Just days after becoming attached to a new Terminator film (that may or may not happen), Arnold Schwarzenegger has officially decided which developing project he'll work on for his first starring role since Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, but it won't be an action orgy like the movies of his heyday. Vulture says that it's a drama called Cry Macho, which will be directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) and produced by veteran Al Ruddy (The Godfather, Million Dollar Baby) and Bill Block (District 9).
Based on a 1975 novel by the late N. Richard Nash, the story follows a downtrodden horse trainer who’s just been canned. In exchange for some retirement money, the broken — and broke — horseman agrees to kidnap his feckless boss’s 11-year-old son from his rich Mexican ex-wife. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when the ex-wife is all too glad to be rid of her juvenile delinquent. Not exactly the kind of film I was expecting to see Schwarzenegger return with, but I welcome change and hopefully this will prove that the former Governator's tastes have matured.
The project sounds interesting enough, but I'll say the same thing here that I did when we talked about the Terminator movie: this is all about Ah-nuld's draw power. After an eight-year absence from the spotlight, one can't predict that having his name on a marquee will bring people into the theaters the way it used to. This wouldn't be an issue if the film was already financed, but the producers are looking to raise funds at the Cannes Film Festival in May and the fate of the project will depend on that cash. In the '80s and '90s, Arnold was Hollywood's biggest cash-cow; all you had to do was attach his name to a developing movie and you'd have $60 million to make it by the end of the day. These days, the younger moviegoers driving revenue to the multiplex may not have the same reverence that I have for the former king of action flicks. That's why it's a good idea for him to reboot his career with this smaller, character-based film rather than a $200 million tent pole. Let him work his way back up to that level naturally, if he can...