The Expendables franchise is one that was made in heaven for fans of overly-masculine action cinema. It was a franchise where you could find your favorite washed-up action hero alongside a dozen other washed-up action heroes (and yes, I understand they aren’t all washed-up). Over the course of its three-film run, we’ve seen the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Ronda Rousey, Mickey Rourke, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Mel Gibson.
It was a great concept, though as fun as the films have been on some level, I’d argue that they haven’t quite lived up to the promise of the premise. While we wouldn’t say the films took themselves seriously, they were a bit darker than I thought they had any business being. I hate throwing this word around, but it wasn’t as “fun” as I wanted it to be, which is a shame considering all the talent they were working with.
All the same, it was expected for a while that the franchise would continue, despite the declining box office performance. However, last Friday, it was confirmed that Sylvester Stallone would be leaving the Expendables 4 due to a difference of opinion with Nu Image/Millennium chief Avi Lerner on who should helm the project.
This in and of itself was a huge blow to the franchise. While The Expendables has always had a laundry list of cast members, Stallone has always been the creative force behind it all. He cowrote and directed the first one, and stuck around as one of the writers in both sequels.
If that wasn’t bad enough, now it sounds like another big cast member, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is no longer interested in returning to the franchise either. Speaking with EW, the former California governor stated:
“There is no Expendables without Sly. I would never do the movie without him, no.”
While Hollywood has the ability to continue on with a franchise long after the signs have pointed towards death, this looks like it could be the final nail in its coffin.
What do you think? Would you like to see an Expendables flick without these two? Let us know your thoughts down below!