Arnold Schwarzenegger scandal: The career fallout
Maria Shriver isn’t the only one with a broken heart. This week’s revelations about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s secret love child also have several Hollywood producers blowing into their hankies. Last week at Cannes, up-and-coming film financier Megan Ellison (True Grit) spent nobody knows how many millions for the rights to possibly make more Terminator movies with Arnold (sorry, Megan). Al Ruddy, veteran producer of Million Dollar Baby and The Godfather, was going to pay Arnold a reported $12.5 million to star in his first feature since leaving the governor’s office, Cry Macho (there, there, Al).
But of them all, the producers of The Governator, the animated series that was going to turn Arnold into a kid-friendly cartoon superhero, have had the hardest time dealing with the betrayal. Earlier today, after Schwarzenegger’s lawyers released a statement saying the ex-gov was postponing all his acting plans while he focused on his private life, the Governator producers seemed to have finally accepted the inevitable and come to terms with the impossibility of going ahead with a children’s TV show based on the life of Arnold Schwarzenegger. “In light of recent events,” they announced in a joint statement, “A Squared Entertainment, POW, Stan Lee Comics, and Archie Comics, have chosen to not go forward with the Governator project.” Less than two hours later, however, the Governator’s producers released a revised statement, this time putting The Governator project “on hold.” Apparently somebody involved — Stan Lee? A Squared’s Andy Heyward? — still thinks there might be a way to pull it off.
The Governator producers were having trouble adjusting last week, even before the love child headlines broke. After the Schwarzenegger-Shriver split was announced, the Governator team released a statement that said Maria Shriver was never intended to be a part of the animated series, directly contradicting what Stan Lee had told EW in our April 8 cover story (“We’re using his wife. We’re using his kids.”). Within a day, the producers sent out a revision, this time saying that “while some of the creative team initially planned on using his real family members, the final decision was to depict them as fictional characters.” In other words, Maria was being kicked out from the comic book, yes, but for reasons having nothing to do with the marital separation.
So, what’s the bottom line here? Will The Governator happen or not? We’ll let you know as soon as we can get these guys away from the Kleenex boxes.