Dave Prowse, the British actor behind the menacing black mask of Star Wars villain Darth Vader has died at the age of 85, his agent said Sunday.
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Here’s a guide to the career of Lucifer actor D.B. Woodside, who’s amassed an impressive body of work. D.B. Woodside started his career with a role in legal drama Murder One from NYPD Blue creator Steven Bochco. Woodside joined during the show’s second season and following its cancellation, he made guest appearances on shows like The Practice and The Division. He also made his movie debut with 1998 thriller Scar City and later co-starred with Jet Li and Aaliyah in 2001 action film Romeo Must Die.
Inbetween guest stints on both CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami, D.B. Woodside landed one of his first big roles on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Woodside played Robin Wood on the series, the principal of Sunnydale High who turns out to be a vampire hunter with a very personal grudge against Spike. Woodside joined the show in its final season and managed the impressive feat of surviving to the very end.
Related: Lucifer Isn’t The Devil Anymore: Season 3 Premiere Explained
D.B. Woodside’s next big role was on 24 as Wayne Palmer, brother of President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert). Wayne served as David’s Chief of Staff in season 3 and was the more morally flexible of the two, leading to some ethical clashes. Wayne returned in a key supporting role in season 5 helping Jack uncover a major conspiracy involving new President Charles Logan. By season 6 he became President himself, but despite Woodside putting in a good performance, the sixth season is considered one of the show’s weakest due to illogical plotting and recycled storylines. Wayne ended his time on 24 in a coma, though his true fate following this was never resolved, and Woodside has expressed disappointment with how his final season played out.
Following his 24 exit, D.B. Woodside appeared on a selection of hit shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Monk and Castle; he also starred in notorious TV flop Viva Laughlin. He then had recurring roles in shows like Single Ladies and Parenthood in the years that followed. He also had occasional film parts during this period, including Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. His next major TV role came when he appeared on Suits as Jeff Malone, the boyfriend of Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres). Woodside would later join Gina Torres on Pearson, a spinoff of Suits that lasted for one season.
His most recent role is as Amendadiel on Lucifer. Amenadiel is an angel sent to persuade Lucifer, his brother, to return to Hell. After he resorts to dubious tactics to achieve his goal he’s stripped of his divine powers and becomes human. Outside of the show, D.B. Woodside also made an appearance on the rebooted S.W.A.T. series in 2018.
Next: 24: Did D.B Woodside’s Wayne Palmer Die Or Not?
Rob Thomas (not the singer from Matchbox 20) created Veronica Mars back in 2o04 when its home was on the now-defunct network The UPN. When The UPN merged with The WB in 2007 to create The CW Network, certain programs like Veronica Mars received the short end of the stick with a poor time slot and ultimately getting canceled.
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In 2009. Rob Thomas moved on from Veronica Mars to focus on his project Party Down with co-creators Paul Rudd, Dan Ethridge, and John Enbom. Party Down features several of the same actors from Veronica Mars— here are thirteen crossovers from these two cult classics.
Before he played the half-assed private investigator Vinnie Van Lowe in Veronica Mars, Ken Marino was known for his role as Victor in Wet Hot American Summer (2001), and also starred in a ten-episode arc in the popular teen drama Dawson’s Creek as Professor David Wilder.
He played the part of Veronica Mars‘ nemesis perfectly and returned as one of the main stars in Party Down, playing Ron Ronald, the uptight manager of the catering company with the same name as the show’s title. The focal point of each episode incorporates a new job setting for the catering company and its enervated employees, as Ken Marino’s character Ron acts like a chicken with its head cut off.
Joey Lauren Adams, known for her roles in Chasing Amy (1997) and Big Daddy (1999), plays the two-episode character Diandra Stiltskin in Party Down, the wife of J.K. Simmon’s character, and mother of the bratty teenage daughter whose sweet sixteen goes awry in the episode “Taylor Stiltskin Sweet Sixteen.”
Adams also plays a small role in Veronica Mars, guest-starring in the popular episode “Weapons of Class Destruction” as Geena Stafford, the Pep Squad Coach who substitutes for the journalism teacher and allows Veronica to publish some hard-hitting pieces in the school’s newspaper.
