Arnold Schwarzenegger is back

Updated: 2013-01-07 11:09


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Arnold Schwarzenegger is back

Cast member Arnold Schwarzenegger poses at the premiere of "The Expendables 2" at the Grauman's Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California in this August 15, 2012 file photo. A year after leaving the California governor's office and becoming tabloid fodder for fathering a boy with his family's housekeeper and splitting with his wife, Maria Shriver, the 65-year old former bodybuilder will star in no less than three Hollywood movies over the next 12 months. [Photo/Agencies]

The actor said he was "very pleasantly surprised" by what he called a "great reaction" to his cameo in the 2010 action film "The Expendables," which featured fellow action stars Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham. The film grossed $103.1 million in US ticket sales and $274.5 million worldwide.

Since then, Schwarzenegger appeared in a second "Expendables" and says he will join a fifth installment of the "Terminator" if it is made.

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Comcast's Universal Pictures wants to "do a bunch" of new films based on the 30-year-old "Conan The Barbarian" movie, said Schwarzenegger, in which he would reprise his role as a barbarian.

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He added that Universal, after 10 years of prodding by Schwarzenegger, also wants to do a sequel to the 1988 comedy "Twins," in which he and Danny DeVito played mismatched twins, to be called "Triplets".

Schwarzenegger no longer commands the $25 million paychecks he cashed in his heyday and will get between $8 and $10 million for each of his next three films, according to two people with knowledge of his salary but who were not authorized to speak publicly about it. He also gets a percentage of the profits, according to one of the people.

The new Schwarzenegger calculus banks on his films doing outsized business overseas while operating within budgets that are a fraction of the $200 million cost of his last action film, the 2003 "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines". The budget for "The Last Stand" is estimated at $50 million, according to movie resource site

"He has significant value outside the United States and Canada, where he is still revered by people who have grown up with him throughout the years," said Jere Hausfater, chief operating officer of film production company Aldamisa International, which hopes to do a film with Schwarzenegger in the future.

What audiences will see is a aging star who isn't afraid of showing his drooping muscles and widening paunch, or of making fun of being past his prime. In the "The Last Stand," a less than rock hard Schwarzenegger plays a retired Los Angeles policeman who becomes the sheriff of a small border town and is then called on to stop a violent drug lord from crossing.