Arnold Schwarzeneger on cinema screens? Inevitably, he'll be back. While his first post-politics project is a TV cartoon series for kids called The Governator, Schwarzenegger told a press conference at the MipTV conference in Cannes today that the show will spawn comic books, digital content and ultimately a 3D movie.The star also said he is planning a return to the big screen in non-animated form. "I will also be in front of the camera, and I'm looking at many different scripts," he said. "We have somewhat held off with that because we really wanted to pay full attention to The Governator."
The project is a collaboration between Schwarzenegger, branded entertainment firm A Squared Entertainment, comic books publisher Archie Comics and POW! Entertainment – the company headed by former Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee.
The show is loosely based on Schwarzenegger's recent political career, with an animated post-governor Arnie fighting crime and natural disasters while trying to "make it home for dinner every night".
"You will see more action in this series than you have ever seen before, but combined with comedy," he said today. "This will not be a violent show. If you look at my movies, a lot of heads come off! That is not what this is."
Schwarzenegger denied that he felt pressure about returning to entertainment following his stint as governor of the (non-animated) California.
"I was looking for, when I am finished with politics, to come up with something that would be a big surprise," he said. "Everyone has been 'Wow, I didn't expect that at all'."
Schwarzenegger has been ever-present at Cannes already this week, with a blizzard of photocalls, interviews and even the acceptance of a prestigious Legion d'Honneur award. You might wonder why he needs to be so personally involved in the promotion of the new project, but it seems the location was a key draw.
"Coming to Cannes for me is like going home," he said, explaining that his break into the movies came at the 1977 Cannes film festival. "At a time when everyone was negative when I wanted to go from being a bodybuilding champion into movies, Cannes was different."
He affected unconcern over the financial prospects for The Governator, which is being touted to broadcasters around the world at MipTV. "None of us looks at this as a money-making thing – if it is successful, the money will come anyway," he said, before stressing that the series is aimed at a global audience.
"I think the people in Africa ought to be entertained, as much as the people in America, Australia or Europe."