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Dayo Okeniyi Lands Pivotal Lead Role As Joe Morton's Son In New 'Terminator' Trilogy Beating Out John Boyega

by Tambay A. Obenson
March 28, 2014 2:55 PM
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Dayo Okeniyi

Dayo Okeniyi (maybe most recognizable to most as Thresh in The Hunger Games), has landed what could be the highest profile gig of his young acting career, playing what is being described as a star-making pivotal role as one of the leads in Terminator: Genesis, the reboot of the hit franchise, set up at Paramount Pictures and produced by Skydance Productions

Okeniyi won the role over his competition for it, John Boyega; Both actors are said to have been the top 2 choices for the part.

Apparently, both Okeniyi and Boyega were also battling for a lead role in JJ Abrams Star Wars reboot; So with Okeniyi moving into Terminator: Genesis, could we maybe say that Boyega will indeed be in Star Wars then? 

Per Deadline, Okeniyi will play Danny Dyson, son of the cyborg developer Miles Dyson (who you might recall was played by Joe Morton in Terminator 2: Judgment Day). Danny Dyson is described as a Steve Jobs-like tech genius character who figures heavily into the conclusion of the film. He holds the key to the technological development that makes Skynet possible.

Okeniyi joins Emilia Clarke is Sara Connor, Jason Clarke as her son John Connor, Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, and Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role as the cyborg. Alan Taylor is directing the film, which is set for a July 1, 2015 release.

This will be the first of a new trilogy of Terminator films, scheduled to begin shooting in Louisiana in the next couple of months.

Okeniyi recently co-starred opposite Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde in Universal's Endless Love

He also appeared in an indie coming-of-age drama titled The Spectacular Now, an adaptation of a novel by Tim Tharp, directed by James Ponsoldt (Smashed).

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  • Alias | March 30, 2014 2:30 PMReply

    @Peggy: I don't know that fewer Americans who are white or black are landing big roles be it on TV or in movies, perhaps its more noticeable because we don't know WHO many of these actors are that land big roles in, for example, a major franchise, and many of them seem to come out of nowhere (but have a long history of work in their own country).

    White actors, in general -- whether foreign or American -- across the age and experience spectrum receive more opportunities than their black peers, in any country.

    However, because S&A specifically deals with the entertainment industry from a black perspective and, arguably, the majority of visitors to this site are American, the few and
    far between announcements of actors to many projects can, often, seem skewed toward
    non-American black actors that many fans, not only of this site, but also in the general population have never heard of.

    Basically, I think it all comes down to perspective and perception, which is reality. I certainly cannot disagree with you that, sometimes, it does seem that, overwhelmingly, CDs, producers, Directors, etc. (the decision-makers) in Hollywood seem more biased against black American actors as opposed to their foreign counterparts when it comes to the rigorous training that many foreign actors (black and white) receive in other parts of the world. It's a far more streamlined, structured operation, as most are preparing for careers on stage -- not movies and TV. Hence, there's a systematic pipeline, if you will, for how one becomes an actor, and aspirants are expected to follow a certain track. As opposed to the U.S. where it's plausible for anyone to draw success as an actor without any formal training (read: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, as examples).

    That being said I think for many Hollywood decision makers, despite the fact that people from
    all over the world come HERE to make it as an actor and see this as the pinnacle of achievement if they're able to succeed in America, Americans still have an inferiority complex when it comes to how we/they are perceived by foreigners -- especially Europeans/Australians.

    I would posit that within the collective subconscious of many CDs, producers, and directors in Hollywood, there is a believe that, on some level, foreign-educated actors are better, more well-prepared and more skilled at their craft, simply by virtue of being foreign-born, having beautiful accents that make their elocution and articulation of the English language much more mellifluous; as well as how they carry themselves. It's very, very different than your average mid-westerner or east or west coast American.

    I think an partial example that we all recently witnessed was with how enamored the media was by Lupita N'Oyongo. It's as if they'd NEVER before encountered an American black actress who carried herself with the dignity, grace, poise, intelligence and humility of Lupita.

    So that's my brief dissertation, in a nutshell.

    I will close by saying that ticket sales are only declining amongst a small group of theatregoers -- millennials -- but increased ticket prices offset that deficit, so that's not something directly affecting the market. ...Moreover, what has always attracted moviegoers to the movies -- or TV or theater -- is a great story and great acting to support it. If you don't have those two elements then you have nothing. Having a "name" actor doesn't guarantee that audiences will flock to see said "name" actor. And having a no-name actor(s) doesn't mean audiences will be uninterested in seeing a vehicle with someone whose work they are unfamiliar with. "12 YS" proved, and continues to prove, all of that and more. A year ago no one in mainstream America knew who any of the lead/supporting actors in that movie were, much less director McQueen. ...And look what happened.

  • turner | March 30, 2014 11:48 AMReply

    John Boyega looks more like Joe Morton than this guy.

  • Peggy | March 30, 2014 8:52 AMReply

    Why are there fewer black and white American actors getting roles? Doesn't anyone think that might be one of the reasons for declining ticket sales in the US? No offense but there is a certain amount of "remoteness" and blandness to the foreign actors. I just can't get excited about them.

  • turner | March 30, 2014 11:54 AM

    True! The British invasion is real. All the super heroes are played by them and they're sneaky too with their facilitation for American accents! lol

  • marvin | March 29, 2014 5:55 PMReply

    I've got to learn how to do that one-eyebrow thing. Dashing!

  • CareyCarey/CC | March 28, 2014 9:40 PMReply

    @Gigi Young, SAVANNA MORGAN, Miles Ellison, Sergio, JMac, Blutopaz, Carl, Charles Judson, Tyler Perry, Oprah, Spike and all who have graciously put up with my nonsense over the years I'd like to say Thank You! Now I am moving on to another play ground. Shadow and Act has been big fun and great balls of fire, but it time. It's time I take this show on the road to Twitter and Facebook... ugh. And I invite you all to follow me @AndyandKingfish. My name is Carey Darnell. That's right, all along I was using my real name (my friends simply know me as "Darnell", most don't even know my first name. I have a brother named "Gary" so since our names sounded alike, I went by my last name since I was a snotty nose kid... and "CareyCarey" was a good cover of sort.

    Anyway, it has been fun but it's time to move on and move on up to where everyone seems to be hangin' these days. I know this good news will be a blessing to many's ears, especially Tambay. That man probably got more complaints about my antics than the post office receives when someone's food stamps don't arrive on time. So see y'all at Facebook/Twitter @AndyandKingfish. Bye now

  • And Another Carey Moniker | March 30, 2014 12:36 AM

    No more fixated than you are for coming back to this post Carey...I mean WHAT. lol

  • What | March 30, 2014 12:27 AM

    @Another Carey Moniker, given your multiple postings you're obviously going to miss him more than you profess. WOW -- fixated much?

  • Another Carey Moniker | March 29, 2014 7:09 PM

    That's right. You will be missed! I love you so much! You are the best poster in the entire world! No one brought so much knowledge and facts as you did. God should be ashamed for not being as smart as you. Take care Carey!

  • Lurker Fan | March 29, 2014 6:29 PM

    I wish you well, you will be missed, I will follow.

  • Finally | March 29, 2014 5:36 PM

    Good riddance.

  • Darkan | March 28, 2014 8:27 PMReply

    Jesus, it must be a film funded by British or international financing. Did they see any black American who could've played those roles? Smdh.

  • JulieB | March 28, 2014 10:01 PM

    Are you serious?? Why is there a need to split hairs over blackness. Black is black, no matter where they come from. And these black people do live in America. Dayo Okeniyi is American.

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