By Mark Savage
Entertainment reporter, BBC News in Cannes
Christian Bale is to play rebel leader John Connor in three sequels to the Terminator franchise, its producers have revealed.
Bale's other films include American Psycho and The Prestige
The Welsh-born star, who is soon to be seen in Batman Begins sequel The Dark Knight, has already started shooting the first of those films, Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins.
"He's really an actor's actor, so we're very proud," said Victor Kubicek of film company Halcyon.
Charlie's Angels director McG is directing the new film, which is due to be released on 22 May 2009.
"Christian was our first choice and he's a big fan of The Terminator, so we're very lucky," Kubicek told the BBC at the Cannes Film Festival.
"But with Batman he's already done the whole franchise thing, so we weren't sure he'd respond."
Luckily, said Kubicek's business partner Derek Anderson, "he read the script and he loved it, so he's signed on for all three."
US rap star Common will also have a lead role in the film, as will Australian actor Sam Worthington, who will soon be seen in Titanic director James Cameron's science-fiction epic Avatar.
The producers would not reveal whether Arnold Schwarzenegger would reprise his role as the Terminator. Nor would they discuss character names or plot details.
Schwarzenegger played the Terminator in three blockbuster films
"We can't talk about the story points at all," said Kubicek, adding the project was being kept strictly under wraps.
"Not everyone gets to see the script. They only see the part of the script that's relevant to the job they're doing."
But the producers promised not to disappoint fans of the time-travelling franchise, which has also spawned TV series The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
"We're both huge Terminator fans and we're just approaching it from the point of view of what we'd like to see," said Anderson.
"Any time we're feeling pressure we just take a step back and say, as fans, 'what would we like to see?'"