A&E plans Schwarzenegger biopic. Will Viggo Mortensen play the Governator? Courteney Cox as Maria Shriver?

By Gary Susman
October 09, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Arnold Schwarzenegger told a press conference on Wednesday that he won’t have time to make movies now that he’s governor of California. Still, there will be one new movie featuring Schwarzenegger, albeit as impersonated by another actor. Cable’s A&E announced it’s planning a biopic, called ”See Arnold Run,” which would air next summer around the time of the presidential nominating conventions.

According to the New York Times, the movie will parallel Schwarzenegger’s campaign to win the Mr. Olympia bodybuilding championship in the early 1970s with his campaign to replace Gov. Gray Davis in Sacramento. The film will mix comedy and drama and will also touch on the scandals that dogged the actor during the campaign, including accusations that he’d sexually harassed numerous women and had expressed admiration for the leadership skills of Adolf Hitler. Schwarzenegger himself would not have any input into the movie, unless producers decide to make use of footage from ”Pumping Iron,” the bodybuilding documentary that made him famous, and whose rights he owns.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film’s budget will be about $5 million, in line with what the channel is spending to make a movie about First Lady-turned-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, for which the channel has approached Sharon Stone to star. Speaking of casting, who will play Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver? A&E’s wish list includes Viggo Mortensen, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Lambert, Billy Campbell, and Dennis Quaid (Dennis Quaid?) to play Arnold, and Courteney Cox or Courteney Thorne-Smith to play Maria. No word on who’d play Davis or Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, but we bet candidates Arianna Huffington, Gary Coleman, and Mary Carey would be happy to play themselves.