July 31, 2003 01:00 PM

With the prospects of his running for governor of California looking less likely by the day and despite the strong commercial performance of his “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines,” Arnold Schwarzenegger, 56, is in need of some career overhauling, says the Los Angeles Times in a lengthy analysis published in its Thursday editions.

Citing Schwarzenegger’s recent rash of hiring and firing agents and publicists as symptomatic of the troubles that the aging action star has been having, the Times also lists the Austrian-born former Mr. Universe’s costly flops: “Jingle All the Way,” “The 6th Day,” “Collateral Damage,” and “End of Days.”

As each of those duds came from a different studio, the Times suggests that none is likely to look too kindly upon the prospects of funding another Schwarzenegger vehicle.

One possibility, then, the Times theorizes, might be for him to take on strong roles in smaller movies.

“Arnold’s reinvented himself his whole life,” the paper is reminded by director Ivan Reitman, who cast him opposite Danny DeVito in the 1988 comedy “Twins,” which was a hit, and the later “Kindergarten Cop” and “Junior,” which weren’t.

About two weeks ago, the Times reports, Schwarzenegger asked Reitman to consider directing a family comedy called “Big Sir,” though Reitman has yet to respond.

The paper says that in the old days, when his star shined brighter, Schwarzenegger would have had his answer right away.

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