It is hard to believe that Arnold Schwarzenegger, possibly the biggest action movie star of all time, has yet to play a superhero. But the Terminator star does provide the voice for one in Stan Lee's Superhero Kindergarten, a new streaming series where Schwarzenegger plays the role of a retired superhero turned teacher. In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Schwarzenegger revealed that the role was specifically designed for him by Stan Lee as an unofficial sequel to Kindergarten Cop.
"Stan and I were talking about creating some kind of superhero character for me and doing an animated show. He said to me, 'what is your biggest wish?' And I said, 'to do a sequel to Kindergarten Cop, [to which Lee replied] we should call it Superhero Kindergarten."
Superhero Kindergarten follows the story of a man named Arnold Armstrong, voiced by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was once the greatest superhero in the world, Captain Fantastic. A climactic battle against the nefarious Dr. Superior left Armstrong powerless, while the same event showered a group of toddlers with energy particles that gave them superpowers.
Now, Armstrong must assume the role of their teacher, and teach them to not only use their powers responsibly, but also the value of teamwork, health, and diversity. Unfortunately, Dr. Superior has opened his own school across town as Headmaster Danforth of the Academy for Superior Children, and the rival academy often gets in the way of Armstrong and his super toddlers as they attempt to save the day.
Superhero Kindergarten seems set to be a big success already, with the debut of its first two episodes on Friday, April 23 garnering a reported audience of over two million. Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO of Genius Brands, the company that co-produces the show, issued a statement hailing the strong initial showing for the series.
"Typically, a new children's series launch takes time to gain traction among audiences; however, we have been blown away by the extraordinary and immediate viewership and positive feedback with over two million views in just the first weekend! This breaks every record for us on the channel and goes beyond our wildest expectation for the series weekend debut. In the new world of streaming media, it's hard to compare apples to oranges, but if Superhero Kindergarten were a feature movie, we would be doing cartwheels with this 'opening weekend 'box office.'"
While fans might have missed out on the chance of seeing Schwarzenegger playing Superman or Thor in his prime, it is clear that the actor has a great deal of passion for his portrayal of Captain Fantastic. According to Heyward, the Stan Lee series is sure to be a hit with both children and adults.
"Arnold has been incredible with his passion and dedication to the development and production of the series. Working closely with the iconic comedy director John Landis, Arnold enriched every single line reading. The two of them together were magic in the recording booth, and never settled for anything less than excellence. The show is full of winks at the camera and gems, which adults will devour as much as kids. We know young audiences and their parents will continue to discover this special series in the months and years to come."
Director by John Landis and written by Steven Banks, Stan Lee's Superhero Kindergarten stars Arnold Schwarzenegger. New episodes air every Friday on Kartoon Channel. Schwarzenegger's comments came from Jimmy Kimmel Live. Heyward's comments arrive from ComicBook.com.