What Does the Schwarzenegger-Shriver Separation Mean for 'The Governator'?

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver will separate after 25 years of marriage, the Los Angeles Times reported early this morning. The couple attributed the decision to the "great personal and professional transition" each of them have gone through recently. Schwarzenegger stepped down as governor of California in January, after eight years in office. Shriver had left her job as an NBC correspondent in 2004 to help her husband's political career.

It remains to be seen how the separation will affect Schwarzenegger's next big project: A comic book and cartoon called The Governator, based on his life. According to an Entertainment Weekly report about Schwarzenegger's post-governor career, The Governator was supposed to include Shriver as a character:

The man who was recently in charge of the world's eighth-largest economy will be turning himself into a cartoon character. And not just any cartoon character, but the Governator, a sunglasses-wearing superhero with an Austrian accent who'll be at the center of an ambitious, kid-friendly multimedia comic-book and animated TV series codeveloped by no less a hero maker than Stan Lee. ''The Governator is going to be a great superhero, but he'll also be Arnold Schwarzenegger,'' the 88-year-old co-creator of Spider-Man explains. ''We're using all the personal elements of Arnold's life. We're using his wife [Maria Shriver]. 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 control center under his house in Brentwood.''

Then again, the plans for The Governator may have offered an early sign that the Schwarzenegger-Shriver marriage was on the rocks. EW also reports:

Schwarzenegger, however, confessed that, as of six weeks ago, Shriver was unaware she was going to be a character on the show. "I have never had a conversation with Maria about any of this," the former governor said. "It will be a big surprise for her."

Read the full story at Entertainment Weekly.

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Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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