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Who Was The Early Choice To Play The Role Of The Terminator Before Arnold Schwarzenegger?


Who was the early choice to play the role of the terminator before Arnold Schwarzenegger?The first Terminator casting choice was O.J. Simpson. Simpson was so involved with the original script that James Cameron made concept art for the main character that looked a lot like Simpson.

James Cameron ultimately came to the conclusion that he was "too polite" to be taken seriously as a ruthless killer. When he realized the irony, Cameron chuckled, “We might have reconsidered after he had killed his wife.”

The Story Behind The O.J. Simpson Terminator Role

Who was the early choice to play the role of the terminator before Arnold Schwarzenegger? According to James Cameron, the controversial actor nearly took on the role of the killer robot in the 1980s blockbuster. Yes, he was the first choice.

The director admitted that O. J. Simpson nearly played the Terminator in James Cameron's cult-favorite sci-fi movie.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has played the deadly T-800 cyborg android many times and is known for the catchphrase "I'll be back," played the iconic character of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) in the popular franchise that the 63-year-old director began in 1984.

However, Orion Pictures co-founder Mike Medavoy cast the controversial former NFL player and actor Simpson first. Simpson is well-known for having been acquitted of the 1995 killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and restaurant waiter Ron Goldman.

Cameron put a halt to the casting, arguing that even though it was a made-up tale about a time-traveling cyborg, it may upset viewers to cast an African American guy as a character who intends to murder a white woman.

Cameron recalled:

Mike Medavoy at Orion called me up one night and said, 'I just went to this party and I got the movie cast!' Now, of course, every filmmaker loves to hear that some douche executive has cast your movie for you. And he said, 'OK, O. J. Simpson for the Terminator.' I was like, 'Hey Mike, Bad idea! You're going to have this black athlete chasing this white girl around LA with a fricking knife and a gun? We're not doing that’.- James Cameron

Simpson got out of prison in October 2017, 33 years after he was sent there for robbery and kidnapping. Making things that "haven't been done before" is what Cameron admits keeps him creatively intrigued as he works on four sequels to his successful 2009 film Avatar.

Who Almost Starred in Terminator? | CASTING CALLS

People Also Ask

Who Else Auditioned For The Terminator?

Tom Selleck, Kevin Kline, Michael Douglas, Jurgen Prochnow, Ron Perlman, Stephen Lang, Chevy Chase, Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Robin Williams, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Kevin Costner, John Travolta, and others were reportedly at least briefly considered for the role of T-800 in The Terminator.

Was O.J. Simpson Supposed To Play The Terminator?

Yes. Arnold Schwarzenegger claims that James Cameron initially considered OJ Simpson for the lead role, whereas Schwarzenegger was given the role of Kyle Reese.

Who Almost Replaced Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Although Arnold Schwarzenegger will always be associated with the role, the T-800's original designs were essentially unrecognizable. Lance Henriksen was James Cameron's initial choice, and he ultimately played Dt in The Terminator.


Before becoming governor of California, Cameron went on to film some of the biggest blockbusters ever, and Schwarzenegger rose to prominence as the greatest action hero of his generation. Who was the early choice to play the role of the terminator before Arnold Schwarzenegger? It was OJ Simpson.

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Buttskin Family- The Buttskins are a crazy author family who love writing, laughter, and eating an unhealthy amount of junk food. Mom Rockita started scribbling stories as soon as she could hold a pen, and Dad John didn't realize authoring children's books was a real job until after they were married. Their kids have embraced storytelling at an early age. Little Lucy, age 5, dictates her colorful tales about dragons and princesses to her parents. Her 8-year old brother Jake collects scraps of paper to diagram his latest imaginary adventure involving ninjas and dinosaurs.

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