J.K. Simmons played Leonard Stiltskin on Party Down, featured in two episodes with Joey Lauren Adams. Simmons returned for the revival of Veronica Mars on Hulu in 2019 as the fourth season’s antagonist, Clyde Pickett.
RELATED: Party Down: 10 Things The Show Gets Right About Working In Food Service
He complimented both series incredibly well, adding an intriguing element to Veronica Mars which helped boost the praise its revival received.
Popular actor Ed Begley Jr. joined the cast of Veronica Mars in season three as Veronica’s new college dean, Cyrus O’Dell. His character plays an integral role in one of the main mysteries strewn throughout the season, adored by the Mars family.
Ed Begley Jr. returned for a small part in the Party Down episode “Pepper McMasters Singles Seminar” as Jane Lynch’s love interest.
Darran Norris plays the Cliff McCormack in Veronica Mars, the endearing defense attorney who periodically does favors for Veronica and sometimes works alongside Keith. He returned for Party Down to play Tony Carolla, the hotshot investor Ron tries impressing in the season one episode, “Investors Dinner.”
Norris is best known for his voice acting in cartoons like The Fairly OddParents and Team America: World Police (2004).
The Israeli-American actress Alona Tal had her breakout role in Veronica Mars as Meg Manning, the ever-so pure Christian cheerleader who has a special friendship with Veronica that gets frazzled from the love triangle between Veronica, Meg, and Veronica’s ex-boyfriend Duncan Kane (Teddy Dunn). Meg dates Duncan in season one, and Veronica bites her tongue even though she’s secretly stung.
Season two opens with a breakup between Meg and Duncan, and Veronica ultimately starts dating Duncan again, much to Meg’s chagrin since the promised-virgin is hiding her pregnancy! Alona Tal returned for a guest role in Party Down in the first season’s episode, “California College Conservative Union Caucus” as Heather.
Steve Guttenberg, known for his roles in Cocoon (1984) and Police Academy (1984), plays the mayor of Neptune, Woody Goodman, introduced in season two of Veronica Mars. Woody, who develops a relationship with Keith Mars while his daughter Gia (Krysten Ritter) becomes friends with Veronica, winds up being the centrifugal force behind the school bus bombings after molesting members of the little league team he coached.
RELATED: 10 Best Quotes From Party Down
His vile and unforgiving attacks caused multiple team members to speak out, but one of them, Cassidy Casablancas, made sure this information would never be released by placing a bomb on the school bus holding the outspoken team members, which went off a cliff and killed eight passengers. Guttenberg plays himself in the Party Down episode “Steve Guttenberg’s Birthday.”
Jane Lynch guest-starred in the Veronica Mars episode “Return of the Kane” as Mrs. Donaldson, the teacher in cahoots with getting an 09er to win student council president.
She played the recurring role of Constance Carmell on Party Down, featured in the show’s first nine episodes. Lynch grew in popularity after starring in Ryan Murphy’s Glee as the torturous cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester.
Kristen Bell made Veronica Mars into the cult classic and incredible TV show it is with her portrayal of the title character, Veronica Mars– the over-equipped 17-year-old who works alongside her P.I. father, Keith, while solving pedestrian cases for her high school classmates. Bell was in two episodes of Party Down as the rivaling catering company’s manager, Uda Bengt, who has a brief relationship with Henry.
Fun fact: Kristen Bell was the first of one hundred women to audition for the role of Veronica Mars. During an in-depth interview last year regarding the show’s revival, Rob Thomas told Vanity Fair: “Casting director Deedee Bradley sent me a Lifetime movie where Kristen played the daughter of a drug addict. I thought it showed she had this innate toughness and smarts, things I wanted for Veronica.”
Enrico Colantoni starred as Keith Mars, Veronica’s overprotective, overly-awesome father in Veronica Mars, one of three actors to appear in every episode (Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring are the other two).
He returned for Party Down‘s pilot episode, “Willow Canyon Homeowners Annual Party,” where he jumps in the pool naked during a fancy party hosted at his house.
