Winning 7 Mr Olympia Was Not Good Enough as Arnold Schwarzenegger Was Rejected For the Role of Incredible Hulk

Winning 7 Mr Olympia Was Not Good Enough as Arnold Schwarzenegger Was Rejected For the Role of Incredible Hulk
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Even years of professional bodybuilding didn’t seem to be enough for Arnold Schwarzenegger to get the role of Hulk.


The former governor of California was being considered for the 1977 series titled The Incredible Hulk that aired on CBS. While the muscular god would have been an impeccable fit to portray Dr. Banner’s monstrous alter ego, astonishingly enough, Schwarzenegger didn’t tick all the boxes to be able to bag the role.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger

For all the muscle that The Terminator star packs, it should’ve been an easy yes for the showrunners to assign the character to him. But turns out his height was the thorn in the road as Schwarzenegger was ruled to be too short to play Hulk. Looks like 6’2 isn’t the standard after all.


See also: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s $212M Movie Co-Star Hasn’t Forgiven Him for ‘Intentionally’ Farting on Her Face: “He had me in a position where I couldn’t escape”

Why Arnold Schwarzenegger Wasn’t Cast As Hulk in The Incredible Hulk (1977) 

The Incredible Hulk starred Bill Bixby as David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as his green, brawny alter ego who, with his unforgiving temper and fury stood in sharp contrast to the docile yet shrewd scientist inhabiting the monster named Hulk. Executive-produced by Kenneth Johnson, the series had a successful run for 5 seasons with its final episode concluding in 1982.

As per American Comic Book Chronicles, the creators of The Incredible Hulk were eyeing Arnold Schwarzenegger to portray Hulk in the sci-fi show. But even after being 6’2, the Predator star had apparently been rejected for the role since the writer and co-producer believed that was not tall enough.

The Incredible Hulk
Lou Ferrigno in and as The Incredible Hulk

Since height seemed to be paramount to the character, the show’s developer then offered the role to  Moonraker star Richard Kiel who was popular for being a 7’2 giant. But while Kiel met that requirement, he lacked the muscle that also happened to be Hulk’s defining feature. So the role was ultimately passed on to the 6’5 retired professional bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno.

Turns out, that wasn’t the only time when Ferrigno, 71, was competing with Schwarzenegger.

See also: “The body was really extraordinary”: Arnold Schwarzenegger Was Awestruck by Marvel Star Jake Gyllenhaal’s Insane Transformation for $94M Movie


Arnold Schwarzenegger And Lou Ferrigno Are Both Bodybuilding Champions

While Schwarzenegger, 75, holds the crown for winning Mr. Olympia 7 times, the Pumping Iron star too was a renowned bodybuilder during his glory days, winning an IFBB Mr. America title along with two consecutive IFBB Mr. Universe titles. What’s more, the two hunks had been opponents in the 1974 Mr. Olympia contest wherein the Commando star ultimately emerged victorious, leaving Ferringo in second place.

See also: What Happened Between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone – 20 Years of Rivalry Explained

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger during his glory days

Despite their professional rivalry though, Ferringo actually holds Schwarzenegger in high regard and has immense respect for him as well. He even posted a picture of him with his idol on his Facebook and sang his opponent’s praise. “I looked up to Arnold and I was very excited to be on stage with him,” he wrote. “In 1 year I went from Mr. America to then competing in Mr. Olympia. I knew I wasn’t in my best shape but this competition really raised the bar in my career.”


And now, the two are close friends and workout buddies too!

Source: Looper

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Written by Khushi Shah

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With a prolific knowledge of everything pop culture and a strong penchant for writing, Khushi has penned over 700 articles during her time as an author at FandomWire.
An abnormal psychology student and an fervent reader of dark fiction, her most trusted soldiers are coffee and a good book.