After a back-and-forth over his next project, Arnold Schwarzenegger is returning to the big screen in “Cry Macho.” The drama, to be directed by “The Lincoln Lawyer” helmer Brad Furman, deals with a former horse trainer who is forced to kidnap a boy, only to realize the boy’s mother is in no way interested in getting the boy back. Bonding ensues. And, apparently, violence, as The Hollywood Reporter informs us “some action elements have been added to accommodate the star.” What, did you expect Arnold to ACT his way out of a hostage situation?
Schwarzenegger will be making $12.5 million, a significant paycut from the $30 million he received to star in “Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines.” However, the cushion is soothed by a whopping 25% first dollar gross on top of his initial fee. It would appear “The Godfather” and “Million Dollar Baby” producer Al Ruddy has no idea what “first dollar gross” actually means, but clearly he thinks “Cry Macho” will be a license to print money. “If it works, and I think it will,” he says, “this could be a classic. There’s an emotional line to the story that really works. At the end of the movie, I’m hoping audiences will be laughing and crying at the same time.”
“Cry Macho” began life as a 1975 novel by N. Richard Nash, who then adapted the book into a screenplay for a raft of lead actors over the years, including Burt Lancaster, Clint Eastwood and Pierce Brosnan. Though Nash passed away in 2000, Ruddy has been trying since then to put the film together independently, and the package, which includes Ruddy, Schwarzenegger, Furman and a September start date, will be out to buyers during Cannes.
It looks like this takes Schwarzenegger out of the running of his other potential comeback projects. It’s possible he could quickly shoot “The Last Stand” with Ji-Woon Kim this summer, as that was the original start date when Liam Neeson was attached, but that seems unlikely for the 63 year old star. Also put on the back-burner is involvement with Antoine Fuqua‘s “The Tomb,” though it has already been confirmed the director will be working on a Tupac Shakur biopic this summer. And Schwarzenegger is also part of the “Terminator” package being shopped to studios, though a mid-2011 start date for that project would be possible if “Cry Macho” is to begin this fall, possibly meaning director Justin Lin would drop the film and pursue a more immediate opportunity. And oh yeah, that “The Governator” animated show? Deadline adds that unsurprisingly, it’s having a tough time finding international buyers.
We’ll guess this also torpedoes a possible cameo in “The Expendables II,” though even with a summer 2012 release date, we’re surprised we haven’t heard anything about that film shooting anytime soon. Sylvester Stallone is currently working on “Headshot” with Walter Hill, and as of now is not returning to direct “The Expendables II,” so the project could be pushed back to better suit the cadre of aged stars.