Jason Dohring originally auditioned for the role of Duncan Kane, but Rob Thomas and company believed Dohring brought too dark of an element to Duncan’s character and asked him to audition for the part of Duncan’s best friend, Logan Echolls.
Veronica Mars wouldn’t be where it is today if Jason Dohring ended up playing Duncan, considering how pivotal of a role Logan ends up playing throughout the entire series! Dohring portrays frat-douche politician Greg in the Party Down season one episode, “California College Conservative Union Caucus.”
Ryan Hansen was originally chosen for the role of Dick Casablancas because he had nice hair, and Dick Casablancas was originally intended to be a background character with one line. Rob Thomas and the team of writers on Veronica Mars liked Ryan Hansen so much, they developed Dick Casablancas into a three-dimensional character spanning the entire series.
Ryan Hansen returned to star in Party Down as Kyle Bradway, the foil to his co-worker Roman (Martin Starr). In an interview with Vanity Fair, Kristen Bell commented on her co-star, who’s also her real-life best friend, saying: “He’s a human ball of charisma. He’s an Alka-Seltzer and the world’s water. He just fizzles everyone around him wherever he goes.”
Before landing the part as lead protagonist Henry Pollard in Party Down, Adam Scott played a small yet impactful role as Veronica’s favorite high school teacher, Mr. Rooks, who gets accused of statutory rape by Carrie Bishop (Leighton Meester) during Veronica’s first period in the classic first season episode, “Mars vs. Mars.” While Veronica promises to help her teacher, her father Keith is hired by Carrie’s parents to investigate Mr. Rooks further, driving a wedge between the tight father-daughter duo.
Veronica isn’t a fan of Carrie and proves she has no relationship with Mr. Rooks, but father always knows best: Mr. Rooks ends up being guilty and almost preys on Veronica in the same way he lured Susan Knight, Carrie’s best friend who she emulated to seek justice since Susan was, in fact, pregnant– and Mr. Rooks left her high and dry!
NEXT: 11 Actor Crossovers Between Freaks And Geeks And Undeclared
“Who is the greatest actor working today?” is a question without a clear answer. There are so many talented actors out there that it’s impossible to boil it down to just one. But any discussion of this question will undoubtedly include Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, who both rose to prominence during the “New Hollywood” era of the 1970s and have continued to deliver incredible performances to this day.
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It would be crazily subjective to decide whether De Niro or Pacino is a better actor, since they’ve both done some phenomenal work over the years, so here are each actor’s five best performances.
Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter is one of the most harrowing cinematic portraits of the Vietnam War because very little of it is set during the characters’ time in Vietnam. In the three-hour movie, there are about 20 minutes of wartime scenes. It’s not about the war; it’s about the effect that the war had on its veterans. The focus of the movie is on the journey that these three men embark on.
They’re just regular small-town working-class guys, trying to earn an honest living who are drafted into a horrific war, see some haunting, unforgettable things, and return home with deep-seated trauma. De Niro played every step of Michael’s journey with real humanity; by the end of the movie, he’s riddled with guilt just for being the least damaged member of the trio.
Al Pacino’s turn as Frank Serpico in Sidney Lumet’s aptly titled biopic Serpico is erratic and unsubtle, and it’s been a target for parody, but it works incredibly well within the context of the movie.
Mentally, Serpico is all over the place. He wants to tackle corruption on the police force, but it goes so far up that he can’t hope to make a difference. He grows more and more frustrated with the red tape, and Pacino’s performance splashes that frustration across the screen.
By the 1980s, Robert De Niro had become disillusioned with his own fame, and he channeled that into a sobering reflection on the glorification of celebrities and the desire to be famous. In King of Comedy, Rupert Pupkin is a struggling comedian who isn’t doing comedy for the sake of the art; he’s doing it because he wants to be a beloved celebrity that people ask for autographs. It’s such a shallow goal, yet Rupert is so driven by it that we can’t distinguish between what’s happening for real and what’s happening in his head.
De Niro’s performance in this movie is underrated — in fact, the movie itself is hugely underrated — possibly because its pitch-black humor isn’t very accessible, but there’s as much psychological depth in Rupert Pupkin as there is in Travis Bickle.
