Here's the thing about The Expendables franchise. If you're going to go big, go really big. For example, let's look at the cast tagged in the first Expendables – "Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Couture, Austin, Crews, Rourke, Willis." Of those names, the ones action junkies really care about are "Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Willis." Couture, Austin, Crews, Rourke? Being an MMA, wrestling, ex-NFL or Academy Award-nominated/cult film favorite is all fine and cool, but it doesn't truly define a long-standing action genre icon...although definitely, they're able to fill out the fringes on the poster.
Flash forward to The Expendables 2. Two years and $100 plus million later, we have a new stellar line-up on the marquee – "Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Norris, Crews, Couture, Hemsworth, Van Damme, Willis, Schwarzenegger." The cast is more solid this time, but here's who really matters – "Stallone, Li, Lundgren, Norris, Van Damme, Willis, Schwarzenegger." Go ahead and take aim, but nowadays, Statham doesn't really make the A-list cut. He's had too many subpar actioners (Killer Elite, Blitz, In the Name of the King, The Mechanic, etc.) on his shooting schedule.
So basically, we've gone from five badass action idols in one movie to seven in the sequel. That's awesome. But note to Sly and producer Avi Lerner (the men behind the men) - feel free to shoot even higher for the next outing. Lots of wish list guys may have balked in the past. But if Expendables 2 hits like we think it might (outrageous? absurd? sweet!), there'll be more coin in the till to corral the hold-outs.
Here's our advice to the makers of The Expendables 3, and it's a simple 3-step.
1) Ditch the non-action movie stars in the secondary roles. Couture, Crews, Hemsworth, and Statham (due to his output of insignificant action flicks). Replace with any of the following (if you, the filmmakers, love the Statham bunch and can't stand to lose them, maybe they can be in another movie off on another mission)…these guys are more solid - Tony Jaa, Michael Biehn, Chris Hemsworth, and The Raid: Redemption's Iko Uwais (plus Harrison Ford and/or Clint Eastwood in cameo appearances as the head guys back at control doling out assignments). Basic rule of thumb: No co-stars who are known more as athletes (Howie Long and Brian Bosworth included); no co-stars whose egos are bigger than their action stripes (Vin Diesel included); and no co-stars under 35 who can't carry a minimum weight of 215 pounds of muscle (Liam Hemsworth, out; Chris Hemsworth, in).
2) Split the teams. We love JCVD being the baddie in Expendables 2, but he needs more A-list action talent behind him on the dark side. And there's plenty of awesome firepower yet to be utilized for good and bad. For the good guy team as new headliners alongside Sly and company, we suggest Kurt Russell, all of the guys mentioned above as secondary lieutenants, plus fellows such as Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Carl Weathers, Chow Yun-Fat, Keanu Reeves or Matt Damon if they're willing to suit up, and Linda Hamilton or Rene Russo (see point 3). On the bad boy team, we recommend as the two head villains the sorely-missing super bad boy Steven Seagal (with pony tail and lots of gym time to prep) and of course the one and only Mel Gibson (this will be a perfect career comeback where he can go down in appropriately crazy, cartoonish, over-the-top fashion). More folks for baddie consideration: Wesley Snipes, Vin Diesel (here, it makes sense), Sigourney Weaver and Roddy Piper. While we're at it, maybe have Jet Li change sides, too.
3) Add legitimate female brawn. We don't need damsels in distress. And we don't need models or actresses who look like models day-playing as action heroines, unless they're Kate Beckinsale. Throw Linda Hamilton in with the good guys, Sigourney Weaver in with the bad guys, have them go mano a mano, and voila, you've got a must-see action match-up. Meanwhile, intercut with cool one on one battles between Snake Plissken and Mad Max, Rambo and Blade, the Terminator and Gino from Out for Justice, and so on and so forth.
Ok, those are our thoughts. But we'd like to get your opinion on these things, too, via the ten critically important, action-packed polls/questions below, and our comments section. Comments-wise, did we miss anyone you're dying to see in the third Expendables? And what would be your pointers to make the franchise even more mind-blowingly awesome?
Who else should be added to the cast of 'The Expendables 3'?
Who would you rather see in 'The Expendables 3'?
Who would win in a fight?
Of the Expendables in 'The Expendables 2,' whose action movie legacy is the most badass?
Kevin Sorbo and Lucy Lawless should join the cast.
I would like to see in the expendables 3 or even a 4th or 5th movie: Kurt Russell, Steven Segual, Wesley Snipes, Danny Trejo, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jackie Chan, Vin Diesel, Micheal Jai White, Liam Neesan, Tom Jane, Clint Eastwood, and Sean Connery. Those legend tough action actor would be perfect for the expendables movies.
Female: 1 word: CONVICTION. Talking Gina Caranno from "Haywire" for the good side. And in her debut, Christine "Cyborg" Santos for the bad. 2 MMA female fighters against each other would be an absolute CLASSIC in "3". Think about it.
If all else fails, Lucy Lawless, Michelle Rodriguez, The blond who played Callisto from Xena (against Lucy would be nostalgic as well..) and in a stretch, Beth Phoenix from WWE or ODB from TNA. 2 wrestlers. Just imagine.
How about the actor Nota... (what's his last name again)... oh... G@d^mnthing'. Nota G@d^mnthing, personally I believe, would certainly make Expendables 3 a great film.
everyone bichin and moanin about statham, take a chill pill already. it's one dude's opinion. i think statham's fine, but i'd take the guy in raid redemption over him. he's been in less movies but he's incredible in the two action movies he has made.
