J.K. Simmons is easily one of the best character actors in Hollywood today, creating incredibly memorable performances even in the smallest of roles. He's perhaps best known for bringing newspaper owner/all-around asshole J. Jonah Jameson to life in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, but now he's getting set to join a franchise of a much different variety. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Simmons is the latest actor to enter in negotiations for the upcoming Terminator: Genesis.
Directed by Thor: The Dark World's Alan Taylor and based on a script by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier, the upcoming blockbuster is expected to be the first in a brand new trilogy of films that centers on Sarah Connor, Kyle Reese and John Connor's fight against an apocalyptic future where technology and robots have taken over the world. The movie has already put together an impressive line-up of stars, with Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke playing Sarah, Divergent's Jai Courtney playing Kyle, and Zero Dark Thirty's Jason Clarke playing John. Returning to the franchise to reprise arguably his most famous role will be Arnold Schwarzenegger, though it's unclear if he will be playing a hero or villain version of the Terminator. According to THR's sources, should Simmons sign on for the film he will be playing a "weary and alcoholic detective" who has been following the bizarre case of Sarah Connor since 1984 (which, as the trade points out, was the year James Cameron's first Terminator movie was released).
Being a character actor instead of an A-list star gives Simmons the opportunity to be a part of a lot of projects, and as a result he has a lot coming down the line. He can currently be see starring in the mid-season NBC series Growing Up Fisher, but he has also finished work on the Sam Raimi-produced horror comedy Murder of a Cat; the Hugh Grant romantic comedy The Rewrite; the tennis comedy Break Point; and Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children.
Perhaps his most exciting upcoming project, however, is one that just debuted as the opening night premiere of the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year: Damien Chazelle's Whiplash. In the movie, Miles Teller stars as a young drummer attending one of the best music schools in the country who finds himself struggling and suffering under the intense emotional abuse of his genius teacher, played by Simmons. The film got rave reviews, particularly for its performances, and it was almost immediately picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures. Sadly we still haven't seen a trailer, but that will come closer to the theatrical release date - which is unfortunately still a mystery.
Production on Terminator: Genesis will begin this spring and Paramount Pictures will release the film nationwide on July 1, 2015.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.