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James Cameron Swears He Never Considered O.J. Simpson For The Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger's eponymous character in "The Terminator” is one of the most iconic and beloved characters in cinematic history, so it seems strange to consider that Schwarzenegger wasn't even the first choice for the role. Legend has it that fellow action stars Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson were among the options for the role before Schwarzenegger, as both of whom were far more well-known at the time for their roles in "Rocky" and "Mad Max," respectively (via Complex).

In 2019, Schwarzenegger made headlines by claiming that there was actually yet another actor up for the role, namely former NFL star O.J. Simpson, who was famously charged with the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in the mid-1990s. Speaking to The Independent while promoting "Terminator: Dark Fate," Schwarzenegger claimed that Simpson was the original choice to play the T-800, but director James Cameron ironically decided that Simpson wouldn't be believable as a ruthless killer.

Now, Cameron himself has come out to rebuff these claims, saying that O.J. Simpson was never cast as the T-800 and that he shut down that pitch the moment he heard it.

Cameron shut down the pitch before it ever gained any traction

In a recent interview on HBO Max's "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?" director James Cameron asserted that a studio executive had originally pitched the idea of O.J. Simpson playing the title character in "The Terminator," and insisted that he hated the idea from the get-go.

"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," Cameron said. "And [he] 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." Cameron went on to say that Schwarzenegger's story about having "concept art of O.J. Simpson as The Terminator" is completely false, as the concept art never included Simpson.

Cameron also reiterated the point that Simpson's involvement with the film ended right then and there when he got off the phone with the executive, saying "That was rejected out of hand before it ever got any traction." Regardless of what Schwarzenegger might claim about Simpson's possible involvement in "The Terminator," it's clear that Cameron doesn't consider him a part of the film's history and vehemently denies that Simpson was ever cast as the T-800.