Film Producer Avi Lerner Talks Stallone, EXPENDABLES 4, EXPENDABELLES, HELLBOY And More


The past three years saw plenty of fluctuating news and updates surrounding The Expendables, The ExpendaBelles and as recently as this month, a forthcoming reboot of Hellboy. All three are housed at Millenium Films for which its founder recently sold 51% of his stake in the company for $100 million dollars, and this week, Avi Lerner sat down with THR to discuss the nature of his sale with respect to his career and the current film climate and landscape in which a company like Netflix has dominated in snatching up independent titles at the film markets, among other things.

Going forward in the interview, Lerner also revived talk of the aforementioned titles; A fourth film in the Expendables franchise had been long in the works following the intial trilogy which gave moviegoers The Expendables 3 in 2014. In March, Stallone left the franchise altogether as he did with Rambo last year, and has since moved on to other projects, including a second installment and likely third for the Escape Plan trilogy with Steven C. Miller directing both. Lerner, whose company celebrates a 25-year anniversary, speaks about his former Expendables cohort and more in the excerpt below:
Sylvester Stallone said there will be no more Expendables with him. 
Well, that's what he said last time. 
You think there might be another? 
Not with Sylvester. There will be more Expendables, but not with him. Sly wanted to produce the movie, and I don't think he can produce the movie. He's a good actor. He's a good writer. But he's not a good producer. And I didn't want to give him $100 million to produce. 
Are you still friends with him? 
Obviously less. But I respect him. I think he's one of the icons of the world. You know, without being too mean, I took him when he was down, when nobody wanted to hire him, and I gave him Rambo and The Expendables. I think I gave him a new life. 
So you're not doing Expendables 4? 
We will do Expendables 4, without Sylvester Stallone. We've got a script. We're working on it. Look, Batman, they changed the guys. Spider-Man. You name it. 
What's the biggest-budget movie you've made? 
Expendables 3 was $80 million. 
What's the most you've paid an actor?Twenty million. Sylvester Stallone. We were going to pay him that for Expendables 4. 
What's next? 
We are going to do Hellboy [and] Expendables 4 next year. We're doing Expendabelles. It will be 10 big female names. We're doing Angel Is Fallen, we're shooting a movie called #211 with Nicolas Cage, and we just finished a movie called Stoic with Antonio Banderas.
The all-female line-up of ExpendaBelles was faint, albeit active between 2014 and 2016 with mention of a director and even Stallone's own attachment at the time. Actor Nicolas Cage recently injured his ankle in the last few months while filming York Alec Shackleton's bank heist thriller, 211 which recommences filming in early June as Cage recovers.

Heralded action filmmaker Isaac Florentine, credited notably for taking the boxing narrative of Walter Hill's Undisputed and turning it into a sprawling martial arts fanfare starring Scott Adkins in the role of self-proclaimed single greatest fighter in the world, Uri Boyka, has set stills stirring out and about for Stoic which you can view here. