Revealed by USA Today, the image shows Schwarzenegger in shades and uniform as Sheriff Ray Owens. The Terminator star plays a lawman who is called into action when a drug cartel arrives at his small border town.
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Schwarzenegger said that his character "hasn't had to flex his muscles in a while. So when the gangsters come to town, it's a big test".
Genesis Rodriguez, Forest Whitaker and Johnny Knoxville feature in the supporting cast for the action-thriller, which opens in January 2013.
The action icon returns to the big screen later this month in The Expendables 2 alongside Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis.