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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most iconic role could have been played by OJ Simpson

According to Schwarzenegger, he originally came in to replace Simpson

Arnold Schwarzenegger has made some claims that could have greatly altered the history of pop culture. In various interviews, he’s revealed that O.J. Simpson, who died last week, was being considered for one of Schwarzenegger’s biggest roles.

O. J. Simpson sits in Superior Court in Los Angele©GettyImages
O.J. Simpson

The role that Simpson was up for discussion was “The Terminator,” one of Schwarzenegger’s biggest and most important roles of his career. “It was actually OJ Simpson that was the first cast Terminator,” said Schwarzenegger in an interview with The Independent. “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.”

Schwarzenegger revealed that there was even a concept drawing of Simpson as The Terminator, with him having the portrait hanging in his office. “On the painting that I have at home – it was painted by Jim Cameron,” said Schwarzenegger, referring to James Cameron, the film’s director. “Underneath my face is actually OJ Simpson’s face. It was already painted on it, with the leather jacket and the gun in the hand.”

"Terminator 3" Photocall at the 56th Cannes Film Festival©GettyImages
Schwarzenegger at the premiere of Terminator 3

James Cameron’s opinion on the matter

Cameron has also discussed the rumor, revealing that it was more complicated than what Schwarzenegger has shared. According to him, the idea of Simpson as Terminator was simply an idea that one of the studio executives had.

“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,” said Cameron in an episode of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?”

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