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Arnold Schwarzenegger Adds ‘The Running Man’ to His List of Possible Sequels

Schwarzenegger The Running Man
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

“I’ll be back,” is no longer just Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most famous movie quote and catchphrase. It’s now his main business model. Though the early phase of the Governator’s return to Hollywood focused on new movies that trafficked in nostalgia for his heyday, the next phase seems driven by Ahnuld going back to all his old movies and making new versions of them.

The first will be ‘Terminator Genisys,’ which opens in theaters next summer. There’s also talk of a new version of ‘Twins’ (called ‘Triplets,’ possibly with Eddie Murphy as Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito’s other brother) and another ‘Conan The Barbarian,’ with an older Conan in the twilight of his years. According to Digital Spy, while doing a Q&A in England last weekend, Schwarzenegger announced another potential sequel in his future: ‘The Running Man,’ his 1987 sci-fi thriller based on a novel by Stephen King about a dark future where criminals compete for their lives on reality television (that dark future, apparently, is the year 2014).

Here’s what Schwarzenegger said about being back in ‘The Running Man’ (and other sequels in general) all these years later:

It’s an honor to be asked back after all these years, back to the franchise. This is really wild… They’re doing a Twins sequel, to be called ‘Triplets’ I’ve read the first draft. There’s rumblings of a new ‘Running Man’ movie, so it’s a great honor to be asked back… [Getting in shape for these sequels] comes back to bodybuilding, I’m used to doing cardiovascular training every day. Therefore I’m still in good shape, and I can do the action and have the energy to do these movies.

A ‘Running Man’ sequel (or reboot or remake or something) isn’t all that surprising (not as surprising as a ‘Twins’ sequel anyway). The film was only a modest hit in 1987, grossing only about $40 million domestically, but it had a healthy life on cable and home video. More importantly, its dystopian future of violent reality television looks more prescient all the time, and it’s fight-to-the-death format preceded ‘The Hunger Games,’ which is currently one of the biggest franchises on the planet. The way ‘The Running Man’ ended doesn’t make a sequel immediately obvious, particularly 25 years later. But what if instead of a sequel, they just remade it? And what if you cast Schwarzenegger not as Ben Richards, the hero, but as Damon Killian (played by ‘Family Feud’ host Richard Dawson in the original), the sadistic host of the ‘Running Man’ TV show within the film? That actually sounds kind of fun.

This is the first we’ve heard of a ‘Running-er Man,’ and the plan at this point sounds tentative at best. Personally, as the biggest Arnold fan on the planet, what I want to see is a ‘Junior’ sequel. That is a story that demands closure. And the use of the title ‘Junior’s Junior.’

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