Recent years have seen huge numbers of big screen actors switching gears to take on TV roles for the first time, it's a jump that will soon be taken by one of the biggest blockbuster stars on the planet. After an arguably successful stint as Celebrity Apprentice host, Arnold Schwarzenegger has finally signed on to star in his first scripted television series, Amazon's in-the-works western Outrider.
Set in the late 1800s in the Oklahoma Indian Territory, Outrider sounds like it'll follow in the footsteps of recent years' acclaimed TV westerns like Longmire and Godless, with a dark mystery at its core. Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to star as an unbending and justice-minded Federal Marshall who immigrated to the U.S. as a child. A cold-blooded judge partnered him up with a local deputy to track down a dangerous outlaw in the wilderness, and we can probably expect that deputy to be played by a big star. The hunt for the criminal will thin the lines between traditional good guys and bad guys, as well as the ones between friends and enemies. Sounds solid to me.
At this point, Amazon's Outrider is still in the development stages, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is not only tapped to star, but he'll also take on duties as executive producer. The project is being co-written and executive-produced by Mark Montgomery and Trey Calloway, the latter of which has written and produced for CSI: NY and, most recently, Fox's short-lived APB. Also on board as executive producer is longtime Hollywood vet Mace Neufeld, who's also working with Amazon on the upcoming Jack Ryan series.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's first scripted TV role comes just a year after his highly publicized Celebrity Apprentice hosting gig, and three years after play his first live-action TV role in 25 years (for Two and a Half Men's finale). Some of his early-career roles were on the small screen, though, in shows such as The Streets of San Francisco and Tales from the Crypt. His most recent feature roles were in the action comedy Killing Gunther and the thriller Aftermath, with a new Terminator entry from James Cameron supposedly on the way in the future.
Amazon has stepped it up in the project development department recently, shooting for big-budget event series like its Lord of the Rings projects rather than the smaller comedies and dramas that it started off with. Oddly enough, this announcement came out on the same day that Amazon's Conan the Barbarian TV series was announced, which Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't currently a part of. I can already smell the crossover.
Outrider will likely spend more time in the development stages as the rest of the cast comes together. Until then, check out everything coming to the streaming service this year with our 2018 Amazon premiere schedule, and then head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are on the way.