Is Sylvester Stallone an expendable member of The Expendables franchise?
The Expendables franchise appears to have lost its leading man today as Deadline reports that Sylvester Stallone has exited the big-screen action series. Although a fourth Expendables franchise entry was being planned for 2018, today’s report indicates that disagreements between Stallone and Millennium Films‘ Avi Lerner have led to the star stepping away.
“We’re going to do our best, but I think we’ve got some really great attitude going,” Stallone had teased of the fourth film earlier this year on his Facebook page. “We’ve got great ideas. I think everyone is expecting something different and we’re going to give it to them.”
The Expendables franchise, which currently spans three films, has featured Stallone as mercenary team leader Barney Ross, with kick-ass heavyweights like Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture and Arnold Schwarzenegger making up the core group. Other action stars have made their way to the franchise, including Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Harrison Ford, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, and Wesley Snipes. Stallone, however, has also served as producer and screenwriter on every Expendables film to date. Will The Expandables 4 be able to move forward without him?
“I don’t think it’s over,” Lerner today told Deadline, sounding optimistic that something could still be worked out to have Stallone involved. “…In my opinion, it’s not dead.”
The first film in The Expendables franchise proved to be a success at the box office, taking in $103 million domestically with another $171 million from foreign markets, but interest in the series began to wane in the US with The Expendables 2 bringing in $85 million and The Expendables 3 collecting just $39 million at the domestic box office. Both films, however, still saw tremendous success internationally with a foreign total of $229 million and $175 million, respectively.
Do you think that The Expendables franchise can continue without Sylvester Stallone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!