The role of assassinated union leader Jimmy Hoffa feels like one of the roles that Al Pacino was born to play. The eccentric theatricality of Pacino’s late-career line delivery goes hand-in-hand with Hoffa’s persona as a public figure.
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When he’s in the public eye, he’s always putting on an image, conveying himself as the Teamsters’ president, and only revealing who Hoffa really is behind closed doors in intimate scenes with Frank Sheeran (played, incidentally, by Robert De Niro, who also gives a fantastic performance in The Irishman, though it’s not necessarily a top-five pick).
Robert De Niro won his first Oscar for his performance as a young Vito Corleone in the prequel subplot of The Godfather Part II. De Niro was tasked with pulling an Alden Ehrenreich on one of Marlon Brando’s greatest performances just two years after Brando had initially wowed audiences in the original Godfather film.
By recapturing the essence that Brando brought to Vito, but putting his own spin on the youthful aspect of this incarnation of the character, De Niro knocked it out of the park. At times, he even steals the movie from Al Pacino — but it’s still Pacino’s movie.
As the viewer, we experience a kind of cinematic Stockholm syndrome as we come to identify with Sonny in Dog Day Afternoon. His motivation for the bank robbery (to pay for his partner’s gender confirmation surgery) is understandable, and his lack of preparedness comes back to bite him, which is something we can all relate to. Left with very few options, Sonny simply has to accept the inevitable.
Pacino’s face subtly tells us everything that’s going through Sonny’s panicked mind in every scene. He also shares palpable chemistry — by turns heartwarming and heartbreaking — with his old Godfather co-star (and fellow former jobbing New York actor), John Cazale.
The best acting digs really deep into a character’s psychology, and few actors have dug deeper than Robert De Niro did when he played veteran-turned-vigilante Travis Bickle in Martin Scorsese’s neo-noir masterpiece Taxi Driver. Paul Schrader’s script made heavy use of inner monologues, but also found plenty of time for quiet, dialogue-free moments, so De Niro could really sink his teeth into this character on a number of levels, and explore what makes him tick and what takes him down this grim path.
RELATED: Taxi Driver: 10 Most Iconic Moments, Ranked
We’re not supposed to identify with Travis, but something in a dark corner of our mind gets it: the isolation, the frustration, the unrest. De Niro’s performance takes us there.
Brian De Palma’s Scarface is one of the most controversially violent movies ever made. But underneath all the buckets of blood and mounds of cocaine, there’s a riveting performance by Al Pacino as a Cuban immigrant who gets rich selling drugs, uses the money to get hooked himself, and ultimately falls from grace — and from his balcony.
Scarface is almost three hours long, and yet it’s endlessly rewatchable. Part of this is De Palma’s mastery of pacing, but a lot of it is Pacino’s compelling performance.
Robert De Niro had to beg Martin Scorsese to make a biopic of Jake LaMotta, and when he finally agreed, the two created a movie that stacks up as an authentic work of art in a way that very few films do. De Niro’s wholeheartedly dedicated portrayal of LaMotta as a deeply damaged guy, grappling with some real demons, is one of the greatest performances in the history of film acting.
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De Niro plays LaMotta’s anger in such a raw, brutal, real way that it’s much more shocking and terrifying and disturbing than anything you’ll find in any horror film.
Like De Niro’s turn in Raging Bull, Al Pacino’s performance as Michael Corleone across The Godfather trilogy stands as one of the finest performances in film history. At the beginning of The Godfather, Michael is a wayward veteran with a bright future in legitimate living. By the end of it, he’s assumed his late father’s role as the don.
The transition is seamless, and Pacino conveys a lot of Michael’s transformation non-verbally, which is tricky to pull off. All the payoffs are earned, because we really feel like Michael went on a journey.
NEXT: 5 Reasons The Godfather Is The Best Mob Movie Ever Made (And 5 Why It’s Goodfellas)
Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani tackles a different Marvel role, transforming into Wolverine for a photoshoot. After first establishing himself as a stand-up comedian and funny supporting TV actor on multiple shows including HBO’s Silicon Valley, Nanjiani took the leap to genuine big screen stardom with his starring turn in the comedy The Big Sick, which he also co-wrote together with his real-life wife Emily V. Gordon.
