Before leaving office as Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was hounded with questions as to what he would do next. Since the environment was a major platform of his administration, he mentioned that it would continue to be a focus after his term was up. A return to acting was also in the cards.
Now it appears that we may get a bit of both.
Schwarzenegger is set to announce his first major project on April 4th at the MIPTV conference in Cannes. The annual event is basically a content market for "co-producing, buying, selling, financing and distributing entertainment content."
According to reps, Arnold will be promoting an "international TV series", but beyond that tidbit, all lips are sealed. There are however some hints that whatever this is could carry with it a green theme - and even potentially be animated. Here are the rumors:
1. It's an animated series starring Arnold as a green superhero a la "Gisele & the Green Team"
Deadline has a source saying that the former Governor is working on an animated series with Andy Heyward, who runs the children's entertainment company A Squared. The mission of the group is to create "content with a purpose". They're the same people who produce supermodel Gisele's green animated series; as well as educational toons featuring Warren Buffet and Martha Stewart. A green focused Schwarzenegger might be a great, if not redundant fit, to the lineup.
2. It's an animated/live-action series starring Arnold as a green superhero a la "Spider-Man"
Another intriguing tidbit from Deadline is that Stan Lee and Schwarzenegger may actually partner with A2 to create something that would appeal to a much larger demographic. Lee is a legendary comic book writer who co-created such classics as Spider-Man, Hulk, X-Men, and many more. According to the site, there's a push to get "new and original creations by Lee published as comic books and produced as animated and live-action properties, including series."
While Arnold might be a bit old for the live action superhero side of things, a new comic book character in his likeness would be rather cool - especially if it was, say, a more serious version of Captain Planet.
3. It's a live-action series hosted by Schwarzenegger addressing international environmental issues
This additional possibility is all my own speculation - but there are reasons to suspect it could be for real.
Celebrities hosting television shows is something of a ratings magnet for networks. Just look at what Sarah Palin did for TLC's numbers. Mix in nature and environmental controversy, and you've just gift-wrapped the perfect theme for a show on the Discovery Channel. It's hard to imagine they would pass up the opportunity - and not pay out handsomely as well.
But why do I suspect Arnold is heading in this direction? Two words: Belo Monte.
This week, the 63-year-old traveled with director James Cameron and a small film crew down to Brazil. Their focus was on the proposed site of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam - a controversial project that would destroy 600 acres of rainforest and displace tens of thousands of river-dwellers.
Since 2009, Cameron has been involved in efforts to derail approval of the dam. In partnership with the organization Amazon Watch, he even produced a short documentary called "A Message from Pandora" that focused on the Belo Monte and appeared on the "Avatar" DVD set.
While it's unclear whether Arnold was just there in support of his friend's efforts - or something related to a television show - it makes sense that some of that footage could be used to entice buyers to his "international" TV series.
Regardless of the above, it's exciting to hear that Schwarzenegger will once again be entertaining. If it carries a message (especially green!), all the better. Stay tuned for April 4th. In the meantime, check out some footage below that Arnold took of his experiences in Belo Monte.
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