Arnold Schwarzenegger’s most recent film release, Maggie, didn’t really cause much impact on the industry. The indie project, in which Schwarzenegger played a father of a teenage girl bitten by zombies, neither did that well at the box office (in limited release) nor earned particularly strong reviews, though Schwarzenegger’s acting was viewed favorably.
Given that Maggie was a small, independent movie, though, it's not so surprising that audiences seemed to bypass it and have instead remained focused on his upcoming return as the Terminator in Terminator: Genisys. Schwarzenegger, however, seems keen to prove he still has the acting chops needed to tackle a more dramatic role, and has already lined up his next project of that nature.
According to Deadline, Schwarzenegger is now attached to star in 478, based on a script by Javier Gullón. The latter is a screenwriter whose previous credits include Enemy (Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of the Jose Saramago novel "The Double"), as well as other dramatic thrillers, like Hierro and Invader. The Deadline report doesn't mention a director being set for 478 yet, but it's conceivable that Gullón will make his directorial debut on the project.
478 tells the story of a man (Schwarzenegger) who loses his wife and child in a plane crash. Unable to come to terms with his loss, Schwarzenegger seeks revenge on the air traffic controller who was responsible for the tragedy taking place (and is now in protective police custody). Darren Aronofsky's company, Protozoa Pictures, will be producing the film, which aims to enter production by Fall 2015, before Schwarzenegger potentially sets to work on the sixth Terminator movie (in early 2016).
The big blockbuster movies such as Terminator helped make Schwarzenegger a household name and film legend, but these smaller, darker and more dramatic roles (like in 478) give him a chance to really show off his skills as an actor. Case in point, the Deadline report described 478 as being a quieter, more character-driven film, more in line with Maggie, in which the zombie apocalypse storyline almost served as a sub-plot to the relationships between the characters of the film.
However, as mentioned before, Schwarzenegger doesn't plan on quitting the action star game just yet - what with his tentative plans to make more Terminator films, in addition to The Legend of Conan (the long-awaited third Conan the Barbarian installment featuring Arnold as Conan). It seems as though, at 67 years of age, Schwarzenegger is still up for playing the action hero, but also has every intention of being taken seriously as dramatic film actor of note, too.
We'll bring you more information on 478 as the story develops.