I think Wesley Snipes could do a good bad guy and jackie chan and MIchael Jai White as good guys
Who's the idiot that wrote this article? Statham kicks *** which is also why he's been cast as Stallone's right hand man in both films. Halfway through reading this I began thinking the writer clearly wasn't much of an action movie fan but then I knew for sure after the mention of Roddy Piper as a possible cast member. I mean, Roddy Piper??? Really???? I hope one of your co-workers who is a true action movie buff smacks you for even making such ridiculous comments about the casting. Go back to writing about the tear-jerking chick flicks that you're probably more suited for and leave the action movies to someone who knows better. ;)
I'm with the guy who mentioned Lou. More Lou Ferrigno!
I agree that Statham's overrated. He's not as annoying as Vin Diesel, and he warrants inclusion a lot more than Crews and Couture, and face it, Dolph and all of these guys have had bombs, but I'd bet most people who go see Expendables want to see the old-timers get in the same frame. More of the old-school stars and fun cameos from lesser known 80s guys would be great. How is it a throwback to 80s action when most of those guys are in the movie for all of 10 minutes? If everyone is such a big fan of the new dudes, then would they go see this film without the older stars? Probably not. Sure, throw the new generation a bone. I'd rather see Thor and The Rock in there from the new guard.
Lose Stratham? That would not be the right thing to do. He is Stallone's sidekick and one of the main characters of the show. Using your judgment then NONE of them belong because all of them have had bad movies. I don't know what your smoking, but you need to change the blend !
What? no mention of Samuel L Jackson? How about Don Johnson? And what about Michelle Rodriguez? And for the love of all that's action movie: leave in Statham!
Maybe even reprise a little "Mr./Mrs. Smith" action with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. I think John Travolta always makes a good bad guy. I do think there should be a place for Kurt Russell.
PLEASE DON'T put the rock in an The Expendables movie!!!!!! Kurt Russell would be great, as well as Steven Segall, Clint Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Michael Biehn, Carl Weathers, Danny Trejo, Liam Neeson, Linda Hamilton, & Sigourney Weaver. Lay off Statham!!! He should stay!!!
I really am flabbergasted and flustered by the responses put on this site, by both Mr. Walton and commenters, that I have to leave with just this one quote..."You've given me a lot to think about..." -Chudnofsky. I will be back! With a full on response not just off the top of my head cause this is too sweet to blog about. Plus I have one more day of work before I go see this movie on Sunday so until then... "I don't know if you've noticed... but I'm having a difficult fu@king day, brother!" -Chev Chelios.
last night, i was thinking kurt russell, the computer who wore tennis shoes. we need a geek on the good guy team
First of all, Terry Crews is a big guy but Wesley Snipes or Michael Jai White should of been in both movies instead of Terry. Rutger Hauer is missing from this list. So is Christopher Lambert. Add Kellan Lutz to the mix. Kelly Hu, Kate Beckinsale, or Lucy Lawless would be some good action eye candy.
Such a fun movie...So many thoughts and directions. Who would I add? Your list sounds great. I guess I disagree about removing Statham but that's because ANY action movie is cool with cars, guns explosions and a great fight sequence. But hey, that's just this guy's opinion.
Some guy above mentioned Bolo. That guy is no dialogue and all action. Don't want to ever piss him off.
I'm not good with pickin the stars, but I'll watch the movie.
I forgot, for a female I would keep the 2 gal and add Piper Perabo. She can kick *&^$#8
You are dead wrong!!!!! I really liked Stallones back ups. i don't where you came up with your picks. You're way off.
seriously though what about Lou ferrigno.
If you want ticket sales, keep Statham so the younger folks have a face they can appreciate. If you want the ladies to respect the film, (agreeing with Joe Freeman) give us Willis, Ford, and/or Eastwood (appealing to seniors, too). Being a woman 38 years old, I'm young enough to like Statham and old enough to remember having a crush on Carl Weathers (add him). Give me Hamilton AND Weaver to represent the ladies. So... lots of testosterone with big men flexing muscles and blowing up stuff + some good acting/plot + 2 women able to hang out with the fellas = ticket sales and a whole lotta men gettin' some from their women after the movie. Trust me. Just...trust me. lol
The voting polls were way off when they say rambo would beat Arnie's commando in a fight. Are you kidding? Commando would beat the living h&%^ out of rambo.
Well, the ones that criticize Stallone's choice in costars should just not go see the movie. it was HIS idea and movie anyway. The rest of us love the whole concept. As for Jason Statham, I love him!!! He is great. I would love to see some of the other actors that were possible addons also, but the current crew is great.
It'd just be nice to put real, GOOD actors in. Only one in the current 'regime' is Willis. The rest are either 'has-beens' or 'never-was's. Granted, if we have to settle for the fact it's merely action and NO 'acting' necessary, then I could stomach Schwarzenegger & Stallone (merely for the action skills), Statham (has credibility despite previous pics) and even (God help me) Van Damme and 'The Rock'. Throw in Eastwood and Ford, as you suggested, for distinguishing character and then Willis could carry them all through. The sickening part of these kinds of genres are the 'self-idolizing, patronizing, 'pat-ourselves-on-the-back' presentations given, overshadowing a 'plot'(?).
WWE Diva Sable should make a cameo. That chick is legit
"Welcome to the party, pal."
"I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."
"When am I gonna learn how to punch?"
"These go to eleven."
"Benjamin, have you ever been severely beaten about the face & neck?"
"Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."
"You're gonna need a bigger boat."
"Jessica's got cable."
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