Although The Expendables 3 had a rather rough time at the box office this year, it seems Lionsgate is eager to give the action-ensemble another go - presumably because Sylvester Stallone marched into the head office and threatened all the studio executives with his incomprehensible gravelly tones.
The word on the movie news wire is that The Expendables 4 will abandon its attempt to court a larger audience and move back into the corn-syrup soaked world of R-rated action. Furthermore, another Expendables movie pretty much guarantees we're going to see more action veterans added to the cast.
The Expendables 3 added a lot of young blood to the team - but the lackluster box office result might persuade Lionsgate to try and snap up some of the few remaining action stars who have yet to make a move to the most violent gang of retirees in history.
With this in mind, let's take a little look at who else could be signing up for The Expendables 4.
The impeccably dressed 1990s action icon might not be the in same league as Schwarzenegger and Stallone, but he has certainly garnered the action credentials to land a role in The Expandables. Sure, his latest work has been a lot of straight to video fare, but you can guarantee each one contained a lot of gun fire, martial arts and ponytails. However, Seagal might have found a new, more peaceful vocation in life, as recently he's been appearing around the world with his rock and blues band. Apparently, he knows his way around a guitar just as well as he does a Benelli M3 Super 90 12 gauge shotgun.
Here he is dicing up Tommy Lee Jones in Under Siege.
Just like Seagal, Nicolas Cage is an action star with a dubious recent movie quality track record. Hopefully an appearance in The Expendables 4 could return him to what he knows best: f*cking up bad guys and making deranged faces. There were early suggestions he would be appearing in The Expendables 3, but it later turned out he wasn't - hopefully this suggests he's still got the casting director's phone number. Here he is letting out the Cage Rage in the aptly named Kick-Ass.
Jackie Chan was another name originally attached to The Expendables 3, although he claimed he would only want to appear in a minor role. Unfortunately, like Cage, it seemed the deal fell through and The Expendables franchise still lacks the one major star it really needs to be considered the defacto action ensemble movie. I don't need to remind you of Chan's credentials, but check him out in one of his most famous action scenes below (I mean, where did that motorbike come from?)
You know you're an action icon when you're partly responsible for inspiring the character of Solid Snake. Whether he's causing Big Trouble in Little China, trying to Escape from New York or torching things in The Thing, Kurt Russell always kicks ass with a gritty attitude and stubbly face. This action veteran would certainly be a perfect addition to a rag-tag band of old warriors such as The Expendables. Plus he's simply been away from the big screen for way too long. Here's Russell playing Bangkok rules in an Escape from L.A. shootout.
Of course, it's a reoccurring joke that Sean Bean never really survives any movies he's actually in. However, this has absolutely no bearing on his badassitude, because he always goes out in a blaze of glory, whether it's Equilibrium, GoldenEye, or The Lord of the Rings. But, his most badass character is surely that of Richard Sharpe, a 19th century sharpshooter with a working class chip on his shoulder and a penchant for killing poorly accented Frenchmen and calling people a 'bastard.' Here he is winning the Battle of Talavera.
As a right-hand man to both Schwarzenegger in Predator and Stallone in Rocky III, it makes sense that Carl 'Action Jackson' Weathers would make his way into The Expendables franchise. Indeed, he's such a right-hand man, that even when his right arm is cut off by an invisible, laser-firing alien, he still continues to fight. Now that's pretty bad ass. Check it out below.
If were going to include Alec Travelyan on this list, we should probably include the guy who ultimately dropped him several hundred feet and then crashed a giant satellite on top of him - Pierce Brosnan. As Bond, Brosnan arguably presided over the end of the traditional Bond era - with silly gadgets and corny one-liners now mostly done away with in the Daniel Craig iteration of the character. But he could certain bring back some of that '90s action charm for The Expendables 4. Furthermore, he has previously said he'd love to be included.
Here he is destroying St. Petersburg in a tank - with little thought to the inevitable diplomatic repercussions.
Sigourney Weaver is one badass action veteran with two X chromosomes that will happily kick you in the face and call you a 'bitch.' Although the role was originally written to be a man, Weaver became the Alien franchise's top Xenomorph killer as Ellen Ripley. In later roles she's also proven she can walk the line between beauty and brutally - most notably as Mr. Big Guy in Paul.
The above guys might be veterans, but I'm sure many of these action stars would also admit they owe a debt of gratitude to Clint Eastwood. The original poncho-wearing gun-slinger became a defacto badass in his various Westerns and crime movies - generating an entire dictionary's worth of quotes. Even in the far less action-packed Gran Torino, Eastwood still made you believe he could have any man in a brawl - especially if they were on his lawn. Check out some old and new Clint Eastwood below:
Like Eastwood, Connery is another action legend - I mean, he was the original James Bond for goodness sake. However, he's not just a tuxedo-wearing-wise-cracking-womanizing-alcoholic-spy, he's also donned a maroon beret as a paratrooper in A Bridge Too Far, as well as playing an ex-SAS prison-breaking badass in The Rock. Of course, he knows how to throw a punch, but what's even more impressive is his lightening wit and unique silky voice. He's another action star who deserves two clips to do him justice.
Which of these action legends would you most like to see in The Expendables franchise and why?