Whether or not Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is still the worst installment in the franchise remains a point of debate, but most sci-fi fans can agree that it marked the moment in this long-running series when the Terminator films ceased to be essential viewing.
With that in mind, seeing how Logan Marshall-Green’s career is going pretty swimmingly right now – between last year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and this year’s acclaimed action-horror movie Upgrade – it might be tempting to say that the actor made a smart move when he turned down the role of John Connor in the 2003 blockbuster. But as a student who had yet to make a name for himself in the film industry, it must’ve seemed like a pretty bold choice at the time for him to opt to continue his studies over taking the lead in a franchise that, back then, had yielded nothing but genre classics so far.
During his recent appearance on the Maltin on Movies podcast, the actor gave a little context to this decision, explaining:
“I actually went on my first audition and booked it – in school – and I only went on the audition knowing I wouldn’t book it, and I wouldn’t have the deal, and it was for Terminator 3. I think Nick Stahl would play the role, and Jonathan Mostow was the director and they were going through all these machinations of starting a fellowship at NYU under my name if I had to leave early and I told them no.
I wanted to graduate and I come from an academic background and more than anything I was with my fellow classmates for three years, I wasn’t going to just leave in the middle of it. That was a hard thing for Jonathan Mostow to swallow but it set me up, I think, to really only go after what I believe in.”
Whether you think Marshall-Green made the right move or not, you have to respect the focus and integrity he showed in choosing to stick to his degree.
Since Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines gave Stahl a chance to play John Connor, the role’s been inherited by Christian Bale and Jason Clarke with critically panned results, so it’s little surprise that the next Terminator will serve as a soft reboot that disregards all entries in the series since the first two.
When it hits cinemas on November 22, 2019, the part of John Connor will be once more passed on to a fresh face – the young Jude Collie, in this case. Naturally, a stint as governor aside, Arnold Schwarzenegger remains the one actor in this franchise who never needs replacing. You may not know this, but being back is kind of his thing.