Arnold Schwarzenegger to star in modern-day Western Last Stand

Arnold Schwarzenegger will make his return to the big screen in a modern-day Western from Lionsgate called The Last Stand, according to THR.

It was first rumored that former California Governor Schwarzenegger might return to the Terminator franchise, the film series that brought him to fame. But a smaller film like The Last Stand to test public response to his return to movies, probably makes more sense. There’s less investment risk than what would obviously have to be spent on a sci-fi spectacle such as a Terminator film. Schwarzenegger put his plans to return to the big screen on hold in May when the news first broke that he had fathered a child with his housekeeper.

The Last Stand will be the U.S. debut of South Korean filmmaker Kim Ji-woon, known for gory horror films such as I Saw the Devil and The Good, the Bad, the Weird – a Western-styled film set in China. Ji-woon describes Last Stand as a cross between Die Hard and High Noon. Written by Andrew Knauer, the film centers on a small-town sheriff who must make a stand against a drug cartel leader trying to make a run for the Mexican border.

Here’s more information from Lionsgate on The Last Stand, including a full synopsis of the western:

LIONSGATE announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be making his return to film in THE LAST STAND, which the company is developing as a starring vehicle for the former California Governor. The announcement was made by the President of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group Joe Drake, and President of Production Michael Paseornek.

Korean action-suspense master Kim Jee-Woon (A TALE OF TWO SISTERS, THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD) will direct the film, which is to be based on a spec script by Andrew Knauer that was subsequently rewritten by Jeffrey Nachmanoff. Lionsgate has domestic and international distribution rights, with the film having pre-sold well in several overseas territories already. Lorenzo di Bonaventura will be producing the film through di Bonaventura Pictures.

Schwarzenegger will be starring as Sheriff Owens, a man who has resigned himself to a life of fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction after leaving his LAPD post following a bungled operation that left him wracked with failure and defeat after his partner was crippled. After a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy, the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the hemisphere is hurtling toward the border at 200 mph in a specially outfitted car with a hostage and a fierce army of gang members. He is headed, it turns out, straight for Summerton Junction, where the whole of U.S. law enforcement will have their last opportunity to make a stand and intercept him before he slips across the border forever. At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately accepts responsibility for one of the most daring face offs in cinema history.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger will bring incredible magnetism to this complex but classic role,” explained Drake of the perfect fit between the material and the star. “When he came on the screen in THE EXPENDABLES, it always electrified the audience. In this film, the Sheriff Owens character grapples with some really tough stuff, but ultimately triumphs, and we knew he’d truly elevate this high octane ride.”

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