Terminator: Every Actor Who Played John Connor (& How They Were Different)

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.

Related: Terminator 2’s Alternate Ending Would’ve Ended The Franchise

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 CityCarnivale, 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 2The 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

2020-02-21 02:02:51

Craig Elvy

Nightmare On Elm Street’s ORIGINAL Freddy Krueger Actor

As few horror villains have managed to develop the iconic status that Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street has, it’s strange to think of anyone else but Robert Englund in the role, yet another actor almost stepped up to the plate.

Movies are subject to casting changes all the time, for both major and minor roles. However, Wes Craven’s 1984 classic slasher film, A Nightmare on Elm Street likely wouldn’t be the same if another actor had taken on the role. In 2010, when the film was remade by director Samuel Bayer, actor Jackie Earle Haley stepped into the role and was harshly criticized by hardcore fans of the film franchise. Not to say Haley did a poor job, but the lack of humor – which Freddy is known for – and the more serious overall tone of the film lent for a very different experience.

Related: Every Freddy Krueger Appearance On The Simpsons

Other major actors such as Charlie Sheen and Michael J. Fox were attached to various Elm Street movies throughout the years, and at one point, The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson wrote a script for one of the movies, but Freddy is the centerpiece of the franchise for a reason, so it’s odd to think he might have turned out differently in an alternate casting universe.

In the 2010 documentary about the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, titled Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, many lesser-known details about the films arose. One of particular interest was that Wes Craven originally sought out iconic actor David Warner for the role of Freddy Krueger. Over 106 interviews were compiled for the project and explored the depth of the franchise in new, interesting ways for horror fans, but this particular tidbit of information paints an intriguing picture. Warner has been involved with other horror projects before, including the original Straw DogsThe OmenWaxworkIn The Mouth of Madness, and even worked with Craven in Scream 2.

He is a star of both stage and screen, has worked in film and television as well as lending his talents to voice acting. Warner has also been nominated for a BAFTA for Best Actor and won an Emmy for his role in the miniseries Masada in 1981. He has crossed through various genres, and has been involved with science fiction films such as Tron and various Star Trek movies, but Warner’s wide range of playing both heroes and villains throughout his body of work could have lent numerous distinct qualities to Freddy Krueger, who didn’t even get much screen time in the first film, only appearing for seven minutes, yet long enough to making a lasting impression.

Ultimately, the actor disconnected from the project due to scheduling conflicts. For a time, Craven had discussed the role with another major name in horror: Kane Hodder. Hodder went on to lend his talents to the role of Jason Voorhees in four Friday the 13th films, though he didn’t get to duke it out with Freddy Krueger in Freddy vs. Jason. While this casting change was certainly for the best, it’s an interesting piece of A Nightmare on Elm Street trivia that does certainly make fans wonder: what if?

Next: Why Patricia Arquette Didn’t Return For A Nightmare On Elm Street 4

2020-02-21 01:02:25

Jack Wilhelmi

Every Breaking Bad Actor In The X-Files | Screen Rant

Several prominent actors featured in Breaking Bad had previous roles on The X-Files, including some of the leading stars. Besides some of the faces in front of the camera, both shows had a commonality with creative mastermind Vince Gilligan. The X-Files‘ original run ended six years before Breaking Bad debuted on AMC in 2008.

The X-Files was created by Chris Carter and followed FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully as the pair investigated cases that involved the paranormal. The series, which debuted in 1993, starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as the leads and instantly became a huge hit. Along the way, Gilligan served as a writer and producer on the series. He also co-created the short-lived spinoff, The Lone Gunmen, in 2001. Following his time on The X-Files, Gilligan focused on a solo project that ended up being the highly acclaimed series, Breaking Bad.

Related: Breaking Bad Timeline: When The Shows & Movie All Take Place

Since Breaking Bad premiered in 2008, Gilligan also launched the spinoff, Better Call Saul, as well as a sequel movie, El Camino. The creator, writer, and director learned a lot while working on The X-Files and he spent time honoring his past through references, Easter eggs, and special nods. Gilligan also reunited with some actors who worked on The X-Files and hired them for Breaking Bad. Here’s every Breaking Bad actor who once appeared on The X-Files.

