Film-maker Rob Reiner has backed out of plans to challenge Arnold Schwarzenegger for the position of California Governor next year (06).

The MISERY director was among the list of names mentioned to run for the coveted position - taken on by Schwarzenegger in 2003 - but now the director has decided against it.

Reiner's aide BEN AUSTIN says, "He gave it serious consideration; he had a number of conversations with his family. He is not going to run for governor next year."

The 58-year-old New York native has taken an increasingly high profile in California politics as the sponsor of a June 2006 ballot initiative to guarantee pre-schooling for four-year-olds.

Austin, the campaign manager for the initiative, says Democrat Reiner decided to bow out of the race because he has young children and wants to focus on the pre-school issue.

Some believe that Democrat actor Warren Beatty could also pose a strong challenge to Republican Schwarzenegger next year.

Beatty has said he does not want to run, although he has not entirely ruled out such an effort.