John Connor is the single most important character in the Terminator franchise in terms of the mythology, with all six movies so far revolving around the idea of him being humanity’s savior in the war against Skynet. However, despite his importance to every major storyline threaded throughout the messy timeline over the last four decades, the role has been recast with reckless abandon as the series constantly attempts to reboot and reinvent itself, only to fall victim to the law of diminishing returns.
When most fans think of John Connor, their mind instantly turns to Edward Furlong, who played the role in Judgment Day, was de-aged for a cameo in Dark Fate and also appeared in theme park attraction T2-3D: Battle Across Time, which is considered canon by James Cameron. Michael Edwards, Nick Stahl, Christian Bale and Jason Clarke have all inherited the mantle on the big screen as well, though, making him the most heavily recast figure by far.
Of course, Furlong’s well-documented personal problems ruled him out of the running for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines back in 2003, and in a recent interview, his replacement Stahl revealed that he’d love to return to the franchise one day when the next inevitable reboot happens.
“I haven’t heard anything about a new Terminator movie. I don’t know, man. I did the one film and I was there, so, yeah. Wish I had a more exciting answer for you, but that’s it. I would jump at the opportunity. I love those movies, I grew up watching Terminator movies and was just thrilled to be a part of that role in that franchise. So, yeah, that would be something I would love to do.”
Things aren’t looking good for the long-running sci fi series after Dark Fate bombed at the box office and lost the studio anywhere up to $120 million, marking the third disappointing ‘fresh start’ in the space of just ten years, while star Mackenzie Davis admitted that even the diehard fans seem to have run out of patience. Clearly, the return of James Cameron still wasn’t enough to restore Terminator to former glories, and at this stage, it looks as though the brand might be put into cold storage for a while.