Before Bryan Cranston transformed into Heisenberg for Breaking Bad, he starred in a very memorable episode of The X-Files written by Gilligan. Cranston played Patrick Garland Crump in the season 6 episode “Drive.” The character was experiencing extreme pain caused by electromagnetic experiments and wound up kidnapping Mulder. He tried to drive west to alleviate the pain, but his head later exploded before Scully could save him.

Aaron Paul spent five years working on Breaking Bad before reprising his role as Jesse Pinkman for El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, but that wasn’t the first time he worked on a Gilligan project. The actor portrayed David “Winky” Winkle in The X-Files season 9 episode, “Lord of the Flies.” Winky was the leader of a group of friends who filmed dangerous stunts for a TV show. Paul’s work on the episode helped him get cast on Breaking Bad nearly seven years later.

In 1995, Dean Norris portrayed U.S. Marshal Tapia in a season 2 episode of The X-Files. When a deadly contagion began to spread, Mulder and Scully were enlisted to help U.S. Marshals in tracking down the infected. Norris went on to play another government employee with his role as DEA agent Hank Schrader in Breaking Bad. Hank was the brother-in-law of Walt, who ended up getting killed when trying to take down his relative.

Related: All Breaking Bad Characters Appearing In Better Call Saul Season 5

Michael Shamus Wiles portrayed George Merkert in 12 episodes of Breaking Bad. The character was the Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) of the Albuquerque DEA Field Office, making him the boss of Hank Schrader and Steven Gomez. Before that, Wiles played the Black-Haired Man on multiple episodes of The X-Files as well as the 1998 movie. He served as an operative to the Cigarette-Smoking Man and had multiple run-ins with Mulder and Scully.

Michael Bowen: The actor who played Jack Welker, the leader of the white supremacists on Breaking Bad, first portrayed the blind exterminator, Dwight Cooper, targeting drug dealers on The X-Files.

John Koyama: Jesse’s former meth partner and the cousin of Krazy-8, Emilio, on Breaking Bad once worked as a stunt performer on The X-Files.

Raymond Cruz: The actor played Eladio Buente on The X-Files went on to portray unhinged drug lord, Tuco Salamanca in Breaking Bad.

Javier Grajeda: After playing a desk sergeant in The X-Files, Grajeda joined Breaking Bad as Juan Bolsa, a role he reprised for Better Call Saul.

Danny Trejo: Juan Bolsa’s drug runner and DEA informant, Tortuga, on Breaking Bad also played the killer, Cesar Ocumpo, in The X-Files season 8.

Dale Dickey: Before portraying Spooge’s drug addict wife in Breaking Bad season 2, Dickey played a game warden in The X-Files season 8 finale.

Dan Desmond: The actor played Harry Odell in The X-Files episode loosely based on Tetsuo: The Iron Man before appearing as Mr. and Mrs. Pinkman’s attorney, Mr. Gardiner, in Breaking Bad.

Jim Beaver: After portraying a coroner in The X-Files, Beaver moved on to play Lawson, an arms dealer seen in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Next: Predicting The Fate Of Better Call Saul Characters Who Weren’t On Breaking Bad

2020-02-20 03:02:11

Kara Hedash

Oscars 2020: The Best Actor & Actress Nominees, Ranked By Who Deserves To Win

The 92nd Academy Awards are just around the corner, and with it, the awards season will end for another year, and people will go down in film history. In terms of the nominees this year, it has been a bumpy ride. The Academy has snubbed a lot of immensely talented people who delivered in a big way this past year in favor lesser deserving nominees, including in the acting categories.

RELATED: 8 Oscars 2020 Wins That Would Be Completely Unprecedented (But Probably Won’t Happen)

Nevertheless, there are ten leading performer nominees whose performances vary in quality and, therefore, in how deserving they are for the golden statuette. Here are the best actor and best actress nominees ranked by how much they deserve to win.


The problem for putting Jonathan Pryce’s portrayal of Pope Francis in The Two Popes is that not only does the performance not deserve the win, but it also did not earn the nomination.

That is not to say that the veteran actor’s performance is not good. It is — it’s great. The issue is that it is not good enough to be considered one of the top five of the year, especially when performances like that of Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), and Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems) are far more deserving.


The lack of diversity at this year’s Academy Awards is shameful, with the acting categories being no different. The only nominee of color is Cynthia Erivo, for her performance as Harriet Tubman in the movie Harriet.

