8 Arnold Schwarzenegger Roles That Sylvester Stallone Would Have Done Better

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are two of the most iconic action stars of all time, and is interesting to wonder which Schwarzenegger role Stallone would have done a better job with.

sylvester stallone in Cobra and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator


Stallone might have brought something even more special and funny to the role of Detective John Kimble in Kindergarten Cop.

Stallone could have redeemed the failure of his previous comedy film Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot by taking on the role of Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin.
Sylvester Stallone’s heartfelt and sentimental portrayal could have excelled in the Christmas comedy Jingle All the Way, adding depth to the character of Howard Langston.

Both known for their strong guy physique and choosing over-the-top action movie roles, they each bring something special and unique to the parts that they play.

Schwarzenegger and Stallone both have distinct styles and built two of the most impressive movie careers in Hollywood’s history.

Therefore, it is fun to think about how movie history would change if they had cast Sly in some of Arnie’s most iconic roles.

Schwarzenegger and Stallone have been in the running for the same movie on plenty of different occasions.

Even dating back to Arnold’s breakout role in the early 1980s, producers usually had Stallone in the back of their minds when they were making casting decisions.

With a rivalry that dates back decades, the two are on friendly terms today and have even buried the hatchet enough to star opposite one another in the Expendables movies and Escape Plan.

That said, there are some Schwarzenegger roles that, if given the chance, Stallone might have done an even better job with, although Schwarzenegger nailed all of them.

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger Rivalry

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone’s historic rivalry is over and they are now friends. However, it seems to resume in the strangest way.

8Detective John Kimble

Kindergarten Cop (1990)

arnold schwarzenegger in kindergarter cop screaming
John Kimble pointing a gun to someone in Kindergartner cop Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Kindergarten Cop kids Arnold Schwarzenegger in Kindergarten Cop surrounded by children arnold schwarzenegger hugging children in kindergarten cop

The story of an undercover police detective working as a kindergarten teacher was the perfect melding of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s tough guy persona with his comedic sensibilities.

However, it is hard to shake the feeling that Sylvester Stallone’s unique take on his characters would not have added something even more special to Detective John Kimble.

A role that takes just as much action skills as it does comedy, Sly is the only logical choice when it comes to recasting this movie, despite the baffling fact that, at one point, Danny DeVito had been in the running to star in it (via Vulture).

7Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze

Batman & Robin (1997)

Mr Freeze in Batman & Robin holding a diamond

The notoriously terrible Batman & Robin led to the canning of the entire Batman film franchise in the 1990s.

The film received backlash for its overly campy tone, constant puns, and excess performances that included Schwarzenegger’s molecular biologist turned supervillain, Mr. Freeze. If Stallone were to have taken the part, he could have used it as a chance to make up for the failure of his previous comedy Stop!

Or My Mom Will Shoot, which was a role that Schwarzenegger famously tricked him into accepting.

Batman & Robin ranks among the worst movies ever made, so adding Stallone into the mix surely wouldn’t do it any harm.

6Howard Langston

Jingle All the Way (1996)

Jake Lloyd and Arnold Schwarzenegger share a father-son moment in a scene from Jingle All the Way Turbo Man Holds a Turbo Man toy in Jingle All The Way Jingle All The Way's Howard and Myron, with both reaching for the screen Howard working hard in Jingle All the Way Arnold Schwarzenegger with a group of Santas in Jingle All The Way

The Christmas comedy Jingle All the Way is a festive favorite for many, despite Arnold Schwarzenegger receiving a negative response from critics for his wooden performance and misjudged comedic timing.

Jingle All the Way is an often confusing deconstruction of consumerism that, if given the chance, Sylvester Stallone would have excelled in.

The more heartfelt and sentimental aspects of Howard Langston’s struggle to get his son a Turbo-Man action figure on Christmas Eve would have suited Sly, who often showed his soft side through his portrayal of Rocky Balboa’s love for his wife Adrian in the Rocky movie series.

5Douglas Quaid / Carl Hauser

Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall's Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Sharon

A sci-fi exploration of confused identity, Total Recall stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as ordinary man Douglas Quaid, who actually might be secret agent Carl Hauser with his memory altered.

While Schwarzenegger did a great job in the role, Sylvester Stallone demonstrated the previous year, in Lock Up, that he was just as capable of portraying a similar character In the film, Stallone plays convicted prisoner Frank Leone who must adapt to a new life following an unexpected transfer to a hostile prison.

By all metrics, the film was a failure, and if Stallone instead took the lead on Total Recall he could have made up for this unfortunate misstep.

4Julius Benedict

Twins (1988)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito on the poster for Twins

The idea that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito are twin brothers because of a secret genetic experiment gone wrong is absolutely inspired.

The contrast between Schwarzenegger’s overblown and muscled exterior and DeVito’s short and eccentric demeanor is already a recipe for comedy gold.

However, when recasting Schwarzenegger’s role with Sylvester Stallone the resulting film is no less hilarious, and Stallone would surely have brought something unique to the character of Julius Benedict.

Due to Stallone and DeVito’s shared Italian heritage, this casting also makes more logical sense.

Sylvester Stallone is one of the last remaining movie stars. From Rocky to First Blood to The Suicide Squad, Stallone has starred in some great films.

3Detective Jack Slater

Last Action Hero (1993)

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Jack Slater with a gun in Last Action Hero.

The fantasy comedy Last Action Hero failed to live up to the studio’s expectations and the time of its release was a low point for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Despite having since amassed a cult following, to re-imagine Sylvester Stallone in the lead role of the fictional police officer, helping the young boy magically transported to his world, would have given the film the boost it needed to succeed at the time.

Stallone’s previous role as Vietnam War veteran John Rambo demonstrates he has everything it takes to play the over-the-top, stops-at-nothing-to-succeed, practical superhero Detective Jack Slater.

2 Conan the Barbarian

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Arnold Schwarzenegger ready for battle with a sword in Conan the Barbarian.

With such a strong physical presence and already having developed a tough guy reputation as Rocky Balboa, Stallone could have stopped Arnold’s acting career before it even took off.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s breakout role was as the title character in Conan the Barbarian. However, before he was cast, the producers had considered Sylvester Stallone for the part.

Stallone would have brought an entirely different kind of energy to the epic sword and sorcery movie, and his later role as different characters in superhero movies for Marvel and DC demonstrates he is not averse to comic book fantasy.

With such a strong physical presence and already having developed a tough guy reputation as Rocky Balboa, Stallone could have stopped Arnold’s acting career before it even took off if he had been cast as Conan the Barbarian.

1 Terminator (T-800)

The Terminator (1984)

Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator on the poster of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Terminator Practical Effects breakdown showing the t-800 with a robotic eye Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800 Wearing Sunglasses and Speaking with Himself in the Mirror Saying Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator Saying Hasta La Vista, Baby Arnold Schwarzenegger riding a motorcycle in The Terminator

Release DateOctober 26, 1984
DirectorJames Cameron
CastMichael Biehn , Linda Hamilton , Lance Henriksen , Paul Winfield , Arnold Schwarzenegger
Runtime107 minutes

The most iconic role in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career, it feels blasphemous to imagine any other actor in the role of the Terminator. However, if there is one actor who can also do it justice, it would be none other than Sylvester Stallone. The epitome of every tough guy, unstoppable, and single-minded determined character Stallone has ever played, he would need to channel the will to never give up on Rocky, the superhuman strength of Rambo, the technical know-how of Expendables leader Barney Ross if he wanted to top Arnold’s reputation of the iconic T-800. But if the stars aligned just right, and Sly was in top acting form, he could do it.

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