Next Up For Schwarzenegger: Animation

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Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne report on former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's next project: The Governator, an animated series and comic book based on Schwarzenegger's life.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And it's been three months since Arnold Schwarzenegger left office as California governor

Mr. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (Former Republican Governor, California; Actor): It has been an honor to have served you for these past eight years, but now I must say goodbye.

MONTAGNE: Many had wondered what he would do. Now we know. For his next role, Schwarzenegger will play himself.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

He's voicing the role of "The Governator," a cartoon alter ego. Here's the trailer for the animated series, which also features Larry King.

(Soundbite of cartoon, "The Governator")

Mr. LARRY KING (Host, "Larry King Live"): (as Himself) Governor, will you be returning to your life as a movie star?

Mr. SCHWARZENEGGER: (as The Governator) No, Larry. I've had a great career, as you know, as a body builder, as an actor and a politician. Now I'm going to be a private citizen once again. I won't be back.

MONTAGNE: Arnold Schwarzenegger contends that The Governator will have many similarities to the former governor. He'll have the same wife and kids, and a mansion in Brentwood, California. Only The Governator's mansion includes an underground high-tech anti-crime center.

Mr. SCHWARZENEGGER: So imagine the mansion is on top and then you right below and there is the submarine, and there is the speedboat, and there is the vehicles. So it's like "Batman" but much more sophisticated, more creative. He's the baddest of the bad kind of heroes and fighting all of the baddest of bad villains.

MONTAGNE: The project's co-creator is Stan Lee, who previously brought you Spider-Man. They plan to come out with a comic book by the end of this year and then a TV show, action figures and eventually a movie.

INSKEEP: The Governator will drive an Ah-nold car that turns into a helicopter, a submarine and a boat, we're told. He will also have a suit that lets him walk through walls and shoot into orbit.

Mr. SCHWARZENEGGER: What makes this project special is that because it brings all my worlds together. And I utilize all the talent of people that I have met. As you know, as governor you meet people from the Interpol to police, law enforcement, Homeland Security.

INSKEEP: And as a cartoon, "The Governator" will not have pesky Democrats or a state constitution holding him back, which means he might be able to solve problems that he never could as a real governor.

Mr. SCHWARZENEGGER: Of course, when you're governor you wish you could do much more than you were able to do because of the restrictions. But, you know, in your fantasy it's great to imagine wouldn't it be great if we could do X, Y, and Z? And here now we have the chance of doing it.

MONTAGNE: Meaning one episode could be: "Governator Solves California Budget Crisis."

(Soundbite of cartoon, "The Governator")

Mr. SCHWARZENEGGER: (as The Governator) I'm back.

MONTAGNE: This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

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