Thesp in talks to play the main villain's stooge

Arnold Schwarzenegger is about to get his first co-star (outside of “The Expendables”) since running for Governor of California, as Swedish thesp Peter Stormare is in negotiations to join him in Lionsgate’s actioner “The Last Stand.”

South Korean helmer Kim Jee-Woon directs the pic, which stars Schwarzenegger as the sheriff of a sleepy little town who runs up against an escaped drug cartel leader heading for the Mexican border.

Stormare is in talks to play Burrell, a seasoned war veteran who carries out the main villain’s orders and leads an eight-man crew in taking on Schwarzenegger and his fellow officers.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura (“Salt”) is producing the film, which is based on a spec script by Andrew Knauer that was subsequently rewritten by Jeffrey Nachmanoff and more recently, George Nolfi (“The Adjustment Bureau”).

Lionsgate has worldwide distribution rights on the pic, due to hit theaters Jan. 18, 2013.

Stormare, who’s best known for his quirky turns in “Fargo” and “Armageddon,” next stars opposite Mel Gibson in “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” which is still searching for U.S. distribution. Thesp will soon be seen alongside Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in Paramount’s “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.”

Stormare is repped by ICM and The Collective.

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