The biopic itself is not great. However, Erivo delivers high-quality performance to a powerful role. Unfortunately, it’s not good enough for the ballot when actresses like Awkwafina (The Farewell) and Lupita Nyong’o (Us) miss out.


Had it not been for the work of the three terrific lead actresses, Bombshell would have flopped even more. Theron’s nomination comes from her transformative outing as Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.

RELATED: Charlize Theron’s 10 Best Movies Ranked, According To Rotten Tomatoes

Theron totally transforms into Kelly, but that is more down to the hair and make-up team. Her work as an actress though does shine through as she steals scenes with her ever-present talent. But compared to the other actresses in her category, and those not nominated, Theron’s performance isn’t enough to merit the win.


The genuinely terrific nominated performances truly start to kick in with Theron, and now DiCaprio’s performance in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood as Rick Dalton, an aging actor and mid-life crisis inhabitant living in 1969 Hollywood.

DiCaprio has some of cinema’s best moments in this film from his trailer meltdown to his conversation with a young actress on set. Had he not won the Oscar in 2016, this may well have been his year. What holds DiCaprio back is not the quality of his performance,  but rather the fact that Pitt outshone him.


This nomination is already Saoirse Ronan’s fourth in her young career, and it is not going to be her last. Ronan is a standout in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women and gets her nomination for her role as Jo March.

Ronan dives deep into the role of headstrong Jo and crafts a performance that is nothing short of brilliant, standing out in a movie that deserved a lot more love in awards season than it got. In terms of deservedness, Ronan will have an Oscar or two in her career, and nobody would be or should be mad if it comes now, even if there are those more deserving at this moment.


There is very little doubt that in a couple days, Renée Zellweger will walk home with the best actress Oscar for her portrayal of the legendary Judy Garland in the movie Judy. But that does not necessarily mean she is the right choice.

RELATED: Oscars 2020: Some Of The Biggest Acting Snubs From The List Of Nominees

Zellweger has been cleaning up throughout the awards circuit, and it is easy to see why. Not only does the role appeal to Hollywood, but she is sensational as Garland and gives a career-best performance as she transforms into the icon. But while this is the safe bet, two non-nominated performances truly deserved to battle it out for the award in Nyong’o and Awkwafina, and one nominated female performance deserves it a little more than Zellweger…


Scarlett Johansson is now the twelfth performer to be nominated for two Oscars in one year and deserves at least one win, more-so for her performance as Nicole in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story.

Johansson has to compete with Adam Driver’s extra screentime to keep sympathies and engagement with the audience so as not to seem like the bad guy. She does so with aplomb as she delivers dialogue beautifully, has memorable moments, and shines throughout the movie in a vulnerable and authentic performance. Scarlett Johansson has never been nominated for an Oscar before this year, and for this career-best performance, she is deserving of the award.


Despite the snubs of names like Sandler, Egerton, and Murphy, this is insanely strong this year. The final three best actor nominees all deliver different types of devastating and deserving performances to the point where it depends on what you feel on any given day between who is the most deserving. Antonio Banderas’ performance as Salvador Mallo in Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain And Glory is one of these three.

RELATED: Oscars 2020: 10 Excellent Diverse Films That Were Ignored Completely

The tone of Banderas’ performance is a departure from a lot of his previous work, and it is a graceful, eloquent performance that is powerful in its melancholy. If Banderas were to win, it would be a pleasant surprise and a history maker, but while there is a thin line between his deservedness and the next two actors, they still slightly edge him out.


Joker has received quite a bit of hate the past while. Still, whatever criticisms people have about the movie, Phoenix’s performance is undeniable, both in the fact it is outstanding and deserving, and that he is going to win the award.

Phoenix completely transforms himself, diving deep into the role both in his physicality and psyche. He nails the laugh, the mannerisms, and it is the best comic-book performance since Heath Ledger. In Phoenix’s fourth Oscar nomination, one of the finest working actors is due for a win which will come for his take on the Clown prince of Crime.


While a variety of places and people will give their take on who deserves the award most, this list places Driver as the most deserving. His performance as Charlie Barber in Marriage Story is outstanding.

