Avi Lerner

The Expendables 3 Cast?

Seeing as The Expendables 2 has yet to hit theaters, it’s hard to imagine that there’s anything concrete yet nailed down for The Expendables 3. That doesn’t mean Sylvester Stallone and his crew don’t have some ideas about what tricks they want to pull out of their sleeves for the eventual trilogy capper though. And, in a chat with Total Film, Expendables producer Avi Lerner found himself spilling the beans about which big name actors that haven’t yet been involved in the franchise they want to sign up for part 3. According to Lerner, “We’ve approached Clint Eastwood to be one of the guys, we’ve got a character in mind for him. We’re talking to Harrison Ford. [And we want] Wesley Snipes when he comes back from prison. I’ll give you one more name, we’ve got Nicolas Cage to play [one of the characters].” Of course, wanting and approaching doesn’t exactly equal having, so these names should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Two of these guys don’t really do much acting anymore, and one is still in prison, so Lerner could be pinning his hopes on long shots.

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Even giving it action credit, The Expendables wasn’t the men on a mission movie that it could have been. It became the Stallone/Statham show with not nearly enough regard for a talented cast of former steroid users. The sequel could remedy that situation, but it also has to jump the hurdle of, you know, being an action sequel. Fortunately, the good folks over at Twitch are reporting that Donnie Yen – the badass of Ip Man and many more – has been offered a role in The Expendables 2. While this is great news for that particular cast, Yen shouldn’t take the job. Why not? Because he’s a leading man who would be playing second fiddle here – character and action-wise. He’d be given one cool fight scene and be overshadowed for the rest of the run time (even if that one fight scene proves he’s more talented at close combat than anyone else on that roster). Undoubtedly, the pitch here from producer Avi Lerner is a role that would launch Yen into the minds of American audiences. While that may be enticing, it also comes with the possibility of following in Jackie Chan’s footsteps. Chan is a phenom, but his career in the United States morphed so badly into mainstream meaninglessness that he started turning back to China to make the bulk of his movies.

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It’s not a done deal yet. The ball has begun rolling on a sequel to The Expendables, and the box office will determine whether it continues its path or stops dead in its tracks. This isn’t exactly a surprise, and neither is the idea that producer Avi Lerner would be eying even more muscle-bound, walking versions of nostalgia. Imagine all the posters you’ve seen for the grand return to action and add Van Damme, Norris, and Pee Wee Herman to it (I imagine the sequel’s plot will revolve around a stolen bicycle). It’s good to know that all the steroids in baseball made it to the box office. [Cinema Blend]

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Instead of repeating some litany of grievances against Brett Ratner, just go ahead and pull out your internet film geek handbook to page 372 and read the standard text on your own. When you’re done, you might be interested to know that the director you hate for being average instead of outright awful is circling a project that stands as at least his third attempt to get some sand between his sandals. Ratner wants to be the man to take Avi Lerner’s Hercules concept and breathe life into its muscles. The new interest is most likely sparked by the unreal success of Clash of the Titans, the foreign box office killing of Prince of Persia, and a couple of fingers crossed for Conan. However, since that last film is being produced by Lerner, it will be interesting to see whether success or failure influences the decision to move forward here. If the news bothers you, try to pretend that it’s actually about a movie where Hercules fights Brett Ratner. Plus, it’s reason enough for you to check out the Junkfood Cinema entry on Hercules in New York. Topical! [LA Times]

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