Sylvester Stallone Walks Away From THE EXPENDABLES Franchise

Call it what you will, but the word now is that despite all earlier reports and hopes for a fourth Expendables movie, actor and franchise co-writer/director/star Sylvester Stallone has abandoned the franchise indefinitely. It wouldn't be the first time either as it's also the latest franchise dropped by the actor since the knife-twisting news of his departure from Rambo more than a year ago.

Nu Image/Millenium head Avi Lerner is reportedly in denial of Stallone's leave, telling Deadline, “We’ve got disagreements with Sly, but we’ve had them for over a year and a half,... “Right now, each one has opinion. We agreed on 95% of things, but there are certain things in production we don’t agree on. I don’t think it’s over, but what write whatever you want. In my opinion, it’s not dead.”
Among those disagreements noted in the report are who would direct, how and where VFX handling would be stationed and Stallone's own cold feet over the film's performance as per its current franchise state. 

The Expendables 4 was last reported to be part of a shared co-production deal between SP International Pictures, SSXH Beijing and Max Screen Film Distribution back in the Fall of 2015 next to Alain Desrocher's new Antonio Banderas actioner, Security which opens later this year.

Following Rambo in 2008, Stallone launched the aforementioned franchise in 2010 with The Expendables, answering to the zeitgeist with a nostalgic action movie IP boasting an amalgam of heavy-hitting action stars. Stallone played Barney Ross, a former soldier whose team of mercenaries would frequent themselves as The Expendables in order to execute off-the-books missions for the government, answering to a one Mr. Church, as played by Bruce Willis in the first two films.

The franchise, which also included Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Terry Crews and Randy Couture, would further see the additions of guest appearances and co-stars from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eric Roberts, Gary Daniels, Steve Austin, Scott Adkins, Chuck Norris, actress Yu Nan and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme before throwing Ronda Rousey, the above-mentioned Banderas, Wesley Snipes and Mel Gibson through its current trilogy standing. Stallone was also on deck as of last summer to help bring The Expendabelles to life, a project that would comprise a female equivalent of badasses in the same vein, though today's report, if nothing else and unless Lerner's intuition has anything to show for it, likely changes things.

*A nod to Felix Ng for the news tip!


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