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He said he’d be back. That venerable source for every unconfirmed movie rumor imaginable, Latino Review, has another doozy that sounds like it just might fit. They’re claiming James Cameron’s longtime friend and sometime Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed on to play the villain in Avatar 2, due for release in 2016. The glowering musclebound baddie in the first film was played by Stephen Lang, and it seems like Ahnuld could easily play a similar character.
This is great news for the Austrian Oak, since his post-governorship roles haven’t exactly caught on fire — though we stand by giving The Last Stand a four star review. But it does make you wonder about what Cameron sees in Schwarzenegger. No, I’m not taking a potshot at his acting ability. Rather why Cameron is the only director who’s ever cast him as a villain. First, he played the unstoppably icy title character in The Terminator. Then perhaps more disturbingly — and presciently — he cast him as a CIA agent who’s basically a pathological liar, especially to his family, in True Lies. That movie was an uncanny prelude to Schwarzenegger’s later tabloid antics that sundered his family.
The question is, does Cameron on some level actually hate Schwarzenegger? He’s found a compelling actor to inhabit his characters, yes, but Cameron seems to suggest that there’s an underlying current of the sinister in Arnold. They seem like good friends, but then again Werner Herzog called Klaus Kinski his “best friend” (and “best fiend”) while plotting to kill him on the sets of Aguirre: Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo. It’s possible that Cameron likes his work…without really liking him on some level. At least we’re almost guaranteed to hear Arnold say “Abadah” at some point.