11:30am PT by Aaron Couch
'Terminator': The Multiple Stars Who've Played the Key Characters
James Cameron's The Terminator (1984) continues to be among the most influential sci-fi movies of all time.
It has spawned four follow-up films, including the acclaimed Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and the short-lived (but beloved) Fox series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The latest installment, Terminator: Genisys, is battling at the box office against fellow newcomer Magic Mike: XXL and holdovers Inside Out and Jurassic World.
Throughout its 30-plus year history, multiple actors have gotten to take on the mantle of John Connor and his parents, Sarah Connor and Kyle Rease. Check them out below.
Linda Hamilton originated the role for The Terminator (1984) and followed it up with Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Her character had died by the time Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) rolled around. Lena Headey played Sarah on TV for Fox's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles from 2008-2009. Her fellow Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke picked up the role for Terminator: Genisys (2015).
A 13-year-old Edward Furlong was cast as the savior of humanity, and earned praise for his work in Terminator 2, which also featured a glimpse of an adult John, played by Michael Edwards. Furlong was replaced with Nick Stahl for Terminator 3, and fanboys rejoiced when Christian Bale was cast to play John in Terminator: Salvation (2009), which ultimately was poorly received. On TV, Thomas Dekker played a teenage John Connor in The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Jason Clarke steps into the role for Genisys, with the big spoiler revealed months ago in the trailers being that John isn't quite himself in the new film.
Michael Biehn solidified his name in the sci-fi hall of fame with his scrappy performance in The Terminator, going on to appear briefly in a bonus dream sequence in Terminator 2. In Terminator Salvation, Anton Yelchin played a teenaged Rease, while Jai Courtney played the most beefed-up version of the character yet in Genisys.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has played different versions of the T-800 in The Terminator, Terminator 2 and Terminator 3, for which the then-55-year-old worked out for months to return to his weight for The Terminator. In Terminator Salvation, CGI helped put Schwarzenegger's face on the T-800 in the film. The T-800 looking older is part of the plot of Genisys, which explains that the flesh covering the Terminator's skeleton is real human flesh, and thus ages.
John Connor's eventual wife, Kate Brewster, was played by Claire Danes in Terminator 3. Kate was married to John in Salvation, with Kate Connor played by Bryce Dallas Howard.