by Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) and based on a screenplay by Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island) and Patrick Lussier (Drive Angry).