Everyone seems to be referring back to '70s Clint Eastwood westerns this morning: Wolverine director James Mangold is all about The Outlaw Josey Wales, and now Deadline report that Arnold Schwarzenegger's next project (following Kim Ji-woon's The Last Stand) will be Black Sands, a film along the lines of High Plains Drifter.
What they actually say is that Black Sands will be tonally similar to HPD and Man On Fire, so we're not actually looking at a film in which Arnold plays a ghostly avenger who persuades some townfolk to rename their homestead Hell, while searching for a precocious kidnapped girl.
Rather, Black Sands is about "a loner who wages war against a ruthless weapons manufacturer and his private army in the Southwest." The current draft of the screenplay is by Skip Woods, who wrote The A-Team, Hitman, Swordfish and, most recently, A Good Day To Die Hard. Previous versions were written by Sergio Altieri (Dolph Lundgren vehicle Silent Trigger) and Kevin Elders (Iron Eagle II and III).
The joint directors are Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy, whose last film was the yet-to-be-released actioner Act Of Valour, and who both seem to have pasts as stuntmen. The pair will also be exec-producing through their Bandito Brothers production company, and Albert S. Ruddy (Million Dollar Baby, The Longest Yard) is producing along with QED, the company behind Neill Blomkamp's Elysium.
Ruddy and QED are also sitting on Cry Macho, originally thought to be the film that would mark Schwarznegger's comeback (not counting The Expendables), in a more downbeat, dramatic, dare we say "age appropriate" role. That project has apparently now been back-burnered for the time being. Arnold has clearly decided that he's got a few more old-school fun action roles in him after all.
Now, let's have Dan Hedaya as that Black Sands arms dealer and Vernon Wells as his henchman, please. Shooting starts next April.