Why Steven Seagal Will Never Be In The Expendables

Steven Segal and Sylvester Stallone during 1995 ShoWest in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc)
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz / Contributor)

Because of his status as an action movie god, every new version of The Expendables always brings with it whispers about Steve Seagal finally making an appearance, and yet, three movies in, that appearance still hasn’t happened. The optimists among us would like to think it’s because they’re saving him for a huge role down the line, but if the black belt himself is to be believed, that’s never going to happen. Why? Because he hates some of the people involved with the franchise.

The aggressive statements came out during an interview Steven Seagal did with The Big Issue. The conversation touched on a wide variety of issues including but not limited to Under Siege 3 (maybe to take place in Russia?) and Liam Neeson’s lack of action prowess ("a great warrior? No"). Along the way, the subject of The Expendables came up, and the actor let loose.

"I just (don’t) like some of the people involved. Life is too short to work with funny people."

Obviously, that’s a little vague, but Steven Seagal actually narrowed down the list later by admitting he’d love to work with Jason Statham and Jet Li in the future. So, if they’re out and he’s talking about the franchise as a whole, that would mean it could be Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Arnold Schwarzenegger or producer Avi Lerner. I’m comfortable eliminating Crews and Couture because they’re, by all accounts, very nice people and don’t seem to have crossed paths enough with Seagal to be a major sticking point. More likely, it’s Stallone and Lerner who are the sticking points, though why all involved can’t get on the same page to make a great movie is beyond me.

Steven Seagal has always been a bit of a gruff character who speaks his mind. That personality won him a lot of fans over the years, but it also created some less than easygoing relationships with producers, directors and other actors. Consequently, he hasn’t had a ton of well-funded, big studio projects over the past decade or so. Because of that, you would think Seagal would see this as an opportunity to get back to playing in the big leagues, but sometimes personal issues are just too deeply rooted to overcome.

Even with these comments, expect another crop of rumors to pop up as soon as Stallone and company get around to casting Expendables 4. Why? Because Seagal in the franchise just makes too much sense to not speculate on.