20th Century Fox has denied a recent rumor that Arnold Schwarzenegger was cast as the villain in Avatar 2.
A spokesperson for the studio told The Hollywood Reporter that not only will Schwarzenegger not be in the film, but he wasn't even being considered for a role.
Latino Review was the first to report that the Terminator star had landed the role. Citing "top level sources," the website said the role would be played by someone "who hasn't worked with James Cameron in almost 20 years" before naming Schwarzenegger. The 66-year-old worked with Cameron on Terminator and its sequel, as well as True Lies.
The website recently, and correctly, reported that Bradley Cooper was cast as the voice of Rocket Raccoon in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, but their "top level sources" were wrong on this one.
Still, Arnold Schwarzenegger hinted to MTV Movies Blog that he and Cameron could be teaming up again in the future.
"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," Schwarzenegger said. "I always look forward to working with him because Cameron is a very talented director."
In August, James Cameron announced that he and Fox upped the number of Avatar sequels from two to three. All three films will shoot simultaneously in 2014.
Josh Friedman (War of the Worlds) will write the first sequel, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) will pen the second, and Shane Salerno (Salinger) will write the third. Avatar2 is scheduled for a December 2016 release, and the third installment will come out the following year. Avatar 4 will hit theaters sometime in 2018.
Cameron said that he increased the number of sequels because he didn't want to leave anything out.
"In writing the new films, I've come to realise that Avatar's world, story and characters have become even richer than I anticipated, and it became apparent that two films would not be enough to capture everything I wanted to put on screen," he said.
The first Avatar was released in 2009 and grossed $2.7 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the highest-grossing movie of all time.