Can his career be saved?

By A.J. Jacobs
Updated April 05, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

Career Pinnacle: In 1992, the martial-arts star capped a string of testosterone hits (including 1990’s Hard to Kill and 1991’s Out for Justice) by kicking up $82.3 million at the box office with the seabound thriller Under Siege.

Latest Misstep: His Michael Dukakis-size role in Executive Decision. Fifteen minutes into the flick, Seagal exits — reportedly prompting audience cheers. This, after dipping box office receipts (Under Siege 2‘s earnings were just slightly more than half the original’s), tabloid scandals, and, worst of all, an expanded waistline.

Perceived Problem: Too much of the same. The industry seems weary of the bulky star’s tough-guy tactics, and audiences are tiring of his hero-of-few-words shtick.

Next Step: More of the same. Seagal scowls through The Glimmer Man, an upcoming buddy cop flick costarring Keenan Ivory Wayans.

Advice: Something different. Anything. ”He should do Shakespeare,” says one producer. ”After that he should do Fitzgerald or Faulkner.” Adds an agent: ”Open a dojo in the valley.” Or, now that his mentor Michael Ovitz is president of Disney, why not star in a remake of The Shaggy D.A.?