After The Big Sick became an indie hit with $56 million at the box office, also nabbing a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination, Nanjiani built on his movie star credentials with a role in the summer action-comedy Stuber alongside Dave Bautista, as well as voice roles in Men in Black: International and Dolittle. But Nanjiani is truly set to arrive as a big screen presence when he appears later this year in Marvel’s Eternals, playing the role of Kingo, a Bollywood movie star who also happens to be a cosmic superhero. In order to take on the physicality of a true Marvel good guy, Nanjiani famously got himself ripped, showing off his new physique on Instagram much to the delight of the internet at large (and Nanjiani’s dad, who had socks made displaying an image of his shredded son).
Related: Marvel’s Eternals: Every Reveal From The Set Photos
Nanjiani clearly is enjoying his new jacked body, and took some time to have even more fun with it in a recent Men’s Health spread in which he paid homage to macho characters from other movies. In by far the highlight of the shoot, Nanjiani becomes Wolverine of X-Men fame and absolutely does justice to Hugh Jackman’s legendarily ripped version of the character. See the image in the space below:
As well as becoming Wolverine, Nanjiani in the same shoot plays some beach volleyball as Top Gun‘s Maverick, squeezes himself into a ventilation duct to become John McClane in Die Hard and jumps rope as American Psycho‘s Patrick Bateman. Undoubtedly though, the best image sees the actor removing his shirt and donning Adamantium claws to become Wolverine.
Of course, the character of Wolverine is presumed to be retired in the movies after Jackman gave him a fitting send-off in Logan. However, it’s assumed by many that if/when Disney decides to revive The X-Men in the MCU – a development that may be a long way off after Dark Phoenix failed at the box office – Wolverine will also make a triumphant return. After having a gander at his Wolverine look, Nanjiani may be a good candidate to bring Logan back, assuming he is willing to maintain his shredded physique for that long (or regain it in order to take on the role). For now though, Nanjiani is set to be introduced in the MCU as Kingo, a character who is much less familiar to audiences than Wolverine – though if Eternals is a big hit, that may all change, and Nanjiani might even consider it a step down to take Jackman’s place as Wolverine.
More: Marvel’s Eternals Star Gemma Chan Teases Two Love Stories For Sersi
Source: Men’s Health
Spider-Man: Homecoming actor Michael Mando teases the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or maybe Sony) return of Mac Gargan with a cryptic tweet. Marvel Comics readers know Gargan eventually becomes the supervillain Scorpion. Still, MCU viewers only briefly met the character in Homecoming, and he was absent from the sequel, Spider-Man: Far From Home. Equally absent in the sequel film was Michael Keaton’s Vulture, leaving plenty of screentime for the introduction of another classic Spider-Man villain, Mysterio.
For years fans have speculated and hoped for the MCU introduction of the Sinister Six, a team of Spider-Man’s greatest rogues who assemble for the sole purpose of destroying the web-slinger. As Sony continues to build its extended Spider-Man universe with Venom 2 and Morbius, it seems increasingly likely dreams of a big screen Sinister Six might soon be a reality. Marketing for both Sony movies has heavily featured connections to the MCU. Plus, with Keaton set to appear in Morbius, its possible Vulture will act as a criminal version of MCU’s Nick Fury, slowly assembling a team to take down Spider-Man. Classic versions of the Sinister Six have included Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Vulture, Sandman, Kraven the Hunter, and Scorpion, just to name a few.
Related: Scorpion Is The Key To Bridging The MCU & The Spider-Man Spinoffs
Now, a picture Mando posted to his Twitter account, with a scorpion emoji as the posts only caption, teases Scorpion’s return to the MCU or, possibly, Sony’s Spider-Verse. The picture features Mando in a black leather jacket in a desert landscape of dunes, nothing about it suggests any connection to his MCU character, aside from the curiously added scorpion emoji. Take a look for yourself:
Putting aside the obvious explanation, that Mondo is just having a little fun with his MCU fans, this could be a hint we’ll see Scorpion again soon. Gargan could easily pop up for a cameo in Morbius or Venom 2, so maybe that’s what Mondo is teasing with this post. It’s long been rumored Morbius may be setting up another Sony attempt at a Sinister Six movie. Another possibility is that he’s heard from Marvel Studios about returning to play the character in the Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel.