Johansson matches Driver throughout the movie when she can, but falls low on the list because the Oscar truly belongs to Awkwafina or Lupita Nyong’o. Adam Driver does not have that issue. While the best actor category had snubs, Driver is still deserving of the award. It will not be his last nomination, nor is it his first, and the safe money is he will win one day. But for his real, devastating and nuanced performance that is restrained and at times tear-inducing, Driver deserves the win.

NEXT: Adam Driver: 10 Best Movies (According To IMDb)

2020-02-07 01:02:37

Rhys McGinley

5 Reasons Joaquin Phoenix Should Win The Best Actor Oscar (And 5 Reasons He Shouldn’t)

The 92nd Academy Awards are set to air this Sunday and with them a slew of controversy. The overall lack of representation has reared its head for many categories, and the show remains a hostless mess.

RELATED: The 10 Best Movies About Class Warfare From The Past Decade

Without a doubt, though, one of the more controversial films to be nominated this year is Todd Phillips’s Joker, the dramatic adaptation of the Batman villain’s backstory. Out of all of its nominations, the best actor award seems to be tailor-made for Joaquin Phoenix’s performance. Here are five reasons he deserves it to win it, and five reasons he doesn’t.

10 Should: He Finally Deserves A Win

Joaquin Phoenix is one of the most remarkable performers of his generation. His varied filmography stretches across genres and mediums, earning him praise across the board from his peers, filmmakers, and the general public.

Phoenix has been nominated three times before Joker, earning attention for his performances in The Master (2012), Walk the Line (2005), and Gladiator (2000). After giving so much to his craft, Phoneix deserves some recognition—if not for this performance, then for his many before.

9 Shouldn’t: A Lot Of Acting Isn’t Always Best Acting

There is an unfortunate trend among the Academy to award the actor or actress who gave the most bombastic and unhinged performance the most significant accolades. It can be seen among many of the acting categories throughout the year, with Allison Janey beating out equally impressive but more subdued performances such as Laurie Metcalf in 2018.

RELATED: Marriage Story: 5 Scenes That Broke Our Hearts (& 5 Scenes That Made Us Laugh Out Loud)

The constant praise towards Joaquin’s performance in the role shows a profound misunderstanding of the craft of acting. Joaquin’s performance is commendable, but it takes just as much work and concentration to bring to life roles such as Adam Driver’s in Marriage Story or Johnathan Pryce in The Two Popes.

8 Should: It Would Be A Win For The Comic Book Genre

The divide between critics, filmmakers, and fans of comic book movies has never felt more prevalent. With the overblown conversations surrounding Martin Scorsese’s comments on the genre paired with the nomination of Phoenix’s performance, the conversation has hit its peak.

It Joaquin Phoneix was to win the award for best actor, it would be a legitimization for the genre moving forward. It would assist in the legacy already set forth by other oscar-winning films such as Black Panther and Into The Spider-Verse.

7 Shouldn’t: Heath Ledger Already Won For The Same Role

While it isn’t a disqualifier, there is a bit of a bitter taste when one considers Heath Ledger had already been awarded for his performance as the same character. The two characterizations might be vastly different, but it is still the same literary and film character.

Why should the academy award a performance that is a reimagining of many others while four other performances are treading far newer and original ground? This is not a knock on the performance itself, but a call for a reevaluation of what should and should not be awarded—or, in this case, re-rewarded.

6 Should: His Portrayal Of Mental Illness Was Startlingly Accurate

One of the most uneasy aspects of Joaquin’s performance in Joker was the deep commitment to realism, especially when it came to Arthur’s mental illness. Phoneix is a well-known method player, and, as such, immersed himself in conversations, literature, and experiences of real-world mental illness patients.

The physicality, vocalization, and mannerisms were all startlingly accurate, leaving Arthur as a tragically believable and underserved victim of his own trauma and broader systems. For the first time, you saw the real tragedy behind the clown makeup, and what could turn a broken person into a villain.

5 Shouldn’t: The Tonal Dissonance Of Pairing Realism With Comics

Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoneix fully committed to telling a story steeped in realism, with all the blood and grit that you could imagine. Sadly, while it is viscerally affective, pairing it with the comic book background of the character, the city, and the ensemble creates a cacophony of disjointed parts.

There is a limit between the fantastical and escapist worlds of characters like the Joker and their realistic reimagining. Joker steps a bit too far to really drive its point (if it has any) home. The minute the iconography of this comic is stamped over this story, it seems to lose a lot of its thematic power.

