Terminator Producer Debunks OJ Simpson Rumor

The recent demise of former NFL sensation, O.J. Simpson, has rekindled some old debates in the world of entertainment, one of which is the long-standing rumor about his supposed casting as ‘The Terminator’, the iconic role that catapulted Arnold Schwarzenegger to international fame. However, according to Gale Anne Hurd, producer of the original ‘The Terminator’ film and the movie’s director, James Cameron’s former wife, this narrative is entirely false.

No Consideration of O.J. Simpson for ‘The Terminator’ Role

While football star turned actor O.J. Simpson was a prominent personality in the ’80s, Hurd clarified on Twitter that he was never in the running to portray ‘The Terminator’, a character that has become synonymous with Schwarzenegger. Debunking the widely circulated rumor, Hurd stated that she and Cameron did not consider O.J. Simpson for the role, not even momentarily.

It is not unusual for various names to be considered when casting major movie roles. Famous instances include actor Michael Biehn recalling how singer Sting was initially considered for a role, or Will Smith famously passing the lead role in ‘The Matrix’. However, in the case of ‘The Terminator’, it was Schwarzenegger all along.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Take on the Casting Rumor

Interestingly, the rumor about O.J. Simpson’s involvement in ‘The Terminator’ largely originated from Schwarzenegger himself. The action star has gone on record multiple times, claiming that O.J. was the initial choice for the terminator before studio executives had a change of heart. In an interview with The Independent in 2019, Schwarzenegger stated, “It was actually O.J. Simpson that was the first cast Terminator. Then somehow [James Cameron] felt that he was not as believable for a killing machine. So then they hired me.”

Confirmation from Director James Cameron

However, these claims do not hold up when confronted with the statements from James Cameron himself. According to Cameron, O.J. was never officially considered for the cotton-mill role, let alone cast. Responding to the rumor during a 2019 Los Angeles Times interview, Cameron dismissed Schwarzenegger’s assertions as incorrect. He detailed how Orion Pictures, co-financiers of ‘The Terminator’, suggested O.J. for the role. Cameron refuted the proposal instantly, leading to Schwarzenegger’s casting instead.

So it appears that the O.J. Simpson-‘Terminator’ lore, despite its longevity, was based solely on a pitch by a movie executive and not on any actual casting decisions. Though O.J. Simpson had a successful stint in Hollywood, notably in the ‘Naked Gun’ series, involvement in ‘The Terminator’ was never in the cards.

Wrapping Up

Rumors are a part of Hollywood’s fabric, some die down, while others persist through the decades. The story of O.J. Simpson being considered for ‘The Terminator’ certainly belongs to the latter. However, it seems the truth of the matter is far less sensational, with Simpson never being intended for the iconic role. Are there other movie myths that you want to know about or find debunked? Visit HitPlay for more news on your favorite movies and TV shows.

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