This isn’t the first time Sony’s tried to get a Sinister Six assembled. In the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man days, Sony planted a ton of Sinister Six easter eggs throughout The Amazing Spider-Man 2. They even hired Drew Goddard to direct a Sinister Six feature film. The previous attempt could have featured Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Rhino, Electro, Green Goblin, and the Lizard, as all of those characters had been introduced in some form or another in the Garfield Spidey films.
Now that Marvel and Sony have a tenuous partnership in the Spider-Man franchise, it remains to be seen how much input Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has in the creation of Sony’s Sinister Six film. The solo Spider-Man outings are mostly Marvel creatively controlled. In the past, Marvel has had little to do with Sony movies, like Venom, for example. However, Keaton’s appearance in Sony’s Morbius film indicates a new level of cooperation between the two studios. If Mondo’s Scorpion post is a hint at his future role in the MCU/Sony Spider-Man franchise, it’s a safe bet he could end up going from Spider-Man: Homecoming to Sinister Six shortly.
More: Marvel Can Have Spider-Man Fight The Sinister Six in Homecoming 2
Source: Michael Mando via Twitter
Winston Duke wants M’Baku to be the villain in Black Panther 2. The first Black Panther took the world by storm upon its release two years ago, earning over $1 billion at the worldwide box office and becoming the first comic book film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. A sequel seemed inevitable, but the official announcement came later than expected. Black Panther 2 was finally confirmed and slated for a 2022 release last August, and since then, news regarding the movie has been few and far between as Marvel focuses on their other projects.
In October, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger revealed writer-director Ryan Coogler had only just begun to outline the story. Despite that, fans have wondered exactly what the film will focus on, as well as who the villain might be. A popular choice is Namor the Sub-Mariner, with fans eagerly promoting their various picks for the role. However, nothing has been officially confirmed, leaving the role wide open.
Related: Doctor Doom Should Be Black Panther 2’s Villain, Not Namor
In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant promoting his new Netflix film Spenser Confidential, Duke was asked who he wants the villain of Black Panther 2 to be, and his answer was simple: “M’Baku.” M’Baku is the leader of the Jabari tribe within Wakanda, and while he and T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things (to the point of them engaging in a duel for the throne atop Warrior Falls), M’Baku has fought alongside T’Challa multiple times. Duke explained what he finds so fascinating about Marvel villains and why he thinks M’Baku would make a good one by saying this:
[M’Baku] is a hero, but he has so much going on. I think what makes a really great villain is that they have the power of seeing things their own way, and they can define their own circumstances.
And that’s what’s really cool about all the MCU villains so far as well. Loki always sees things his own way, and he chooses when he’s going to be an ally or an antagonist. Thanos always had the power of self-definition. That’s his greatest strength. It wasn’t the rings, it wasn’t his superpower or the fighting. It’s that he made his mind up and said, “This is how I define justice.” Because he wasn’t a bad guy; he’s just a dude who was seeking ultimate justice and balance. That’s not bad. But he defined it himself, and all the really great villains that Marvel interrogates always have that ability, so they can go anywhere.
The clashing ideologies between T’Challa and M’Baku would certainly make for an interesting conflict, especially since Wakanda is now open to the entire world. Additionally, T’Challa died in Avengers: Infinity War following Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) Snap while M’Baku lived. This means M’Baku has spent five years living (and possibly gaining more power) in a Wakanda without T’Challa, leading to the possibility of greater friction between the two.
Regardless of who the villain of Black Panther 2 is, they will have some massive shoes to fill. The first film’s villain, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), is widely considered one of the best Marvel villains of all time due to his motivations and intense commentary on slavery and white supremacy. That’s not to say that the antagonist of Black Panther 2 will automatically be considered worse than Killmonger, but it’s inevitable that comparisons will be made. With Black Panther 2 still two years away, what will happen is anyone’s guess.
