Schwarzenegger In, Who Else Should be "Expendable"?
February 18, 2009 Written by Arya Ponto
My relatively pleasant evening was rocked by an earthquake last night when I heard that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is joining Sylvester Stallone's action epic The Expendables. Now this thing can boast an ensemble of Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Forest Whitaker, Eric Roberts and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Danny Trejo is rumored to play the villain.
To the optimist, it looks like Stallone is putting together the greatest action movie 1985 has ever seen. The cynic in me, however, remains convinced that this is some kind of trick. I just know that I'm going to enter the theater, balls swelling with testosterone, and realize that there is no movie—just Stallone and a team of Taiwanese doctors ready to steal my organs.
Don't expect Schwarzenegger to flex a lot of muscle, though. His appearance is basically a cameo, where he plays himself. According to AICN, Stallone's character in the film has some history with Arnie because he was involved in the filming of Conan the Barbarian a few years back.
Ever since the beginning of the project—and the trickling announcements of one mindblowing casting after another—Schwarzenegger had been #1 on the wish list of which action stars should join up. Now that we've got him covered, who's left? Mr. Stallone, get a marker and a piece of paper ready because here's five names you should put up on your fridge.
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JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME
Why? An 80's reunion of Stallone, Lundgren and Arnie is not complete without some Van Dammage.
Why wouldn't he? Van Damme was actually not forgotten. Sly had the idea pretty early on and asked him to join, but Van Damme has apparently grown some kind of "standards" since JCVD. He declined the offer, citing Stallone's failure to give him a compelling description of his character's motivation. Whatever.
What can he do? See Bloodsport and Hard Target.
Why? Bolo is a f--king beast. He'd gone up against the likes of Bruce Lee and Jean-Claude Van Damme. His Wikipedia page also says that he swam from China to Hong Kong to escape communism. I don't care if that's made up by someone, Bolo is badass enough to make you believe it's true. Since you have Jet Li on the good guys' team, get Bolo on the bad guys' and have the two rock it out.
Why Wouldn't He? He's pretty old, although at 70, he still looks like the kind of dude that can rupture your spleen by laughing at you. He just recently popped up in Blizhniy Boy: The Ultimate Fighter with Gary Busey and David Carradine, after a 10-year hiatus. It sounds like a long shot.
What can he do? See Enter the Dragon and Bloodsport.
Why? When you want to overthrow a corrupt government, you need Chuck Norris. We all know there's a munitions supply somewhere inside that beard. True facts aside, though, Norris is an unforgettable American icon, whose name is synonimous with "greatest human ever" on the internet. Surely, a collection of tough men is not complete without him.
Why wouldn't he? He's probably too busy selling exercise machines on late night TV.
What can he do? See Delta Force and The Octagon.
Why? While perhaps not as well known as his contemporaries (Hell, I think there are more Bolo fans than his), Dudikoff has made a shining contribution to the legacy of 80's action movies in the form of the American Ninja series. A team of mercenaries needs a ninja, right?
Why wouldn't he? According to the official website that he maintains himself, Dudikoff has been "spending lots of time removing the word NEVER from [his] vocabulary," so who knows.
What can he do? See American Ninja and American Ninja 4: The Annihilation.
Why? Seagal has pretty much done movies like The Expendables fifty times over with a fraction of the budget and his ponytail as his co-star. Give him a real production and a great ensemble, he might still be worth something.
Why wouldn't he? Seagal's got a pretty big ego. He might not want to do a movie if he's not in the lead. Also, he's pretty chubby nowadays, and would look terrible standing next to the equally old Stallone looking like this (Holy shit, he's 62?!).
What can he do? See Hard to Kill and Marked for Death.
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Written and directed by Stallone, The Expendables is about a group of mercenaries contracted (by the Governator, it looks like) to overthrow a vicious South American dictator's government. Looks like Stallone is going to comment on real life atrocities again, Rambo style.
Jean-Claude Van Damme