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Arnold Schwarzenegger says no to the ''Terminator'' sequels

He starts work on another action thriller next month

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The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger

There may be two more ”Terminator” sequels in the works, but alas, Arnold won’t be back. The two producers who now own the rights to the sci-fi franchise announced last week that they were pressing ahead with script development to shoot the two films back-to-back next year. However, because writer/director James Cameron has sworn off the project, so has Schwarzenegger. ”I have no intention of doing it except when Jim Cameron does the directing, or the producing, or writing,” Schwarzenegger said at a news conference today. ”Jim Cameron has to be involved in one way or another.”

Schwarzenegger also made it clear that he’s not backing out of the project because he’s any less invincible: Having been away from the screen for two years (”End of Days,” his first movie since 1997’s ”Batman and Robin,” opens next Wednesday), there have been rumors that 1997 heart surgery had weakened the strongman. It wasn’t doctors who kept him away from the screen, says Arnold, it was cheap studios: He had intended to make the vampire film ”I Am Legend,” but after nearly a year of development with director Ridley Scott, Warner Bros. put the project in turnaround in March 1998.

According to Schwarzenegger, Warner Bros. slashed the budget of the $100 million movie after such big-name budget breakers as ”Fathers’ Day” and ”The Postman” had bombed. ”They asked Ridley and myself, ‘Could we do this movie for $75 or $80 million?”’ says Schwarzenegger. ”The way it was designed, the scope that it had, we said no. We said, ‘If you’re not willing to do the movie for that price, then let’s just wait until things change a little bit. It will be done eventually.”’ Not for the next four months, though. In December, Schwarzenegger begins shooting ”The Sixth Day,” a sci-fi action film about a helicopter pilot who discovers that he’s been replaced by a clone.