Was This Former Buffalo Bill Almost “The Terminator?”
Many people know the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, "The Terminator." But did you know that role almost could have gone to a former Buffalo Bill?
The Terminator franchise started back in 1984 with Arnold Schwarzenegger (yes, the body builder and former governor of California) as a soldier who goes back in time to stop a robot from killing a woman who is about to give birth the future savior of humanity. I know...it sounds complicated. But it was a huge movie and the beginning of multiple sequels. It was also an iconic role for Schwarzenegger and his famous line, "I'll Be Back!"
But some had suggested a different actor for that famous role, and that person used to play football for The Buffalo Bills.
The suggestion for this killing machine? None other than...OJ Simpson.
It was Schwarzenegger himself that brought light to it. He told The Independent,
“It was actually OJ Simpson that was the first cast Terminator. Then somehow [James Cameron] felt that he was not as believable for a killing machine. So then they hired me. That’s really what happened.” - Arnold Schwarzenegger
Although that's not the story that director James Cameron tells. He will agree that Simpson's name was thrown around as the starring role, but never really thought it was a good idea. According to an interview that he gave on The HBO Max talk show “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace" recently, he essentially said that the idea kind of fell on deaf ears. It was a suggestion from someone else that was instrumental in the movie but he thought it was not a good idea.
“Very early on, a highly placed person at one of the two studios that funded that film had a brilliant idea and called me up and said, ‘Are you sitting down?’ I said, ‘Well, no, I’m not.’ He said, ‘Are you sitting? O.J. Simpson for the Terminator!’ I said, ‘I actually think that’s a bad idea.’ It didn’t go anywhere.” - James Cameron
Simpson did get some acting roles following his days on the football field, but it looks as though "The Terminator" was never really one that was going to see the light of any big screens.
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