Skip to comments.Western To Test Schwarzenegger's Post-Scandal Popularity
Posted on 07/11/2011 4:24:29 PM PDT by Beaten Valve
The Lionsgate project has been off, then on, then off, and now on again. The studio in May had been on the verge of announcing that Arnold Schwarzenegger was starring in its long-in-development Western titled Last Stand, set up as the English-language debut of director Kim-ji-Woon. Then the actor pulled out just before his personal scandal went public and deep-sixed his marriage to Maria Shriver.
But now the actor is back in the project and aiming to test his popularity post-divorce. I've learned that Arnold's deal with Lionsgate is not nearly as rich as the one CAA made for him in QED International's Cry Macho, which was a $12.5M salary plus 25% first dollar gross back end. (See my previous, Schwarzenegger Closes Next Film: Worldwide Rights Will Sell At Cannes Fest)
Poor Bill Block brought that project to Cannes in the middle of Schwarzenegger's scandal and now it looks to be dead or at best delayed until February 2012.
So now Last Stand would start in September of this year. "It's a property which a zillion directors fell in love with: the good, the bad, the weird," a Lionsgate exec told me when I first heard Schwarzenegger was in. "It's an old-fashioned Western specifically designed for a 63-year-old broken-down guy with a moral decision whether Arnold decides to stand up for his town. We always needed an iconic figure for it."
When I asked Lionsgate if Arnold is still a star despite the scandal, an exec assured me, "I can tell you from The Expendables it was electrifying when Arnold came on. He is still a big piece of news."
Liam Neeson had been attached at one point, but he kept pushing it back as his schedule grew more crowded. Ultimately, Lionsgate moved on. Arnold then fell in love with the movie several months ago, and Lionsgate spent the ensuing time snagging a director. The studio had already pre-sold the $30M-budgeted movie overseas with Liam so will tell its partners about the switch shortly.
A western star with an Austrian accent?
I’ve read this. It’s a contemporary action Western, and a pretty run of the mill B movie.
Lionsgate makes some interesting movies, but most of their stuff is direct to video. If Schwarzenegger is going with them, then the A-List companies (e.g., Paramount, Sony, etc) won’t touch him.
Maybe Arnold and Mel (Gibson) can console each other.
I’ll be back partner, but who will care?
“A western star with an Austrian accent?”
Maybe he’ll play the Jewish shopkeeper.
So if Italian Westerns are Spaghetti Westerns, what are Austrian Westerns?
I’ll feel sorry for that Korean director if this is a total flop.
It’s a Westrian.
Walker, Texas Ranger
A $30M B-movie??
Read my lips...no I will not spend money to watch this person and haven’t for a very long time.
I guess that you've never seen "The Villain"? Arnold, Kirk Douglas and a really hot Ann Margret.
A large number of Europeans settled in the old west, and I have read books during the late 1800’s that it was almost a miracle that anyone can understand one another especially on what the other person was saying, as it was a mix of thick Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Czech, Russian accents on the western frontier.
Then again, I just watched Predator in Blu-Ray and still chuckled when Ahnold said “head to the Chopppaaaa..’
I didn’t have much problem with Yul Brynner’s Serbian Gypsy accent in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN either.
What I never got, though, was why a robot from the future would have an Austrian accent.
“...and now you know why Lili von Schtupp was tired.”
Please. Scandals mean little if anything in terms of box office draw. The real test is that Arnold is old and worn out. There may be some novelty factor in seeing him on the screen but no one goes to see a Schwarzenegger movie like they used to in the late 80s / early 90s.
How about the very German Horst Bucholtz playing a Mexican peon? ;-)
Not a single FReeper (yet) recalls Ah-nolds first foray into westerns?
Hint: Kirk Douglas played the bad guy.