The "He said he'd be back" jokes are a bit tired now, but Arnold Schwarzenegger is nonetheless officially confirmed to return to acting in the action vehicle, The Last Stand.
Last Stand will see Korean filmmaker Jee-Woon Kim (a.k.a. Ji-Woon Kim) cross over into English-language moviemaking, after having helmed cult titles like The Good, the Bad, the Weird and I Saw the Devil. When previously asked about his first Hollywood project, Kim described it as being a cross between Die Hard and High Noon, indicating the picture would boil down to a contemporary western, with lots of violence, to boot.
According to a Deadline insider, however, the Last Stand script reads as "more of a 'Fast And Furious' at the [Mexican] border with high speed car chases, drug cartels and the like." So don't go expecting the film to play out so much like a modern-day True Grit, with Schwarzenegger in the lead.
Bearing that in mind, here is how Lionsgate describes The Last Stand:
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.
Going off that official synopsis and the Deadline scoop, The Last Stand sounds as though it'll play out like a less tongue-in-cheek variation on Kim's The Good, the Bad, the Weird.
For more on what that entails, check out the trailer for The Good, the Bad, the Weird below:
Newcomer Andrew Knauer penned the spec script for The Last Stand, which was then rewritten by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, the man responsible for the solid Bourne Identity-esque thriller, Traitor. Kim will likewise probably use more of a down and dirty approach to the violence and shoot-outs in Last Stand, going with the now customary gritty, but hyper-kinetic, style of most Hollywood action flicks.
Schwarzenegger's Sheriff Owens certainly reads as being a familiar character trope (the reluctant hero with a troubled past), while there are numerous plot elements in The Last Stand that are reminiscent of many previous westerns or crime thrillers.
However, Kim has proven apt at playing with genre conventions in his previous films, which bodes well for his crossover into American moviemaking territory. Plus, this seems like a fitting comeback vehicle for a post-scandal Arnold, since the screenplay even accounts for him being an over-the-hill man of action who disgraced himself in the face of his peers.
We'll continue to keep you posted on the status of The Last Stand, which is expected to begin production this fall.