Arnold Schwarzenegger says OJ Simpson was cast early on as The Terminator – but just couldn’t be ‘sold as a killing machine’
Arnold Schwarzenegger has revealed that movie producers originally had another celebrity in mind to play The Terminator – none other than OJ Simpson.
The former California governor discussed the casting decision that saw him become a movie star in a new Netflix docuseries about his life in the 1970s, revealing how producers originally thought he should play rebel fighter Kyle Reese and then-football star Simpson . the killer robot.
But as production progressed, Schwarzenegger said, “no one” at Orion Pictures — which distributed the blockbuster — thought Simpson would be believable as a “killing machine.”
James Cameron, the director, then urged him to take the part, but the now 75-year-old said he was reluctant to do so.
It’s just the latest reveal from the docuseries, chronicling Schwarzenegger’s life, acting career and transition into politics.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, 75, revealed in his new Netflix docuseries how OJ Simpson was originally cast as the Terminator
In the series, which premieres Wednesday, Schwarzenegger was joined by Cameron as the two reminisced about his rise to fame in the late 1970s.
During their conversation, Cameron talked about how Mike Medavoy, the co-founder of Orion Pictures, narrowed the cast down to Simpson as Terminator and Schwarzenegger as Kyle Reese – who was later played by Michael Biehn.
“Mike Medavoy told me the movie was all cast,” Cameron said, recalling Medavoy telling him, “I worked all this out. PB Simpson and Arnold Schwarzenegger.’
“I said, ‘Well, what’s what?’ Those two names sounded so wrong to me.’
When Schwarzenegger showed up on set, Cameron said he was immediately struck by the bodybuilder’s appearance.
“I just sit there and watch him. It’s like the sound cuts out and I watch the lights kicking against the glass windows hit his face as the door opens. I mean, I think, “He’s got a great face,” said the famous director.