Arnold Schwarzenegger's Hans And Franz Musical Was Going To Be Bizarre, Hilarious

It was just a few weeks ago that Robert Smigel made headlines revealing the details of the Ambiguously Gay Duo live-action movie that never wound up happening – but now the former Saturday Night Live writer has spilled the beans on yet another "almost" film that was going to be based on a skit. It turns out that there was a Hans and Franz movie once in the works – based on the bit starring Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon – and the big screen adaptation would have both been a musical and starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Smigel recently recorded a digital exclusive for Late Night With Seth Meyers, and in the video he went into specifics about the Hans and Franz movie that nearly joined the ranks of Saturday Night Live films. Taking us all the way back to the early 1990s, the writer explained that he initially thought the idea of making a movie about two ridiculous bodybuilders was a "terrible idea," but that tune changed when Arnold Schwarzenegger called Dana Carvey expressing interest in pursuing the project, and it was pitched that the feature be made as a musical.

Along with Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon and Conan O'Brien, Robert Smigel began to write songs for the Hans and Franz film, and it was from there that a story began to take form. The initial idea was that the story would start in the "Austrian section of New York" – which is described as having rolling hills and bodybuilders everywhere – and would take the lead characters on a cross-country to California, where they would pursue fame and celebrity a la what Arnold Schwarzenegger accomplished. The writer added that Schwarzenegger would have played a dual role in the movie, first appearing as Hans and Franz’s grandmother. Smigel doesn’t specifically say what the second part would have been, but it’s implied that he would be playing some kind of version of himself.

You can watch Robert Smigel tell the story in the video below, and also hear him sing one of the jazzy tunes that Arnold Schwarzenegger would have performed in the Hans and Franz film.

If you’re like me, after watching that video you found yourself curious about the Hans and Franz commercial starring Aaron Rogers that Robert Smigel mentions and the gag involving the two Austrian bodybuilders doing a bit of waterskiing. The good news is that we live in the internet age, where basically everything is stored online, and you can actually watch that commercial below! (the specific scene in question is at around the 30 second mark):

There is quite a lot about this project that sounds monstrously stupid, but at the same time there are bits and pieces that do sound funny. At the end of the day, it’s probably best that this movie didn’t get made.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.