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“ You want me to say, close-up, yes, I want to be president, that's what you want me to say. But that's not the case. ”

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Return to the Silver Screen?

Tue 15 Jun 2004 | 17h27 GMT+1
Info: TF News search

Does Arnold have plans to go back to Hollywood once he's done in Sacramento? He promised he'd be back. But much like his Terminator 2 liquid metal nemesis the T-1000, the question is: in what form?!

Earlier this month, an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan site, posted an item claiming that Schwarzenegger's agent had already begun film bookings for the end of the governor's term in 2006. Thomas Elias quoted California Attorney General Bill Lockyer as he walked out of a TV studio saying, "He's not going to run again. His agent is already making bookings for 2006 and beyond." Veteran Democratic consultant Gary South added, "I believe that after three years in office, he'll declare victory and go back to Hollywood."

The list of rumored Schwarzenegger film projects includes an already-planned Terminator 4, a third entry in the Conan series, and a remake of the 1971 Charlton Heston film The Omega Man.

Longtime California Republican activist Arnold Steinberg speculated that Schwarzenegger has other plans, saying, "I just assume that he will run. He wants to run for President." Though Steinberg notes for that to happen, not only would a constitutional amendment have to be passed, but also 38 states would then need to ratify the amendment. "He's completely unpredictable and keeps his own counsel. Those who say they know what he'll do, don't. Those who have reason to think that they know, don't say."

Asked about the Democratic and movie fan chatter, Schwarzenegger spokesman Rob Stutzman said, "I think all these Democrats are leaning over the wishing well. It's more a case that some Democrats are simply nursing these hopes. I'm not sure what kind of Hollywood sources Bill Lockyer has, but the governor has not made any plans and is not reading scripts."

On May 10 on Good Morning America, reporter Kate Snow asked Schwarzenegger if he "wants to follow in Reagan's footsteps." Schwarzenegger responded, "I know where you're going with this interview, it's not like I can't figure that out in two seconds. You want me to say, close-up, yes, I want to be president, that's what you want me to say. But that's not the case."

When I asked for the source of Attorney General Lockyer's Schwarzenegger speculation, his spokesman, Nathan Barankin, told me, "He has nothing further to add or explain to the quoted statement. He's going to let it speak for itself."

Still, the rumors have movie geeks and Arnold admirers around the world buzzing. Eric Vespy of told me, "I'm positive his agent is wanting him to return to the screen, but it's pretty clear that the quality of films he has been putting out recently hasn't been the best. I'd be very surprised to see him leave office to go back to making more Collateral Damages. If there's any possible way for him to climb the political ladder to eventually run for president, then mark my words; that's what he'll do." co-curator Paul Jackson says of the rumors, "Of course, I want them to be true because I want to see Arnold return to the big screen. Don't get me wrong, I think what he's doing is fantastic--putting time and money and effort back into California, after he received so much from it. I think that the fans would love to see him return to Hollywood in 2006, making a few final movies. This would allow him to then carry on with his political career."

Regardless of what either side claims, Schwarzenegger has until late 2005 to make an official decision. And based on his last-minute Tonight Show announcement that he was challenging Gray Davis last year--and a 20-year history of similar tactics in Hollywood--one probably shouldn't expect his camp to announce any official decision before then.

In the meantime, fans will have to settle for a five-minute Schwarzenegger cameo in Jackie Chan's remake of Around The World In 80 Days, which hits theaters on June 16. Advanced screenings of the film peg it as a real dog. In the movie, Schwarzenegger, wearing a shoulder length wig, portrays a narcissistic Turkish prince who tries to convince Chan's female co-star Cecile De France to abandon her expedition to join his harem. De France: "Is it true you really have seven wives?" Schwarzenegger: "One for each day of the week. Do Tuesdays work for you?"

By: Eric Pfeiffer
The Weekly Standard/Daily Standard

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