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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

fair warning: ‘Expendables’ sequel all but inevitable

Sylvester Stallone. As writer, director, auteur behind The Expendables, he has had, as you would expect of a true artist, a grand panoply of story in mind for his epic of manly teamwork, of which we see but a tiny part in this film. More to come? Back in July, when he spoke to MTV News at Comic Con, he said:

It all depends on how this film does. Next thing might be directing at a parking lot, or it might be a film.

It no longer depends. The Expendables took in almost $35 million this weekend, Stallone’s biggest opening by far as director, and as star, too. Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman pins the film’s success on “’80s-action nostalgia” but really: It’s just about the stuff blowing up while old tough guys get out of the way, isn’t it?
Which makes Stallone’s talk of sequel, to The Hollywood Reporter, all the more intriguing:

It’s plotted out in my mind’s eye. I believe this group has to continue to evolve; it just can’t become the same people. So how do you get new people introduced into the group, and how do you have some of the other people leaving? Those are the challenges.

Plot? “Stuff blows up”: done. The only challenge is in which old tough guys he’ll be able to convince to get onboard this time. My short list of awesome possibles:

Jean-Claude Van Damme
Clint Eastwood
Chuck Norris
Steven Seagal
Harrison Ford

Plus Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson via the sweet magic of CGI. I can’t wait till Summer 2012!



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  • David

    Ya left out:
    Chuck Norris
    Chow Yun-fat
    Jackie Chan
    Wesley Snipes
    Mel Gibson
    Michelle Yeoh
    Vin Diesel
    Dwayne Johnson
    Michael Dudikoff
    Kurt Russell
    Cynthia Rothrock
    Lucy Lui

    Maybe even:
    Angelina Jolie
    Milla Jovovich

    There is a lot of gold left to be mined in old (or at least older) action stars.

  • David

    Oops, I see ol’ Chuck did make the list.

  • Tough luck on Van Damme, Stallone has already explained why he isn’t in this one: too much of a primadonna. There’s a nice cluster of articles over at Ain’t it Cool where Stallone answers 50 questions; it’s worth checking out.

    I’m glad Expendables is doing so well. It’s a really fun movie and while I deplore the continued use of Shaky Cam for fight scenes and car chases, I like that we’re headed back into badass cinema territory. Now all we need are some new faces in the form of DTV auteurs like Isaac Florentine (Undisputed 2 & 3) and Ben Ramsey (Blood and Bone) who know how to shoot action, and maybe we’ll be able to celebrate the Badass Renaissance.

    A boy can dream!

  • Kris

    Maybe he can get post-governorship Arnie to do a bigger role.

    I don’t know if this is actually a good idea or if I’m just thinking it because I watched an episode of Dead Like Me yesterday, but what about Mandy Patinkin? Maybe as a villain?

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