More: Black Panther 2: Every Character Returning For The MCU Sequel
Which actors have played John Connor in the Terminator franchise, and how did each one make the character their own? Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cybernetic killing machine might be the face and soul of the Terminator film series, but at the heart of the narrative sits the lone figure of John Connor. Although the character himself doesn’t appear in the original film, the future birth of Sarah’s son with Kyle Reese is Terminator‘s raison d’être. Without the looming presence of John as the future leader of the Resistance, the machines win and there’s no robot assassins coming back from the future and wreaking havoc.
Or that was the case, until Terminator: Dark Fate revealed that another leader would rise up in John’s stead, just as other machines would replace Skynet. Nevertheless, John Connor remains integral to the Terminator story and has been increasingly prominent on-screen in later films, though he would always be played by a fresh actor on each occasion. This constant wheel of change has brought many different characteristics to John Connor, representing how much Terminator‘s secondary hero changes throughout his eventful life.
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Taking into account both the big and small screen, here are all the actors to have portrayed the legendary Resistance leader throughout the Terminator franchise, and the qualities they brought to this ever-changing, yet still iconic, role.
Perhaps the actor most commonly associated with the role of John Connor is Edward Furlong in 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Cast for the pivotal role in his early teens after being spotted by the film’s casting director, Furlong played an adolescent John Connor and his appearance marked the first of many on-screen appearances after only featuring as Sarah Connor’s stomach bump in the original movie. Despite not acting previously, Furlong impressed as a young John Connor and looked to have a promising film career ahead of him. Unfortunately, substance abuse ensured Terminator 2 would remain Furlong’s most well-known movie credit.
In terms of the characteristics Furlong brought to John Connor, the youngster gave a bratty, attitude-filled version of John, as the youngster entered a rebellious phase – no surprise, given his mother was incarcerated and accused of being insane due to her prophetic tales of an impending machine apocalypse. Furlong’s John was a million miles from what fans would’ve expected from a future Resistance leader, but that was the point – to highlight how John was just an ordinary kid before Skynet took over and forced him to become a soldier. As Terminator 2 progresses, John’s outward brash confidence begins to soften, and viewers see his increasingly mature qualities – bravery in facing down the T-1000, his resourcefulness and instinct to survive, and the loyal bond he develops with Arnie’s T-800.
Although Edward Furlong was the primary John Connor in Terminator 2, a pair of other actors are utilized, one older and one younger. In 2029’s timeline, John Connor is briefly played by Michael Edwards, an actor and model. Although featured very sparingly, this future John Connor is a distinguished, respected and battle-weary leader – a deliberate far cry from Furlong’s free-spirited 90s teen. Moving in the other direction, flashback scenes show John Connor as a toddler, and this version of the character was portrayed by Linda Hamilton’s own son, Dalton. He plays a very different take on John; quiet and unsteady on his feet.
Edward Furlong was originally supposed to reprise his role for 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, but his aforementioned drug addiction meant the part was recast, with Nick Stahl becoming the next actor to play John Connor. Unlike his predecessor, Stahl was comparatively well-known when his stint in the Terminator franchise arrived, turning in acclaimed performances throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Since his battle against Skynet, Stahl has featured in Sin City, Carnivale, and taken on various other big and small screen gigs, but the actor’s Terminator 3 star billing remains his most renowned.
Related: Terminator 3’s Awesome Ending Was Almost Ruined By The Studio
Playing Connor as a young man, Stahl naturally demonstrates more maturity than his predecessor, and is more action-ready. Beginning Terminator 3 very much off-the-grid, John has taken on some of the survival instincts possessed by his mother and shows some sign of becoming the hero his destiny dictates, although he’s still evidently some way off the grizzled warrior shown in the previous film’s flashforward. However, John also starts displaying some improved tactical nous, able to unpick the tricky timeline mechanics at play and figure out Katherine Brewster’s father is the key to stopping Skynet. Compared to the exuberant, youthful energy of Edward Furlong, Stahl’s John Connor is understandably more jaded than before, but some of Terminator 2‘s snarky attitude does shine through, for instance when John reacts to news of his impending demise with “well, that sucks.”