4 Should: His Physical Commitment To The Role

While the Academy has a tendency to over-nominate those who drastically change their appearance (we’re looking at you, Christian Bale), there’s no denying how committed Phoneix was to become the character of Arthur physically.

The amount of weight that Phoneix lost was astonishing, clocking in at a weight loss of fifty-two pounds. This weight loss lead to a body that was easily contorted and twisted into angles that were beyond offputting. His appearance alone deserves some sort of recognition.

3 Shouldn’t: There Was A Lot Of Preexisting Material To Work From

While some of the other performances this year are representing real-life individuals, Joaquin’s Phoneix has so much baggage and inspiration from other projects it almost unbearable. Not only does the character he’s playing have a history in print that spans decades, but the film itself also has to contend with a cinematic history of inspiration.

RELATED: Joker: 10 Essential Films To Watch Next

Many, many people have played the Joker since the character’s creation for comics. Whether its voice acting or live-action, there is a lot to pull from. Looking past the origins of the property, the film itself is heavily inspired by Martin Scorcese’s earliest works. The entire movie feels like an amalgamation of other films and comics of the past.

2 Should: It Would Be A Populist Win For The Oscars

To say there is a divide among the general public, critics, and Academy voters would be an understatement. Voters seem to want to award a huge mixed bag of films, critics want to award lesser-known and celebrated films, and much of the general public wants mainstream representation at the awards.

If Joker was to win in any category—but especially acting—it would be a huge populist win between the Academy and the general public. While many critics might disagree with the choice, a huge proponent of mass audience members would celebrate it.

1 Shouldn’t: Much Of His Other Work Was More Deserving Of Oscar Attention

As stated, Joaquin Phoneix has been nominated several times for his other roles in films, such as The Master. While those nominations, as well as this one, were earned, there’s no denying that it is a strange move not to nominate a lot of his other, far more deserving performances.

The one that instantly comes to mind for many critics is You Were Never Really Here. The film and Phoenix’s performance tread a lot of similar ground as Joker but do so in a very different—and arguably better—way. This is another physically transformative role from Phoneix, who gained a ton of weight for the film.

NEXT: Joaquin Phoenix’s 10 Best Movies According To Rotten Tomatoes

2020-02-06 01:02:48

Matt Berger

Crisis on Infinite Earths: Monitor Actor Getting Hate For Killing Arrow

Crisis on Infinite Earths Monitor actor has recently been receiving hate online for killing Green Arrow. The Monitor, played by actor LaMonica Garrett, has appeared in the different CW superhero shows. The Monitor played a major role in Crisis on Infinite Earths, the latest installment in the annual, multi-show CW crossover event. The 5-episode story arc culminated in Green Arrow being killed while trying to save the world. Oliver Queen’s death has major ramifications within the Arrowverse, and apparently, in real life as well.

The Monitor first appeared in the Arrowverse during Elseworlds, the 2018 crossover event. In Elseworlds, the Monitor tested the Arrowverse heroes to gauge their moral fiber. It was then when Oliver Queen, aka Green Arrow, made a bargain with the Monitor. Queen promised to help the Monitor prepare for the coming Crisis in exchange for the lives of Supergirl and The Flash being saved. During the most recent crossover, Green Arrow bravely fought to save the people of Earth-38 as he carried out his promise to help the monitor during the Crisis. This resulted in the hero’s death.

Related: All 5 Episodes Of Crisis On Infinite Earths Are On Arrow Season 8 Blu-Ray

Monitor actor LaMonica Garrett shared a screenshot on Twitter of a recent direct message he received on Instagram. The profanity-laden message shows a fan blaming Garrett for killing Oliver Queen. The actor captioned the tweet, “Welcome to my Instagram DM’s.” Garrett posted a followup with a GIF, joking that he’d have to start leaving his house in the morning incognito while hiding behind bushes.

This actually prompted Marc Guggenheim, the Crisis showrunner, to post a PSA on his own Twitter. “PSA: These are all fictional characters. Discourse should never sink to the level of threats. In any case, @lamonica is an actor playing a role. He is not responsible. Kindly grow up or, in the alternative, demonstrate simple human decency. Thanks.” Judging from these tweets, it appears that this may not be an isolated incident.

