There are glad tidings for the Expendables fans. The movie has its cast and it involves not just Statham, Stalone, Lundgren, and Couture but a few other stars.
Lionsgate and Millennium Media are bringing back their gun-toting, testosterone-slathered action franchise “The Expendables” for another go-round. Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and Sylvester Stallone, who has appeared in the previous three installments, are set to reprise their roles for the fourth.
Joining the quartet in the feature to be directed by stuntman-turned-helmer Scott Waugh (“Need for Speed”) are Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox, and Tony Jaa, with production scheduled to begin October.
Spenser Cohen wrote the script, with revisions by Max Adams and John Joseph Connolly. Details are being kept in the lockbox, but the plot will once again focus on a group of veteran mercenaries. And while the initial movies from in the early 2010s had Stallone as the focal point, sources say in this outing Statham will be the one with the biggest gun. Fox is the female lead.
Lionsgate will release the pic in the US, Canada, and the UK. The film will begin production this fall and is being directed by Scott Waugh from a screenplay by Spenser Cohen with revisions by Max Adams and John Joseph Connolly. Statham is also producing along with Kevin King Templeton as well as Millennium’s Les Weldon, Yariv Lerner, Jeffrey Greenstein, and Jonathan Yunger.
“It’s so much fun to bring these stars together for a no-holds-barred action film,” said Jason Constantine, president of acquisitions and co-productions for the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, in a statement. “The new film will raise the stakes and be the biggest, most badass adventure yet.”
“Popcorn entertainment is guaranteed,” said Millennium president Jeffrey Greenstein, noting that the new additions to the roll call were meant to “keep it fresh and fun.”
Stallone directed the first movie and wrote the script with David Callaham (now one of the big action scribes in the comic book realm), focusing on characters with names such as Lee Christmas (Statham), Gunner Jensen (Lundgren), and Toll Road (Couture). The initial movie, released in 2010, gathered up the biggest names in action movies from the 1980s — Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger — and paired them with wrestling stars, international martial arts stars, and newer action stars.
It was a formula that worked, with the three movies (the others hit theaters in 2012 and 2014) generating more than $829 million worldwide. A sequel had been in the works since the mid-2010s, but hard targets proved to be elusive, with changing writers and directors. Executive producing for Millennium are Avi Lerner, Boaz Davidson, and Trevor Short with Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman on behalf of Campbell Grobman Films.
Co-producing is Abby Mills. Eda Kowan and Jonah Leach are overseeing Lionsgate. Statham has appeared in all three “Expendables” outings and is also a player in the “Fast and Furious” franchise. He recently starred in the action-thriller “Wrath of Man” and is due to reteam with director Guy Ritchie for an untitled thriller.
Stallone can currently be heard as the voice of scene-stealing DC character King Shark in “The Suicide Squad” and next has superhero thriller “Samaritan” for MGM. Lundgren is shooting “Aquaman 2”, reprising his role as Atlantis’ King Nereus, and will be heard in the upcoming “Minions: The Rise of Gru”.
Couture has several action flicks in the post, including one called “Blowback”. As for the newcomers, Jackson is one of the big names in the roster of Lionsgate division Starz, where he and his G-Unit Film & Television are one of the executive producers of the network’s top show, Power, and its many spinoffs.
Jackson turned TV mogul also has hit “For Life” on ABC and is developing a feature horror slate with Eli Roth. Fox, a recognizable worldwide figure whose films have grossed more than $1 billion, recently starred in the thriller “Till Death”, which proved to be a hit on iTunes, and next stars in Netflix thriller “Night Teeth” as well indie Big Gold Brick opposite Andy Garcia and Oscar Isaac. The latter, Oscar Isaac has recently shot the Marvel series, “Moon Knight” in Hungary, in Budapest.
Few of the Expendables cast are also familiar in Hungary. Jason Statham shot “Spy” here, in Stalone’s role in “F.I.S.T.”, Johnny Kovak had Hungarian origin and he also worked a lot with the Hungarian producer, Andy Vajna. Due to the work of Vajna, we can watch the “Rambo” movies and the “Terminator” series.