If you're a well-known action star, then chances are you've either starred in or been approached for one of The Expendables movies. Kicking off in 2010, this franchise has provided off-the-rails insanity to pay homage to the action movies of the 1980s and 90s, and while they haven't been critical darlings, they've collected quite a lot of money. Following the third movie's release in 2014, there's been talk about The Expendables 4 happening, and now it looks like it's closer than ever to becoming a reality, but with one caveat: it will be the final entry of the series.
While reporting on how Splendid Film has picked up the rights to screen The Expendables 4 across German-speaking Europe, THR mentioned that Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Arnold Schwarzenegger will reprise their respective roles. This is the first major update regarding the fourthquel in over a year, when it was reported that a financing deal had been secured. No other actors have been confirmed to appear yet, although Pierce Brosnan mentioned in 2014 that he was interested in appearing in an Expendables movie. Regardless of whoever else joins the main cast,this will be the last hurrah of the series, so hopefully it will go out in a bang...which in this case I mean figuratively and literally.
It's fitting that Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham and Arnold Schwarzenegger are the first actors to be confirmed for The Expendables 4, as they've been part of the series since the beginning. Stallone's Barney Ross and Statham's Lee Christmas are two of the principal players, while Schwarzenegger's Trench Mauser cameoed in the first movie and played a supporting role in the latter two movies. Jet Li, Randy Coture, Dolph Lundgren and Terry Crews have also appeared in all three movies, so presumably the chances of them returning for The Expendables 4 are strong. Some of the other notable actors who've appeared in the franchise include Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Bruce Willis, Kelsey Grammer (who's not an action star, but okay), Mickey Rourke, Chuck Norris and Harrison Ford.
Despite earning mixed-to-negative reviews from critics, The Expendables movies have all been commercially successful, with The Expendables 3 taking in nearly $215 million worldwide. As far as popcorn-chewing blockbusters go, they've been satisfiable, both delivering explosive thrills and poking fun at the action genre. Still, it seems right that the series should end now rather than drag on into the next decade with more entries that nobody wants. There is also a female-led spinoff in the works called The ExpendaBelles (which Sylvester Stallone will not be involved with), but there's been no recent update on that project.
The Expendables 4 is expected to hit theaters sometime in 2018, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more news on its progress.