HomeMoviesOJ Simpson Almost Became The Sci-Fi Cyborg in ‘The Terminator’

    OJ Simpson Almost Became The Sci-Fi Cyborg in ‘The Terminator’

    Imagine a world where Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t the iconic stoic assassin in ‘The Terminator.’ Believe it or not, that almost became our reality. In a surprising turn of events, actor and former football star OJ Simpson was originally considered for the role of the Terminator before Arnold Schwarzenegger stepped in. 

    This little-known fact surfaced after Arnold himself spilled the beans while on the ‘Smartless‘ podcast. Additionally, he talked about how if it wasn’t for James Cameron Oj Simpson as ‘The Terminator’ would’ve been a reality.

    Related: Who Was The Early Choice For ‘The Terminator’ Before Arnold Schwarzenegger?

    OJ Simpson Was Supposedly The First Cast For ‘The Terminator’ 

    Arnold Schwarznegger as Terminator and OJ Simpson
    Arnold Schwarznegger as Terminator and OJ Simpson

    Schwarzenegger himself revealed that “It was actually OJ Simpson that was the first cast Terminator.” “Then somehow [James Cameron] felt that he was not as believable as a killing machine. So then they hired me. That’s really what happened.” Mind blown, right? 

    Moreover, Simpson, known for his charisma and athleticism, seems an odd choice for the cold and calculating cyborg sent back in time. So, what was director James Cameron thinking? According to Schwarzenegger, Cameron even created concept art featuring Simpson as the Terminator, leather jacket and all! 

    “The painting that I have at home it was painted by Jim Cameron,” Schwarzenegger explained. “Underneath my face is actually OJ Simpson’s face.” Imagine a parallel universe where movie posters featured a grinning Simpson instead of Schwarzenegger’s stern cyborg glare. 

    While the reasoning behind Simpson’s initial casting remains unclear, it’s easy to see why Cameron might have had second thoughts. Simpson’s public persona at the time was that of a friendly celebrity, a far cry from the emotionless killing machine envisioned for the film. Perhaps Cameron saw a potential for a subversion of expectations, but ultimately decided it wouldn’t work. 

    In case you missed it: How Did Filmmaker James Cameron Get The Idea For ‘The Terminator’?

    Why Arnold Schwarzenegger Was The Perfect Fit For ‘The Terminator’

    Arnold Schwarznegger as Terminator
    Arnold Schwarzenegger as Terminator

    Thankfully for sci-fi fans everywhere, the role eventually landed in Schwarzenegger’s capable hands. Additionally, his imposing physique and stoic delivery perfectly embodied the relentless cyborg assassin. “I think he [Cameron] was trying to talk me into playing the Terminator and I said, ‘Nah, I want to play Reese,'” Schwarzenegger recalled about their initial conversations.  

    “He said, ‘No, you understand the Terminator. You talk about how he has to walk and turn his head like a machine. That’s exactly what he has to do.'” In the end, Schwarzenegger’s portrayal became synonymous with the Terminator, launching a franchise and solidifying his place as an action hero.  

    It’s hard to imagine anyone else delivering the now-iconic line, “I’ll be back.” The story of OJ Simpson’s near-casting as the Terminator is a fascinating footnote in film history. It serves as a reminder that even the most iconic characters can take unexpected turns during the casting process. 

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    Vanshika Minakshi
    Vanshika Minakshi
    Vanshika is a content writer at FirstCuriosity, diving into the vibrant universe of celebrities, movies, and TV shows with fervor. Her passion extends beyond her professional endeavors, as she immerses herself in the realms of rap music and video games, constantly seeking inspiration from diverse sources. She is a business student with a knack for marketing blending analytical insights with creative instincts to craft compelling narratives. When not working you can find her spending times with her beloved pet dogs or watching true crime documentaries. Additionally, she has over 40 published articles exploring the exhilarating realm of eSports and profiling popular streamers, showcasing her expertise and passion for gaming culture.

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