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Christian Bale to star in 'Terminator 4'

Posted Monday, December 3, 2007 at 3:18 PM Central

by Tim Briscoe

Now this is one casting I didn't think would happen. Christian Bale is set to sign on as John Connor for Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, the fourth film in the sci-fi/action series.

It's a big surprise to me as I had pretty much written off the Terminator franchise. Yeah, 2003's Terminator 3 made over $150 million at the box office but it wasn't the cultural behemoth that T2 was. (I chalk that up to the departure of James Cameron as director.)

I figured T4, T5, T6, et al, would be a revolving door for medium-level directors and not-so-great actors. I thought the rumors of Bale's casting in the next movie were just wishful thinking amongst fans of the franchise. I guess I was wrong.

According to Variety, Christian Bale -- yes, Batman himself -- will star in the film projected for a Summer 2009 theatrical release. Bale will star as a thirtysomething John Connor, the man who leads the rebellion against the Skynet computer network which strives to exterminate humans in some future dystopia.

Ten-year-old John Connor was played by Edward Furlong in T2. Nick Stahl was John Connor at age 19 for the third film. (The character wasn't born yet for 1984's The Terminator). According to IMDb, Connor was also portrayed by Michael Edwards (older version of him) and Dalton Abbott (as a baby) in brief sequences in the '91 movie.

You've probably already seen the TV commercials for The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a Fox TV series starting in January. Lena Headey will star as John's mum and Thomas Dekker will portray John.

OK, the big question everyone wants to know... Will Ah-nuld return in the new film? Probably not, according to Variety:

Producers intend the project to be the first in a trilogy reinventing the franchise. It's not clear whether Arnold Schwarzenegger will appear in it. The Terminator role made him into a star, but he's now busy running the state of California; his role in "T3" was his last.

Schwarzenegger has only made a few brief cameos in films since taking office in 2003. So, yeah, no Governator in this one.

Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins is being directed by McG. He previously did We Are Marshall and both Charlie's Angels movies.

Source: Variety