Actor in talks for role of John Connor

Christian Bale, cyborg foe.

Thesp is closing in on the role of John Connor in Warner Bros.’ reboot of the “Terminator” franchise.

Project puts Bale in two consecutive summer tentpoles for the studio: He will reprise his role as the Caped Crusader in “The Dark Knight” next summer, followed by “Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins” in summer 2009.

Bale will play Connor, now in his 30s, in the fourth installment of the “Terminator” franchise, to be set in the future. McG is directing the project, skedded for an April start in Budapest.

Bale has been rumored to be involved in the project for weeks, but there had been conflicting reports about his role.

Warners picked up North American distribution rights to “Terminator Salvation” in October. International rights are still open; Sony has first rights to those. Privately funded Halcyon is producing with former Intermedia CEO Moritz Borman; Borman, who exec produced “T3,” teamed with Halcyon to acquire the rights to the franchise from ex-Carolco partners Andy Vajna and Mario Kassar (Daily Variety, Oct. 10).

Producers intend the project to be the first in a trilogy reinventing the franchise. It’s not clear whether Arnold Schwarzenegger will appear in it. The Terminator role made him into a star, but he’s now busy running the state of California; his role in “T3″ was his last.

Bale, who appears as one of the Bob Dylan personas in “I’m Not There,” toggles between tentpoles and more serious-minded fare. He’s stepping into a role played by Nick Stahl and Edward Furlong (as a young Connor) in earlier installments of the “Terminator” franchise.

Bale also is attached to “Killing Pablo,” one of two projects about the late Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

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