Arnold Schwarzenegger will be back in The Last Stand

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Arnold Schwarzenegger
Image caption,
Arnold Schwarzenegger had a cameo role in last year's The Expendables

Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is to make his return as a Hollywood leading man in Western movie The Last Stand.

Studio Lionsgate said the 63-year-old would "bring incredible magnetism" to the role of a border-town sheriff who battles with a drug lord.

The Last Stand will be Schwarzenegger's first major film role since 2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

The actor, who left office in January, had a cameo in 2010's The Expendables.

Lionsgate president Joe Drake said Schwarzenegger "electrified the audience" in The Expendables, in which he appeared alongside fellow action veteran Sylvester Stallone.

"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," he added.

No release date has been announced for the film, which will be directed by South Korea's Kim Jee-woon.

'Personal matters'

Earlier this month, Maria Shriver - Schwarzenegger's wife of 25 years - filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences.

The couple, who have four children together, separated in May after he admitted fathering a child with a member of their household staff.

At the time he said he would delay all his future film projects and would be "focusing on personal matters".

Those projects included the thriller Cry Macho, the Terminator franchise and "other projects under consideration", his office said in a statement.

Production on animated TV series The Governator, which was to have depicted Schwarzenegger as a family man living a double life as a superhero, has also been halted.

The one-time champion bodybuilder enjoyed a string of hits in the 1980s and '90s before his election to political office in 2003.

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