'Die Hard,' 'The Rock,' 'Full Metal Jacket' & More: 5 Films Arnold Schwarzenegger Could Have Starred In

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by Edward Davis
October 8, 2012 2:34 PM
15 Comments
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3. "Full Metal Jacket"
Yep, Stanley Kubrick himself apparently wanted Schwarzenegger to play the character "Animal Mother" in his Vietnam epic "Full Metal Jacket." The part would eventually go to actor Adam Baldwin.  "I didn't have time to do it" is all Arnold allows, which is likely true since "Full Metal Jacket" was released in 1987, and 85-87 was full for Arnie with "Commando," "Raw Deal," "Predator" and "The Running Man," the latter two both shot in 1986 and released the following year. Verdict? What could have been, if only to simply hear stories of Kubrick and Schwarzenegger on set. It's not too unbelievable either. Kubrick tried to get Anthony Michael Hall to star as Private Joker, but after eight months of negotiations, the deal fell through (and Hall has been kicking himself ever since). Kubrick, according to Bruce Willis in a 2010 Playboy interview, also offered him a role, but he was busy with "Moonlighting" commitments.

4. "Spider-Man
In 1991, director James Cameron, who had already directed Arnold in "The Terminator," famously wrote a treatment (a 47-page "scriptment") for "Spider-Man." Electro and Sandman were the main villains and evidently at one point, Peter Parker and Mary-Jane Watson were to have sex in the movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger was frequently rumored as the director's choice for Dr. Octopus, which the actor confirms. "It never got there because he had a battle with the studio and they went in a different direction," he said. Verdict? Some who have read the script said it was "the worst Spider-Man movie dreamed up by man," and considering Schwarzenegger's godawful turn in "Batman and Robin" (it earned him a Worst Supporting Actor nomination in the Razzies), it's probably a good thing this one didn't come to pass.

5. "Predator 2."
File under: minor duh. Anytime a sequel is made, the studio and producers want the lead to star in the picture once again. And this was the case with "Predator 2." Schwarzenegger, who starred as Dutch in the 1987 film, evidently felt that taking the storyline to the urban jungle cityscape was a bad idea, was outspoken about his negative feelings towards the concept and eventually passed according to the 1987 book, "The Winston Effect: The Art and History of Stan Winston Studio" (Winston created the creature). Empire retells the same story, but producers say it was a money issue. "We should have had Arnold in the movie," producer John Davis said. "But the deal broke down over 250k. Which was a shame." Evidently the 2010 "Predators" script by Alex Litvak and Michael Finch (retooled from a version written by Robert Rodriguez in the 1990s) called for a cameo from Dutch arriving in a Predator ship, but the idea was killed off for unknown reasons (likely the fact that Schwarzenegger was in office at the time and that little cameo could have cost that thrifty production a huge untenable sum).

Bonus credit: James Cameron wanted Lance Henriksen (Bishop in "Aliens") to originally play the "The Terminator" cyborg in that 1984 movie.  Schwarzenegger, who had auditioned for the Kyle Reese role that eventually went to Michael Biehn, didn't want anything less than the male lead role, but after offering so many insightful ideas of how the Terminator should be played, Cameron said, "Just think about it, trust me. Re-read it." The rest is history.

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15 Comments

  • MAT | October 26, 2012 2:23 PMReply

    Lets get back to love and life

  • Peter | October 9, 2012 5:51 AMReply

    Arnie in Full Metal Jacket would have been one of the strangest decisions that Kubrick ever made...still probably would have been an awesome film though.

    peter @ Space City

  • fry | October 8, 2012 7:29 PMReply

    Arnie would have been awesome as Animal Mother, I can imagine him saying "Well, I got a joke for you: I'm gonna tear you a new asshole"

  • JD | October 8, 2012 7:14 PMReply

    Uh, excuse me, I've read Cameron's Spider-Man scriptment, and it's terrific. It would have been one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. (I suspect the Spidey / Mary Jane borderline-bondage sex scene would not have survived production rewrites, though.) Anyway, there is no Doctor Octopus anywhere in the scriptment, so it's somewhat difficult for Arnold to have almost starred in it, don't ya think? Now maybe Cameron was imagining Arnold as Doc Ock in possible sequel, and considering that he got one of the Arnold's best performances out of him playing a killer robot, I suspect that comparing Arnold acting for Cameron to Joel Schumacher's half-assed disaster of a movie is somewhat stupid.

  • JD | October 8, 2012 7:06 PMReply

    A. Frank Darabont did indeed write a sequel to Commando, but it had nothing to do with Die Hard. B. Die Hard is based on a book published in the late 70s. I can't remember the title offhand, but the author--I think his name was Roderick Thorpe--also wrote the book that was the basis for the 1968 Frank Sinatra film The Detective. There was some talk, at first, of doing Die Hard with Sinatra in the early 80s as a sequel to The Detective. Maybe that somehow got garbled into Schwarzenegger and Commando....

  • BMSFilms | October 8, 2012 3:36 PMReply

    This article makes no sense.

  • DHE | October 8, 2012 3:26 PMReply

    Fun Fact: Richard Gere was considered to play John McClane

  • Edward Davis | October 8, 2012 3:19 PMReply

    Brain fart between 1987 and 1997, sorry, brahs. Amended.

  • Joe | October 8, 2012 3:19 PMReply

    Seriously, how unprofessional do you have to be to leave such a basic factual error - followed by an egregious, obvious, baseless statement of a non-fact based on that factual error - up on your site for the better part of an hour? Does Edward Davis really believe that "Die Hard" came out around the same time as "Batman and Robin"? Does no one have access to IMDb? (I know, I know, finding out what year an extremely famous movie came out would require RIGOROUS research.) (Or basic common sense.)

  • Jesse | October 8, 2012 6:55 PM

    Shit, maybe I do as well

  • Jesse | October 8, 2012 6:52 PM

    Dude, you need to lean how to read.

  • Michael | October 8, 2012 3:15 PMReply

    "Schwarzenegger likely wasn't that interested anyhow (he was paid the exorbitant amount of $25 million to play the relatively small role of Mr. Freeze in "Batman and Robin," the year when Die Hard would have shot)."

    Um, what?

  • Chris | October 8, 2012 2:55 PMReply

    Yeah, dude, what the hell are you talking about? "Die Hard" and "Batman and Robin" were nearly a decade apart, as James said. Get your damn facts straight.

  • James | October 8, 2012 2:50 PMReply

    Die Hard was released in 1988, while Batman & Robin came out in 1997. Arnold did not choose Batman over Die Hard, they shot nine years apart.

  • Lemon | October 8, 2012 5:28 PM

    Proof? First of all you have no idea when Batman & Robin went into production. Nor do you know when Arnold was approached to star in it. Please go troll elsewhere.

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