Remember The Governator, the comic book and cartoon series from Arnold Schwarzenegger we dismissed as an April Fools' joke last week? Apparently it's real. Sorry about that. As an act of contrition, we've combed through the Entertainment Weekly cover story announcing the project and Schwarzenegger's remarks today at the MipTV conference in Cannes (where he also unveiled a three-minute trailer to potential international buyers) and assembled a guide to what we know for sure about Schwarzenegger's comeback project, slated to debut in late 2012

 




 

It's not just a vanity project. Really.

A series built around an ex-governor superhero named Arnold sounds like the kind of idea only an ex-governor named Arnold could love, but at least one person with a strong background in comics believes in the project: Spider-Man creator Stan Lee. Entertainment Weekly reports Lee "co-developed" the character with Schwarzenegger. This phrase admittedly raises questions about how involved the 88-year-old Lee was in creating the character, but his remarks to the magazine certainly make it seem like he's clued-in about the direction of the series "The Governator is going to be a great superhero, but he’ll also be Arnold Schwarzenegger," Lee said. "We’re using all the personal elements of Arnold’s life. We’re using his wife. We’re using his kids. We’re using the fact that he used to be governor. Only after he leaves the governor’s office, Arnold decides to become a crime fighter and builds a secret high-tech crime-fighting center under his house in Brentwood."

It will feature a Larry King cameo

The biggest reveal of the trailer, by far: Larry King's cameo appearance as an alarmingly-young version of himself (pictured right). No word yet on whether voice duties for the character--whose role may or may not extend beyond asking The Governator questions at press conferences--will conflict with King's responsibilities if that rumored gig on The Daily Show comes through

The bad guys will be G.I.R.L.I.E. Men

Or more specifically, agents in the employ of a shadowy crime outfit called Gangsters Imposters Racketeers Liars & Irredeemable Ex-cons. For those with short memories, this is a reference to a phrase Schwarzenegger used in 2004 to describe opponents in California's state legislature, back before Californians started blaming him for everything that ever had or ever would go wrong in the state.

The Governator has "super suits" and "speaker sprays"

Like Bruce Wayne, the fictionalized Schwarzenegger is just a man, which means he means his must use science and technology, not genetically altered spider DNA, to defeat his enemies. Along with the requisite souped-up car and exploding bubblegum, the character also has a closet-full of "super suits" that give him the power of flight, and "speaker sprays" (indistinguishable from ordinary breath freshener) that temporarily render the user multilingual.

It will eventually be a movie

Schwarzenegger's told reporters today that he and his partners plan to "develop [Governator] games and then a movie," after launching the character in comics and cartoons. After talking with the president of A Squared Entertainment, the production company developing the property with Schwarzenegger and Lee, Deadline's Kate Bulkley confirms an animated, 3-D Governator feature is being developed (along with a whopping 52 episodes of the cartoon) for an "early 2013" release date, with Schwarzenegger voicing the character in the feature and the television series.