James Cameron says the rumor about O.J. Simpson starring in the original film is untrue

The Terminator, O.J. Simpson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Cameron

James Cameron is too busy riding high off the success of Avatar: The Way of Water to entertain your elaborate rumor about O.J. Simpson originally starring as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character in 1984’s The Terminator. Speaking on HBO Max’s Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace, Cameron says the studio floated the idea of casting Simpson in the iconic role, but Cameron shut that shit down real quick.

“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 and said, ‘Are you sitting down?’ I said, ‘Well, no, I’m not.’ He said, ‘Are you sitting? O.J. Simpson for the Terminator!’” Cameron recalled (via Variety). “I said, ‘I actually think that’s a bad idea.’ It didn’t go anywhere.”

Cameron already addressed this rumor in 2019 during a Los Angeles Times interview. When asked to clarify if Simpson was confirmed for the role before Schwarzenegger ultimately landed the part, Cameron made it clear that Simpson never came close to hunting Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and Michael Biehn’s Kyle Reese in the sci-fi franchise starter.

“O.J. Simpson was never in the mix at all,” Cameron insisted while speaking with the outlet. “That was rejected out of hand before it ever got any traction.”


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While Cameron says Simpson’s involvement in The Terminator was false from the start, it appears Schwarzenegger did not get the memo. Speaking to The Independent in 2019, Schwarzenegger said Simpson was the first to be cast as the Terminator.

“Somehow [James Cameron] felt that he was not as believable for a killing machine,” Schwarzenegger explained. “So then they hired me. That’s really what happened.”

Can you imagine a world where O.J. Simpson played the Terminator in Cameron’s 1984 classic? Could Simpson’s involvement in the film tank the franchise when Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994? I know actors get away with a lot – look at Ezra Miller – but a lengthy car chase and sketchy televised trial is lousy PR, no matter how you slice it. Let us know if you’d like to see a deepfake of O.J. Simpson starring in The Terminator in the comments below.

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