Terminator: Genesis has been cultivating a stable of geek friendly actors who are no strangers to big-ticket blockbusters. Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, and Jason Clarke (to name a few) were all brought on with increasing levels of excitement. But now we’ve learned that the biggest catch in the geek universe has been landed. Matt Smith, as of today, is officially on board. Not just for Genesis, but for presumably the whole reported trilogy. An official press release was issued today mentioning that:
"Smith will play a new character with a strong connection to John Connor, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, J.K. Simmons, Dayo Okeniyi and Byung Hun Lee."
Momentarily sidelining speculation as to just who the good Doctor will be playing, Deadline's Mike Fleming had a little more to say about this new, top secret role:
"I’m told they are casting Matt Smith, who has played The Doctor in Doctor Who, in a major role that will grow in the second and third films."
Let that marinate a little bit in your mind. "A major role that will grow in the second and third films." Now let’s take into account what we know: Jason Clarke is John Connor, so that role obviously doesn’t apply. Jai Courtney is Kyle Reese, so another name is crossed off the list. There’s talk about the series involving some time travel into past installments of the series, at least that’s if the draft that HitFix recently read is still valid. Throw in Byung-Hun Lee as a possible heavy, and our options start to limit themselves.
In the heroes’ camp, Matt Smith could play a programmer sent back from the future with special knowledge of SkyNet. Knowledge that might just alter the time line to a point where, once and for all, it doesn’t exist. Stereotypically, he could also have the knowledge of the time travel process, thus allowing our characters to jump from time to time, altering the future to their specifications.
Of course, anyone who’s watched Doctor Who will tell you that Smith can play villain and hero in equal measure. His performance as The Doctor has more than occasionally bordered on the grey area of morality, which makes him an even better candidate to play a villain. Maybe even THE villain, depending on how this film treats McG's relevant Terminator: Salvation. If this film treats that one like the audience on the whole did, we might see Smith as a new interpretation of SkyNet in corporeal form. Think of it: the knowledge and strategic nature of The Doctor, but with a severe distaste for humanity that borders on genocidal. Looks like his role as The Doctor might have trained him for his future career more than he ever knew.
Terminator: Genesis is currently in production, and will be released on July 1, 2015.