Moving into the realm of television with The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the John Connor mantle fell to young Thomas Dekker, who had previously appeared in Heroes and Star Trek: Voyager. As with the two acting talents before him, playing John would be Dekker’s most prominent role, and he has yet to top his leading man run in the Terminator TV series, despite working sporadically in television, film and music in more recent years.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles was set between Judgement Day and Rise of the Machines while John was in his mid-teens, and this tells in the character’s rapidly developing persona. A self-confessed Terminator movie fan, Dekker undoubtedly channels Edward Furlong in places, exhibiting the same kind of rebellious nature, but there are clear steps towards Nick Stahl’s interpretation, as John takes on a more troubled, grown-up edge on TV. Dekker’s John Connor shows more grit, and begins to take his role as the future savior of mankind more seriously, while the angst and self-belief he displays when faced with the dilemma of deactivating Cameron draws a direct line to the even more embattled Nick Stahl character. Like Terminator 2, The Sarah Connor Chronicles features a young, flashback John Connor, who is played here by John DeVito.
As demonstrated in no uncertain terms by the actor’s infamous on-set outburst, Christian Bale’s adult John Connor is a distinctly more intense proposition than any who came before, and undoubtedly comes closest to fulfilling his destiny as the man who would lead humanity to victory against the machines. Cast following his success as Bruce Wayne in the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, Bale was by far the most high-profile name to associate with the increasingly iconic John Connor character and, perhaps because of this, also had no trouble breaking the supposed “John Connor curse,” going on to land a variety of big roles with apparent ease after leaving Terminator.
Related: Terminator’s Movie Future After Dark Fate Bomb
As the first fully-matured iteration of John Connor (and the first to be heavily featured during the cyborg apocalypse) the John Connor of Terminator Salvation is a dedicated military man, still possessing the protagonistic recklessness of his youth, but also far more rational and level-headed. Nevertheless, John hasn’t lost the idealism almost all of his previous incarnations possessed, as he rails against his Resistance superiors after disagreeing with their callous orders. More so than ever before, Bale’s older Connor was cast as an action star, and that’s exactly what Terminator Salvation offers with its lead, devoid of the brevity and light-hearted spirit that Edward Furlong possessed. However, Christian Bale’s John Connor isn’t a complete departure for the character – the relationship between John and Marcus acts as an extension of the relationships John shared with previous “good” Terminators.
As with Terminator 2, Bale’s time as John Connor wasn’t originally intended as a one-time deal, and it was hoped Terminator Salvation would trigger a whole new era for the franchise. Alas, a redistribution of the Terminator rights meant the story would head in a different direction for the fifth movie, Terminator Genisys, and once again, the role of John Connor would change hands. Jason Clarke took over from Christian Bale, the second time in a row an actor of renown had been selected for a grown-up version of the Resistance leader, and Clarke has subsequently proved the acting curse attached to Connor remains broken.
Jason Clarke was a very different incarnation of John Connor, essentially playing a dual role. As Terminator Genisys begins, Clarke gives an older, wiser evolution of Christian Bale’s performance, sporting the facial scar that Michael Edwards had in the Terminator 2 flashforward. His leadership qualities now remarkable, his reputation legendary, this is undeniably the John Connor Skynet was so afraid of. Strangely, however, Clarke offers something more in-line with Edward Furlong’s John Connor, cracking a few more jokes than Bale did in the same role, and showcasing some of that early teenage playfulness during his conversations with Kyle Reese. Of course, this John Connor is ultimately transformed into the villain of the piece and another agent of Skynet, by which time he becomes John in name and image only.
Not a name (or, indeed, a face) many Terminator fans will recognize, Collie played John Connor in 2019’s Terminator: Dark Fate… sort of. In the opening scene of the most recent Terminator effort, the audiences witness the eventual death of John Connor at the hands of a rogue, hitherto unseen T-800 unit. This version of John has Edward Furlong’s likeness, but his face has been digitally grafted onto a body double in the form of Collie, with a voice actor replicating teenage John’s high-pitched tones. As convoluted as the effect may be, the results are impressive, and represent an amalgamation of 3 separate actors playing a single character.
More: Terminator: Dark Fate Avoids Falling Into Genisys’ Sequel Trap
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