After months and months of speculation and rumor - some of it generated by Sylvester Stallone himself - the full cast of The Expendables 3 has been announced, and what's more we now have the movie's first official plot synopsis as well.
With production on the film officially beginning today all the way out in Sofia, Bulgaria, Lionsgate and Millennium Films have officially announced that Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Arnold Schwarzenegger are all set to reprise their roles from the first two movies in the franchise, while new additions will include Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Kellan Lutz, MMA star Ronda Rousey, welterweight boxing champion Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell. Despite reports from earlier this year, it would appear that Nicolas Cage, Jackie Chan and Milla Jovovich won't be part of the project (though I suppose you can't fully rule out surprise cameos at this stage).
The Expendables 3, which is being directed by Australian filmmaker Patrick Hughes, is based on a script by Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt and Sylvester Stallone, and you can read the film's full plot synopsis below:
In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables -- but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.
Strangely, Gibson's role as an arms dealer sounds very similar to his part in Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills. Hopefully we can trust Gibson as a performer to give varied performances so that the two roles don't seem too overly similar. Either that or maybe find a way to have The Expendables 3 include Danny Trejo as Machete...
This plot description also upturns earlier plot rumors that suggested that the new movie would feature a whole team of younger tech-savvy mercenaries that The Expendables would have to square off against before uniting with against Gibson's character. Basically, it sounds like whoever assembled the rumor had the right pieces of the puzzle but didn't put them together properly. The official plot synopsis doesn't mention it, but presumably Lutz and Powell will be playing the young geniuses that join the titular group.
The Expendables 3 will be in theaters on August 15, 2014.