When you go to as many conventions as I do, you start to look for certain things. For me, there's nothing better than digging through a tub of old pins and buttons or finding a postcard with art or photos from one of your favorite movies. In this case, it's San Diego Comic-Con 2012 and one bad ass booth gave me two pop culture nuggets.
Apparently this Sgt. Rock bad boy almost happened. As in, got canceled a few weeks before shooting, almost. In May of 1988, Warner Brothers and Arnold announced a September start. A script was ready, promo buttons were handed out at conventions, Arnold had done costume fittings and director John McTiernan was in Europe scouting locations. Sgt. Rock comics were seen on screen in the duo's 1987 classic Predator as the books were on the Mexican set for research. But here we are twenty some years later with no Sgt. Rock VHS or Laserdisc or DVD or 25th anniversary Blu-Ray on our shelves. Twenty-five years later, Joel Silver is still trying to bring Sgt. Rock to the big screen.
At that time, Arnold was larger than life, a superhero without the costume. Would he be believable as the no-nonsense leader in an unglamorous world? More than that, I recall the story being fairly tame and unexciting. A lot of tumbling rocks and an injured Rock walking around Europe. At one point he comes across an all black unit of soldiers and all I could think was that this was to be a Carl Weathers cameo to harken back to their great chemistry and manly handshake in Predator.
Maybe it's for the best to keep those rosy images in our dreams where they can't be tarnished.
EDIT: Thanks to a terrific interview with screenwriter Steven E. de Souza, we can put this baby to rest. Apparently, Arnold took a cue from Clint Eastwood and bought some property in Idaho, wishing to make a film nearby and utilize local crew. It was said Sgt. Rock would film in and around The Oak's new digs. While being fitted for his costume, someone mentioned Yugoslavia and a shocked Arnold called a meeting with the producer, director and executives. As location scouts had already been dispatched to Europe, Arnold wanted it in his contract that he would not leave the continental United States to make the film. After the meeting, Arnold and McTiernan left the project and since he wasn't sued, de Souza figures it was in his contract and Warner Brothers were going back on their word. No dice, baby.