He has his hands full as governor of Kah-lee-forn-ee-ah, but producers of the next "Terminator" movie are talking to Arnold Schwarzenegger in hopes that he'll be back for at least a small role, a spokesman for backers of the film said on Friday.
Fourteen months after "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" had its premiere, development of "T4" is in full swing with the same producers aiming to start shooting next year, said Dennis Higgins, a spokesman for financing partner Intermedia.
Talks also are under way with "Terminator 3" director Jonathan Mostow to return for the next sequel, and he is overseeing the draft of a script by writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris, who shared screenplay credits on the last film, Higgins said.
The "Terminator" series ranks as one of the most successful film franchises ever. "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," grossed more than $500 million worldwide after its 1991 release, while "T3" generated $430 million at the global box office.
One question producers have is whether Schwarzenegger can tear himself away from the demands of state government long enough to return as the virtually indestructible, lead-slinging cyborg from the future.
The Austrian-born actor-turned-politician clinched a record $30 million salary to reprise his signature film role in "T3."
"We're certainly talking to Arnold and his people," Higgins said. "He obviously has a day job that he has to take into consideration. But we're talking to him."
A source close to the production acknowledged that it was unlikely that Schwarzenegger would be available to star, but said producers hoped that he could play a "minor role."
Schwarzenegger's personal financial advisor Paul Wachter said, "It is not even on our radar screen ... Arnold is signing bills." He did not rule a possible cameo appearance but added, "Is it is realistic that while he is in office, he takes a starring role? Hardly."
Schwarzenegger, who assumed office as governor in November, has said he would put his Hollywood career on hold while in office and focus on the business of the state.
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