Actor Jai Courtney (Spartacus: Blood and Sand, A Good Day to Die Hard) has been cast as Kyle Reese in director Alan Taylor’s upcoming Terminator: Genesis, according to Variety. Courtney takes on the role made famous by Michael Biehn in James Cameron’s 1984 sci-fi classic The Terminator, as a time-traveling freedom fighter who inadvertently fathers the future leader of the human resistance.
Courtney, who can currently be seen in I, Frankenstein, has been rumored for the role for months, and several reports claimed it was between the Australian-born Courtney and Boyd Holbrook (Behind the Candelabra, The Host). Now that the casting is official, Courtney joins Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones, Dom Hemingway) as Sarah Connor and Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, White House Down) as John Connor. Arnold Schwarzenegger will also return, but his role is unknown – some rumors have pinned him as playing the scientist that the terminators are modeled after, but that is completely unconfirmed. The film will be directed by Taylor (Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World).
Courtney will be the fifth actor to play the role of Kyle Reese. Biehn originated the role, and then briefly reprised it in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (although the scene was cut from the theatrical release and only later appeared in the director’s cut). The next time the character appeared was on the TV show, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, where the character was played by actor Jonathan Jackson in four episodes. In that same show, Reese was briefly seen in a flashback as an 8-year-old played by Skyler Gisondo.
At the moment it’s difficult to say exactly how big a role Courtney’s Reese will play, as the story is being kept under lock and key. Some reports have claimed the movie will be a reboot (which seems unlikely based on Schwarzenegger’s involvement), while others claim it will conclude the story. The casting of Emilia Clarke as a young Sarah Connor and Jason Clarke as an older John Connor does suggest to us that the film will take place in two different time periods. Beyond that though, there hasn’t been much in the way of information. No release date has been set.