As Guggenheim states, LaMonica Garrett is just the actor who portrays the Monitor, and is no way responsible for a fictional character’s death. This may sound like the most obvious thing that can be said, but apparently it needs to be reiterated. Whether fans believe that Garrett did an exceptional job portraying the role of the Monitor, or if they disagree, calling out the actor for something his fictional character did is absolutely absurd. It’s even more ridiculous when considering in the fact that Garrett’s Arrow character, The Monitor, did everything he did to save the multiverse within the shows. The Monitor was one of the “good guys.” It is good to see that Garrett has taken the criticism in stride, and has a sense of humor about it. At the end of the day, it’s important to maintain a sense of basic decency and civility when engaging with anyone online, and to remember that the actors are also people.

Next: How The Monitor Died In The Crisis On Infinite Earths Comics

Source: LaMonica Garrett/Twitter

2020-02-06 01:02:07

Jun Chung

Every Office Actor In Parks & Recreation | Screen Rant

The Office and Parks and Recreation share many similarities, including cast members. Both sitcoms aired on NBC and could be identified as workplace comedies. Despite the fact that both series have ended their respective runs, they each continue to gain loyal followers.

The Office first made its debut in 2005. The series, developed by Greg Daniels, was based on the U.K. hit-series of the same name. Viewership was rocky during the show’s first season, but it later found its footing and became one of NBC’s bright spots in their TV lineup. Four years later, Daniels, along with Michael Schur, a writer and producer on The Office, created Parks and Rec. The duo hit gold again with a series that followed Leslie Knope and her fellow employees working for a small-town government.

Related: Parks & Rec’s Original Title (& Why It Was Changed)

For a time, Parks and Rec was intended to be a spinoff of The Office with a key cast member moving from one show to the other. Daniels and Schur quickly abandoned that idea and made Parks and Rec a standalone series. That, however, didn’t stop using actors in The Office for roles on Parks and Rec. Here’s every actor who has appeared in both NBC sitcoms.

Jones was the only actor to have prominent roles in both The Office and Parks and Recreation. She joined The Office at the start of season 3, portraying Karen Filippelli, a co-worker of Jim’s at Dunder Mifflin Stamford branch. The character relocated to Scranton after the merger, but Jones left the show ahead of season 4. Jones made a few more cameos and was later cast as Ann Perkins in Parks and Rec, a role she played for the majority of the show’s run. At one point, Jones was cast to headline Parks and Rec when it was still planned as a spinoff of The Office.

Arnett appeared in The Office season 7 as Fred Henry, a man who interviewed for Michael Scott’s managerial position. Prior to his cameo in the episode, which featured several other guest stars, Arnett played the MRI technician in Parks and Rec who went on a date with Leslie in season 2. The actor was married to Amy Poehler, the actress who portrayed Leslie, at the time of his cameo.

Huebel portrayed A.J., an employee at Dunder Mifflin Nashua, in multiple episodes of The Office. Viewers will remember that Holly Flax dated A.J. for a time before she ended up with Michael. The actor joined Parks and Rec for a season 6 episode as the character Harvey. When the Parks Department was planning the Unity Concert, Ben tried to rent tents from Tent World’s CEO, Harvey, who wouldn’t give him a fair deal, prompting Ben to blackmail him.

Related: The Office: What Happened To Michael Scott After Season 7

Her name might not be recognizable but Eden played two memorable characters in both series. Eden played the chair model in The Office that Michael became infatuated with before learning of her death. In Parks and Rec, Eden played the winner of Miss Pawnee ’09, Trish Ianetta, a character that appeared in two episodes during season 2.

Jon Ingle: The actor played one of the Dunder Mifflin co-founders, Robert Dunder, in an episode of The Office before appearing in the second episode of Parks and Rec as a man that Leslie encountered while canvassing.

Eugene Cordero: After playing a gas station attendant in The Office season 7, Cordero portrayed Minister Xorpaxx-7 in the Parks and Rec series finale. The actor would also be known for portraying Pillboi in The Good Place.

Michael Patrick McGill: The actor played Roy Anderson’s brother, Kenny, twice in The Office season 3, and again in the show’s ninth and final season. In Parks and Recreation, McGill portrayed a sanitation worker named Steve that gave Leslie and April a hard time when they wanted a shot at being garbagemen.

