Emilia Clarke–Daenerys Targaryen, First of Her Name, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, Mhysa–Emilia Mofo Clarke, one of the stars of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, has been cast as another iconic heroine, Sarah Connor, in the upcoming reboot of the Terminator franchise, Terminator: Genesis.
Deadline is reporting the decision, which came down between Clarke and Short Term 12 actress Brie Larson, has finally been made. Clarke will be the third actress to play Sarah Connor; the ordinary woman who’s forced to become a badass to repeatedly protect her son from time-traveling, cyborg assassins. The first actress to take on the role, and define it so well, was Linda Hamilton, of course, in James Cameron’s two Terminator films, the second of which–1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day–is still a cinematic marvel today. The character didn’t feature in the Jonathan Mostow-directed third film in the series, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, but Linda Hamilton did return for McG’s Terminator Salvation… well, at least her voice did. The second actress to play Sarah Connor is, interestingly enough, Lena Headey, on the short-lived television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. That’s interesting because Headey stars as Cersei Lannister alongside Emilia Clarke on Game of Thrones. Small world.
This casting news is bittersweet for me because I am a huge fan of the Terminator franchise (sidebar: I’m also a huge fan of Christian Bale, so when he was cast as John Connor in Terminator Salvation, I was ecstatic; and, yes, I think that movie is great), and I had wanted Brie Larson to play the role of Sarah Connor before it had even been announced that she was up for the role. I think she would be fantastic. With that said, Emilia Clarke is a phenomenal actress. As we’ve seen on Game of Thrones, she has the ability to play to a character’s silent strength, and she’s capable of commanding the screen when the character needs to release that inner power, so she should do very well in the role. There truly wasn’t a bad choice to be made here.
The Game of Thrones connections continue with the reboot’s director, Alan Taylor, who has previously directed Clarke in six episodes of the HBO series. Terminator: Genesis will follow Taylor’s recent success behind the camera for Thor: The Dark World. Along with Emilia Clarke, the film’s cast will include Arnold Schwarzenegger, once again reprising his role as the titular killing machine-turned hero. I know some have worries about Schwarzenegger continuing this role, but I love it… well, I love the idea of it; we’ll have to wait and see if it turns out well.
With Emilia Clarke reportedly signed on to play Sarah Connor, who will take on the reigns of the boy savior, her son, John Connor? Well, Australian actor Jason Clarke (no relation) is apparently very close to inking a deal for the role. You may recognize Jason Clarke from the Academy Award-nominated film Zero Dark Thirty, or as George Wilson in this year’s The Great Gatsby adaptation from Baz Luhrmann. If you do recognize him, you’re probably thinking it sounds a bit odd for the 44-year-old actor to play the son of the 26-year-old Emilia Clarke, but then you’re forgetting this is time travel, and that kind of shit is fair game here, old sport.
Terminator: Genesis, directed by Alan Taylor and starring Emilia Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and probably Jason Clarke, is currently set for a July 1, 2015, release.