In a lot of ways, the movie business is governed by mathematical formulas: The amount of money that goes into a marketing campaign is determined by a number of factors including focus groups and the stars’ previous box-office takings. Sequels are green-lit depending on overseas sales viability and international product placement opportunities.
But if there’s one equation that holds the most truth in films, it’s this:
As time approaches infinity, all aging action stars will join the cast of The Expendables franchise.
Writer/star Sylvester Stallone yesterday announced via Twitter that Harrison Ford was to join the upcoming Expendables 3 cast, joining fellow newbies Mel Gibson, Nicolas Cage, Jackie Chan, Wesley Snipes and Steven Seagal. At the same time, Sly also took the opportunity to stick the boot into departing star Bruce Willis, (jokingly?) calling him out:
I guess after Willis’ lacklustre efforts in promoting Red 2, Stallone felt he needed to cast another grumpy veteran actor who can barely hide his disdain.
But this lead us to think: where does this go next? Seeing as there’s potentially no end in sight for the franchise, we can only assume that Stallone will be drafting in even more gun-toting geriatrics in the years to come. So let’s take a look at all of the aging stars that have yet to be cast:
The Sure Things
Michael Biehn: The star of Terminator, Aliens and Major League really deserves a comeback
Christian Slater: Having been one of the central teen icons of the late 80s and early 90s, Slater has been reduced to appearing in straight-to-video garbage recently. An appearance in a blockbuster film could be exactly what he needs.
Kurt Russell: With iconic roles in The Thing, Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China: Kurt Russell was singularly the most charismatic film star of the 80s. It boggles the mind why his name is so rarely mentioned when it comes to casting The Expendables. But maybe he just doesn’t want to sully his legacy.
Carl Weathers: Bearing in mind that Rocky was a nobody until Apollo Creed plucked him from obscurity, you’d think that Stallone would repay the favour by throwing Carl Weathers a bone. A bone with which he’d get a stew going, baby!
Cynthia Rothrock: In a decade where muscle-men and sweaty dudes in singlets ruled the roost, she was the First Lady of Action. A former world karate champion, she kicked total butt in films like the China O’Brien series. See her in action here!
Christopher Lambert: There can be only one… choice when it comes to casting the next Expendables movie. If The Highlander doesn’t get his due the next time they’re looking for classic action heroes, I’m calling shenanigans!
Bill Paxton: In the upcoming 2 Guns starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington, Paxton plays a dirty government operative: a role that sees him return to his roots as a scenery-chewing supporting actor! If you remember him from Aliens, Weird Science or Predator 2, then you know why they need Bill Paxton to play a bad guy!
Danny Glover: Even though he hasn’t appeared in a blockbuster since Lethal Weapon 4, he could surely be coaxed by the siren call of the Expendables, if only to proclaim that he was ‘too old’ for whatever.
Pierce Brosnan: They still haven’t roped in any 007 actors yet, so there’s every chance we could be seeing Brosnan in the mix soon. Don’t be surprised if his character ends up using a Walther PPK, the tiniest gun in the Expendables arsenal.
Keanu Reeves: He knows Kung Fu, don’t you know?
Vernon Wells: This burly Australian was the go-to bad guy for films in the 80s. The S&M biker from Mad Max 2? The moustachioed villain who wore chain-mail in Commando? The creepy dude with the motorised fist in Inner Space? Those were all him!
Gary Busey: In the first film, Stallone cast Mickey Rourke, a crazy actor with a crazy face. For upcoming films, he should consider hiring the CRAZIEST actor with the KER-RAZIEST face!
Tom Cruise: Not trying to put down the Expendables franchise or anything… but unless something goes truly wrong for Tom Cruise in the next few years, there’s no way he’s ever going to join up.
Clint Eastwood: If he were to join (which he wouldn’t), Eastwood would be the oldest member of the team — after all, he’s already 83 years old! But if he did join The Expendables (and again, he wouldn’t), his character would probably be packing a powerful 44. Magnum handgun, the recoil of which would likely snap his wrist clean off, thanks to osteoporosis.
The Expendables and Expendables 2 are both available at blinkbox