UPDATE: It started with a rumour that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be the villain in the next Avatar move. The full, original story will follow below but I think it's important to preface it, now, with some comments from 20th Century Fox.
Here's what they had to say, as expressed by The Hollywood Reporter:
A Fox spokesperson said Tuesday that Schwarzenegger, who memorably starred in Cameron's Terminator and True Lies movies, will not be in the sci-fi sequel nor is the actor being considered for any role.
That's a much less wriggly wording than a lot of these denials take. It sounds like a pretty final dismissal to me.
Now, here's the original story…
It's not the first time I've heard this rumour but Latino Review are citing "top level sources" in claiming Arnold Schwarzenegger will be in Avatar 2.
This doesn't quite mesh perfectly with the only tiny shred of information I have about the direction of the Avatar sequels, which unfortunately I can't share right now, but with three more films gearing up, maybe there's scope for some detours along the way.
And there's no denying that James Cameron has been the one director to get the best out of Schwarzenegger.
Latino Review's report call the character in question a:
bad guy human general
And that too gives me pause. Would Cameron go for the same dynamic as last time around? Maybe he has a brilliant new spin on it.
And then there are some comments by Schwarzengger back in January:
Movie-wise, he's tied up with his next two movies, but hopefully, there's something down the line when he's finished with that.
Those two movies being the Avatar sequels. So this comment came back when there were only going to be two new Avatar films, but certainly a long time after Cameron had decided what his basic story outline was going to be. So either Arnie was fibbing, Cameron changed his mind or the addition of an extra Avatar sequel has brought some new ideas into play.
In any case, it's an interesting prospect, particularly for Schwarzenegger. He could certainly use another solid-gold turn to lift his acting rep out of the doldrums, and Cameron really seems like the chap to deliver him one.