Next: Parks & Rec’s Original Andy Plan Would’ve Been Terrible

2020-01-26 02:01:48

Kara Hedash

Poltergeist’s Terrifying Clown Doll Almost Really Killed An Actor

Poltergeist‘s sinister clown doll gave many viewers nightmares, but in reality, a malfunctioning effect almost legitimately killed one of the actors. Rated PG – although made in a time slightly before the creation of the PG-13 rating by the MPAA – 1982’s Poltergeist is one of the scariest movies ever made that isn’t rated R. In fact, it may be one of the scariest movies regardless of rating. While Poltergeist‘s spirits initially seem friendly enough, as the film goes on, things get crazier and crazier, as well as more and more frightening.

It’s a bit hard to choose just what moment in Poltergeist is the scariest. There’s the part where Freeling son Robbie is almost eaten by an enormous tree. Then again, there’s also the scene in which one of the paranormal researchers appears to be ripping his own face off, or the scene where Diane Freeling falls into the mud-filled pool, only to encounter corpses (played by real human skeletons). Poltergeist truly has a lot to offer in the scares department.

Related: Every Poltergeist Movie Ranked, Worst To Best

For many fans though, the most frightening scene in Poltergeist involves Robbie’s clown doll, which is pretty creepy even in its normal, non-threatening state. It’s giant, immovable grin is deeply unsettling, and Robbie begins the film a bit afraid of it already. Later on though, the doll gets possessed by the attacking spirits, and attempts to kill Robbie. Unfortunately, actor Oliver Robins almost died for real in the process.

Sadly, there’s always been a dearth of behind the scenes details about the making of Poltergeist, most likely due to the longstanding controversy concerning whether Tobe Hooper or Steven Spielberg really directed the film. One bit of info that has made the rounds involves the shooting of that aforementioned scene where the clown doll turns evil and attacks Robbie Freeling. To accomplish the sequence, the crew built a mechanical version of the doll, and it turns out that this piece of machinery wasn’t exactly perfect.

During the part of the scene where the clown doll wraps its long arms around Robbie’s neck and begins choking him, the mechanical doll accomplished its goal way too well. The arms tightened to a dangerous degree, causing child actor Oliver Robins to yell out that he couldn’t breathe. Hooper and Spielberg mistakenly thought Robins was just improvising a reaction to the scene, but when Robins’ face started to change color, Spielberg realized the kid was no longer acting. Spielberg rushed over to Robins and pried off the mechanical clown doll, saving his life. Thank goodness he did, as Poltergeist‘s cast already has a sad amount of death associated with it.

More: Poltergeist 2’s Villain Is So Scary Because The Actor Was Dying In Real Life

2020-01-26 02:01:17

Michael Kennedy

Justice League: Zack Snyder Reveals New Look At Cut Atom Actor

The latest image from the famed “Snyder Cut” of Justice League has arrived online in the form of an image of Ryan Choi. It has become increasingly common knowledge that the version of Justice League released into the theaters was a stark departure from what Zack Snyder had intended, owing to the movie’s notorious reshoots following Snyder’s departure in the wake of a family tragedy. The two years since the movie’s release has seen the demand for the Snyder Cut of Justice League grow increasingly mainstream, with the two-year anniversary in November seeing the issue explode like never before.

Not only would a slew of Hollywood A-listers make their support for the Snyder Cut’s release known, but Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck would also take to social media to officially give it their own support. For his part, Snyder has continued to keep the fire burning with images and storyboards from his version of the movie on social media. More recently, he’s also released a T-shirt relating to the movie, which redubs his version of the film as “Zack Snyder’s Justice League“.

RELATED: Justice League: What Black Suit Superman Means For The Snyder Cut

Snyder’s latest tease shows an image of Ryan Choi, captioned with the words “Ryan Choi, Director of nanotechnology Star labs“.  The third man to adopt the mantle of The Atom in the DC Universe, Ryan Choi is just one of many characters excised completely from the theatrical version of Justice League. While Snyder had previously confirmed Choi’s appearance in his version of the movie, his latest image offers hints of Choi’s role in the film, while further pointing to the significance of S.T.A.R. Labs in the Snyder Cut.

Ryan Choi’s appearance in Justice League is very likely a minor one, and equally likely not one to involve him donning the shrinking suit of The Atom. However, the image released by Snyder does indicate that Choi’s role in the movie is more than a mere cameo, and probably involves a decent amount of interaction with Cyborg’s father, Dr. Silas Stone, who was killed in Snyder’s cut of the film. Moreover, the image is also the latest released by Snyder to be set in S.T.A.R. Labs, which further solidifies it as a significant location in his version of Justice League.

Previous images released by Snyder point to there being a major battle between the League and Steppenwolf in S.T.A.R. Labs, while also being the location of Silas Stone’s death. This is further strengthened by a fight reel video released by stunt coordinator Freddy Bouciegues, which includes snippets of what appears to be Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg battling Steppenwolf. With this newest image released by Snyder, it only further cements S.T.A.R. Labs as a major location in the Snyder Cut, while alluding to Ryan Choi’s role in the movie being somewhat bigger than previously thought.

As things stand right now, Snyder’s version of Justice League is very much a mainstream topic. Indeed, public interest has risen to such heights that even the makers of 2009’s Fanboys are now joking about basing the sequel around a similar quest to retrieve the Snyder Cut. Even with a slew of superhero movies with actual release dates attached set to make landfall in 2020, it is certainly telling that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is generating the extraordinary amount of hype that it is without any release date of its own.

NEXT: Justice League: Why HBO Max Is Perfect For Releasing The Snyder Cut

Source: Zack Snyder

2020-01-21 03:01:13

Brad Curran

Michael Myers Actor Got Advice From A Real Killer For Halloween 2018

It’s not uncommon for actors to go to peculiar lengths for to get inspired for their characters, but James Jude Courtney admitted to getting tips from a real killer for his portrayal of Michael Myers in 2018’s Halloween. The successful entry grossed over $250 million worldwide and received a 79% critic rating from Rotten Tomatoes. 

The Blumhouse-produced Halloween ignores the existence of the seven follow-up films after the 1978 original and serves as a direct sequel. Set 40 years after the events of the original, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is still in the nightmare, unable to return to a normal life, even though Michael has been imprisoned. However, while he’s being transferred to another facility, the bus crashes and he escapes. Laurie sees this as the best chance to stop him once and for all. In addition to Curtis reprising her role as Laurie, the cast is rounded out by Judy Greer as her daughter, Andi Matichak as her granddaughter, and Will Patton as Officer Hawkins. 

Related: Halloween 2018: All Actors Who Play Michael Myers

James Jude Courtney is a new face behind the mask of Michael Myers. The actor opened in an interview about where he got the inspiration to portray the iconic killer.

This role wasn’t the first time James Jude Courtney has portrayed the Boogeyman. He played a child-killing demon in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and a hitman in 1993’s The Hit List, making him familiar with being the bad guy. However, in an interview with Vanity Fair, he explained that his inspiration for Michael Myers came advice from a real-life hitman.

In the interview, he details an account where he met an ex-hitman through a mutual acquaintance. The man served his time in the Northwest and wanted someone to write a story about his life, so he eventually moved in with Courtney, shortly after leaving a safe home. During that time, the two went to see a screening of a movie Courtney was in called The Hit List. When it was over, the man informed him, “Jimmy, it’s a really nice movie, but that’s not how you kill people.” After further explanation, Courtney developed what would later be applied to his performance as Michael Myers. The actor’s take away from the experience was unique, and he stated, There’s a stealth efficiency to the way an actual trained killer works. Movies tend to dilute that quality with dramatic pauses and dialogue, which a true predator would never waste time doing. That efficiency is what I took to the part of Michael Myers.

While Courtney wasn’t sitting in a prison and interviewing serial killers à la Mindhunter, there’s still something deeply unsettling about getting tips from someone who used to kill people. Then again, there’s only so much you can do with a character that doesn’t speak and wears a mask, so inspiration is likely happily received from any source. It’s also a role that has been played by several others over the course of the franchise, so there are big shoes to fill. There are shots of the film that have Michael standing still for dramatic effect and to pay homage to earlier entries. However, with the efficiency he took to his part, there is a fluidity to his movements that make for an effective madman. James Jude Courtney will return as Michael Myers in Halloween Kills later this year. The saga will officially come to an end with Halloween Ends, which is expected to drop in 2021.

More: Halloween Kills Should Be Set The Same Day As The 2018 Reboot

2020-01-20 04:01:20

Blake Stimac