I’m currently reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography (which is fascinating by the way) and there is a chapter where he talks about having heart surgery.
This was way back in 1997 when Arnie had all sorts of interesting movies in the pipeline.
We all know about his Crusades movie and how Paul Verhoeven kinda went a little nuts and for various reasons it didn’t see the light of day but there were several others which could have been rather cool.
I Am Legend is another potential Arnie movie that we never saw; he was all ready to go with it but according the Oak himself he says that after his heart surgery the studios backed off and didn’t want him to star in their big budget action movies.
The budget was meant to be $100 million and Ridley Scott was set to helm however Warner Bros. only wanted to spend $80 million dollars. Arnold says the real reason Warners backed off was due to the heart surgery but they used the budget as an excuse. As we all know I Am Legend eventually would get made except it starred Will Smith and some awful CGI.
With Wings as Eagles was another project which was still being talked about in 2011. The story was set during the Second World War, where an American bomber pilot and his crew are shot down from the sky and captured by the Germans. As orders are sent to execute the pilot and 9,000 other POW, the German officer in charge, Schwarzenegger, refuses to carry them out.
One thing I didn’t know is that Minority Report was going to be a potential sequel to Total Recall with a script from the same writer. Arnie was going to play the detective who would eventually get played by Tom Cruise.
Noble Father would have had Schwarzenegger play a widowed cop who was trying to raise 3 daughters and fight crime. That sounds like it could have had comedic potential but we don’t really know much else about it.
Arnold was also set to star in the movie update of S.W.A.T. which would star Colin Farrell and Samuel L. Jackson.
Crossbow was going to be the tale of William Tell; I believe there is currently a William Tell movie in the works with Brendan Fraser set to star.
The Karl Urban movie Pathfinder interestingly enough was going to originally star Arnie and had a bit of a different story; it was going to be about a Viking Orphan raised by Native Americans during the time of the first European Explorations of North America.
So it looks like Arnold maybe chose the right time to go into politics as the studios just weren’t as interested in spending lots of money on his movies. It’s a damn shame we never saw With Wings as Eagles as that sounded like it could have been something special.