Producers of Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s upcoming Hollywood projects — including one in which he plays an animated superhero with a double life he hides from his wife, Maria — say that neither will be affected by the news of him fathering a child with his family’s housekeeper.
Since finishing his term as California governor in January, the one-time action star has been actively pursuing a return to showbiz. He voices the lead character in the upcoming animated series The Governator and is scheduled this summer to shoot the live-action drama Cry Macho, in which he plays an aging horse trainer — a more ambitious role than some of his onscreen personas.
“It doesn’t affect this movie,” Cry Macho producer Albert Ruddy says of the unfolding Schwarzenegger scandal. “We’re shooting Aug. 24; we’re in serious preproduction now. It hasn’t affected our sales. It’s going to be interesting if we get even a bump on the foreign side. This is not gonna be a black eye for a guy with an astounding career.”
Ruddy does not believe Schwarzenegger’s moviegoing fans will question whether to support his films in the wake of the recent news.
“This is just another one of those things no one will remember,” says Ruddy, 81. “Bill Clinton went through horrendous things, and now he’s regarded as one of the most popular presidents. Let he who is free of sin [cast the first stone], right? The only thing that matters is how good the film is. If it fails, they’ll say it’s because of the scandal. If it succeeds, they’ll say in spite of it. It doesn’t matter. The film talks for itself.”
Schwarzenegger is also attempting to reboot the Terminator franchise, signing on to a package that was recently picked up by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. Justin Lin (Fast Five) is slated to direct that feature.
The Governator, a collaboration between A2 Entertainment, Archie Comics and Stan Lee’s Pow! Entertainment that has already sold into several foreign territories and awaits a U.S. network, stars Schwarzenegger as a superhero with a crimefighting lair beneath his Brentwood house. Schwarzenegger “creates a secret identity beneath his home — so secret that even his wife, Maria, and kids are unaware,” says The Governator’s press release, “a superhero living a double life, who’s also a devoted family man who needs to make it home for dinner every night.”
Andy Heyward, CEO of A2, says no changes will be made to the series.
“A2’s Governator animated series and its lore is fictional and stands on its merits,” Heyward tells THR. “Of course we wish the family the best in this challenging time.”