Arnie is 70 today! Here's 7 really big roles he's turned down over the years
Happy birthday, Arnie!
Yup, the famous Austrian Oak / Governator / (insert your favourite nickname here) hits the big 7-0 today, after decades of bringing some of the best and most entertaining movies of all time to the big screen.
We were even lucky enough to chat to him a few years back, and even back then, he saw big things in the future of one of our sporting stars.
But in terms of his own career, it is actually quite an incredible line-up of movies: the Terminator series, Predator, True Lies, the Conan movies, The Running Man, Twins, the original Total Recall, Commando. COMMANDO, YOU GUYS!
Not every movie was a hit, though (cough, Batman & Robin, cough, Jingle All The Way, cough cough), but there were some very successful movies that Arnie was reportedly given first dibs on, but he turned down or they didn't work out for one reason or another.
So to celebrate his seventh decade on the planet, here are seven big roles that he was originally in line for:
AIR FORCE ONE
Can you imagine someone pictured Arnie in a position of political power? LOL. We're not sure if the President would've remained American if Arnie had got the part (accents aren't exactly his strong suit), but he was in the mix with Tom Hanks (?) and Dennis Quaid (?!) before the screenwriter announced that he had actually written the part for Kevin Costner, who eventually turned it down to direct mega-flop The Postman, and the role instead went to Harrison Ford.
A few things to digest here: Die Hard is based on a book Nothing Lasts Forever, which itself was a sequel to another book, The Detective, which was adapted into 1968 film with Frank Sinatra. However, Nothing Lasts Forever was to be adapted into a sequel for Arnie's 1985 hit film Commando, but then Arnie decided he wanted to do something a little different (his next film to be shot once Commando was released was Predator), and the project was shopped to Harrison Ford and Richard Gere. Only when they all turned it down, was it then offered to Bruce Willis, and the rest is history.
While we absolutely love the Cage/Travolta match-up that it ended up with, the first two choices for the main roles were Arnie and Sylvester Stallone, which would have been ... incredible. Although back in the mid-90's, these two still weren't the bestest buddies they appear to be today, but even seeing them share the screen in The Expendables and Escape Plan gives us a great hint at the kind of chemistry they may have had together had the original plan gone ahead.
I AM LEGEND
15 years before we got the Will Smith version, Arnie was in line to take the lead role for Ridley Scott (Alien, The Martian, Gladiator), but when Scott dropped out once the budget was slashed, Michael Bay was then approached to take over, and Arnie quickly followed Scott out the exit door.
Before they worked together on Total Recall, Arnie and director Paul Verhoven had almost made magic happen with Robocop, with Arnie in line for the title-role. However, producers on the movie considered Arnie to be too big for the part... literally. Not only was he probably so famous that he would constantly be distracting under the visor (plus the part was a little too similar to The Terminator), his actual physical size would've made the metal uniform a nightmare to make, as the costume the much smaller Peter Weller ended up wearing took ELEVEN HOURS to put on every day.
Right around the time Terminator 2 was coming out, James Cameron announced that he wanted to make a Spider-Man movie next, with the web-slinger taking on Electro, Sandman, and Arnie as Doctor Octopus. None of this ever came to be, as Sony weren't really down with Cameron's "out-there" take on the characters. Doctor Octopus would go on to appear in Spider-Man 2 played to perfection by Alfred Molina, while Arnie would go on to play comic-book villian Doctor Freeze in Batman & Robin. Whomp whomp.
Yes, Arnie is in The Terminator, but originally he wasn't supposed to play The Terminator, he was supposed to play time-travelling sex-haver Kyle Reece. The Terminator was originally to be played by OJ Simpson (Can you imagine someone pictured OJ Simpson as a killer? LOL.), and Arnie didn't want to play a near-wordless villain so early in his career. However, these things have a way of working themselves out...