James Cameron nixed O.J. Simpson as ‘The Terminator’: ‘That’s a bad idea’

O.J. Simpson as the Terminator?

“Avatar” director James Cameron, 68, addressed the rumor that Simpson was supposed to star in 1984’s “The Terminator,” during an appearance on HBO Max’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?”

On Friday’s episode, Cameron claimed that studio exec Mike Medavoy, co-founder of Orion Pictures, suggested the former football phenom, 75, should play the lead in the iconic action flick.

However, the Canadian native said he refused to cast Simpson.

“Very early on, a highly placed person at one of the two studios that funded that film had a brilliant idea and called me up and said, ‘Are you sitting down?’ I said, ‘Well, no, I’m not.’ He said, ‘Are you sitting? O.J. Simpson for the Terminator!’” Cameron revealed, per Variety.

According to Cameron, Simpson was never actually in the running to play the Terminator.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The filmmaker went on: “I said, ‘I actually think that’s a bad idea.’ It didn’t go anywhere.”

The Post reached out to Medavoy’s team for comment.

In 2019, the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, watered the grapevine and told the Independent, “It was actually O.J. Simpson that was the first-cast Terminator.”

“Somehow [Cameron] felt that he was not as believable for a killing machine,” the former California governor, 75, said. “So then they hired me. That’s really what happened.”

Simpson was convicted of armed robbery after his famous 1995 acquittal for the murders of estranged wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

Schwarzenegger also claimed he had a painting of himself as the action flick star that initially featured Simpson’s face. He said Cameron painted the piece.

The “Titanic” director refuted the claim in a 2019 profile for the Los Angeles Times, noting that the statement was “flat-out wrong.”

Cameron, who co-wrote and directed “The Terminator,” said at the time: “I didn’t make the painting for him. I made the painting for us, for the production, of him as the Terminator.”

“There’s no O.J. under that painting … O.J. Simpson was never in the mix at all. That was rejected out of hand before it ever got any traction,” he continued.

James Cameron
The “Avatar: The Way of Water” director refuted claims that Simpson was going to appear in his 1984 action film.
ImaZins via Getty Images

Cameron, meanwhile, is running on another career high, with his new film, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” grossing over $1.7 billion at the box office worldwide.

The sequel to his critically acclaimed 2009 sci-fi film arrived 13 years later. The follow-ups are on track to debut much faster.

Cameron has already started shooting “Avatar 3” and “Avatar 4.” The third “Avatar” movie is scheduled to be released Dec. 20, 2024.

Related Articles

Back to top button