Expend4bles Producer Addresses the Chances of a Female-Led Spin-off


Summary

  • Dolph Lundgren blames the lack of script involvement from Sylvester Stallone for the box office flop of the last Expendables movie.
  • A female-led squad taking over the Expendables franchise has been discussed, but scheduling and casting difficulties make it challenging.
  • The poor performance of Expend4bles at the box office may hinder the possibility of continuing the series, but the return of certain female characters could be exciting for fans.


There were many people who believed that Expendables 4 could see a resurgence for the action franchise, but Dolph Lundgren wasn’t really one of them. Despite appearing as Gunner Jensen in all four Expendables movies, Lundgren recently got candid about why he believes last year’s installment became a box office flop – and it’s all down to a lack of script involvement from franchise lead Sylvester Stallone.

Expend4bles

The cast of The Expendables re-unites again as Sylvestor Stallone, Jason Statham, and Dolph Lundgren fight side-by-side in another all-out action film.

Release Date
September 22, 2023

Runtime
TBA

Studio
Campbell Grobman Films, Millenium Films, Nu Boyana Film Studios

Speaking to Screen Rant about his upcoming movie Wanted Man, Lundgren touched on his latest outing with the Expendables, and particularly how a problematic script, along with behind-the-scenes production issues led to the movie’s failure. He said:

“I didn’t read the reviews, because I kind of knew what they were gonna say. That project had issues from the beginning, and it usually starts with the script, it really didn’t really have a good script,” he said. “I’m not playing the lead, so it’s hard for me to weigh in on some of those issues, but I know Stallone wasn’t involved, like he usually is. He just played a character in it, and when he’s in charge, the quality is going to be pretty good, it doesn’t drop below a certain level. But he wasn’t involved, so I think the problem was with the script, and then the director was replaced, like, a month before shooting.”

A different direction for the future of the Expendables franchise has been discussed, with producer Les Weldon previously addressing a rumored female-led squad taking over for the next movie. Weldon said in an interview with ComicBook.com:

“I am not sure, that’s, uh — there’s been talk. Let me just put it that way. It hasn’t really moved any closer to fruition. And I tell you, scheduling these kind of movies is incredibly difficult. And even for us, it happened to be a little bit easier — whatever, 2008 to 2009 when we did the first one — simply because we had an idea of the action stars we wanted to bring in, and they all were eager to jump in and participate.”

Expend4bles introduces Megan Fox’s character Gina, and she’d make a perfect edition to the all-female lineup. The franchise also has a plethora of additional talent already in place who have appeared in other installments of the film series.

While The Expendables (2010) unfortunately shined a light on the played-out, damsel-in-distress motif, The Expendables 2 offered a formidable candidate worthy of inclusion in an Expendables team made up entirely of women: actress Yu Nan’s CIA agent, Maggie Chan.

Related: The Expendables 4: Plot, Cast, and Everything Else We Know


A Female Expendables Squad is Still Possible

Ronda Rousey Expendables 3
Lionsgate

In The Expendables 3, actress Ronda Rousey’s former bar bouncer, Luna, became the first official female team member of the Expendables. Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) and Bonaparte (Kelsey Grammer) recruited Luna along with some new blood to face off against the team’s co-founder-turned-rogue, Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson). So, there are building blocks already in place to form a female-led Expendables squad, but there’s no guarantee a sequel or spin-off will happen. And assembling such a talented cast is quite difficult. Producer Les Weldon said in the same interview:

“And it was almost something that the schedule just happened to fall in place. And then once you kick off something that big, you understand that other actors will make themselves available. Whereas if you are starting something from scratch, it becomes difficult to get everybody’s schedule and commitments and whatnot. And this franchise has been, we’ve been very, very lucky that actors want to get on board and will rearrange their schedule to do it.”

Expend4bles’ poor performance at the box office, and its record-setting franchise failure on Rotten Tomatoes, doesn’t help build a case for continuing on with the series in either a sequel or spin-off format. However, witnessing the return of both Luna (Rousey) and Maggie Chan (Nan) would be a sight to behold. Perhaps Gina (Fox) could build up and fill out the all-female roster with the help of a Barney Ross-esque, female counterpart — possibly portrayed by someone with an action film background like Halle Berry or Zhang Ziyi.



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