Axel Merckx to take over Terminator movie role?
According to several Hollywood sources, former pro cyclist Axel Merckx is being considered as a replacement for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the next installment of the Terminator movie series.
While Terminator Genisys is set to launch in theaters on July 1st, studio executives have said they’re looking for new talent to take over the role from the 67 year old Schwarzenegger. It appears that Merckx is one of the finalists.
“He’s fantastic, he’s perfect, the guy actually looks like Arnold,” said agent Brent Trikya, who represents several top action hero stars. “He has that same tough guy face, that badass look. I mean, really, they called his dad the Cannibal — why shouldn’t Axel be the new Terminator?
The 42 year old Belgian, who know resides in British Colombia, is a highly successful manager of the Axeon development squad, where stars like Taylor Phinney (BMC) Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale-Garmin) and Ian Boswell (Sky) all got their start.
While he has no apparent acting experience, Trikya thinks Merckx is a perfect fit for the Terminator series. “It’s an action pic. He doesn’t have to talk, he just has to look tough and grunt out a few lines,” said Trikya. “I’ve hear him give instructions to his riders from the team car in races, believe me, he’s got a strong voice. He radiates strength and power. Any anyway, most Americans can’t tell the difference between an Austrian and Belgian accent.”
At 6’3″ in height, Merckx is an inch taller than Schwarzenegger and while he retired from pro cycling back in 2007, he’s still lean and fit. “This guy could jump off buildings, he could do his own stunts, I mean, sky is the limit. He’s got that “it” factor,” said Trikya. “Arnold, he’s had some work done, you know, and Axel could step right in, not miss a beat.”
What’s not clear is whether Merckx is ready to leave the bike race world for a shot at Hollywood and stardom. Reached for comment, Merckx refused to be drawn into any bold statements. “I took a meeting, I listened, somebody threw out some pretty big numbers,” said Merckx. “I told my father about it. He laughed pretty good.”
While Merckx hasn’t said yes, there is plenty of momentum behind this Hollywood casting decision. The Terminator movie franchise has already grossed nearly 1.5 billion dollars in revenue. That kind of financial power is not lost on Merckx. “For sure, I could take a few million and put it into the team. That would be fantastic,” said Merckx. “We could rename the team the Axeon Terminator squad. We could get ourselves a real big time bus. Maybe even a special effects guy for the bigger stage races.”
That said, it’s not an easy decision to make. “It would be cool to be the next Terminator. No question. But you know, is that as important as the Tour of California or the US Pro Cycling Challenge? For me, those are bigger.”