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Was O.J. Simpson nearly cast as the Terminator in the legendary films?
Arnold Schwarzenegger became a household name in America after starring in “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” and there’s long been a rumor that O.J. Simpson was actually supposed to be the man leading the franchise. Now, director James Cameron has set the record straight, and while there’s a small kernel of truth, it’s mostly false.
“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,” Cameron explained during an interview on “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,” according to Variety.
The O.J. Simpson/Terminator wasn’t based in reality.
This is one of those Hollywood urban myths/legends that has been around forever, and it’s not hard to understand why it was so easily believed.
He had been a dominant college and NFL player and was a big cultural figure. By the time “The Terminator” came out, he’d appeared in several Hollywood projects. Before the second film came out, the former Bills running back starred in two “Naked Gun” movies. He also appeared in commercials. Most notably, he was a major figure for Hertz.
So, it made sense why people might have easily believed he could have played the Terminator. After all, it wasn’t a dialogue-heavy role.
However, James Cameron has now revealed the truth, and it turns out O.J. Simpson never came close to sniffing the role Schwarzenegger made famous. It looks like we can finally put to rest one of the most famous rumors to ever come out of Hollywood.
Fortunately for fans of the movie, everything worked out for the best. Schwarzenegger crushed it as the Terminator, and nobody could have done the role as well.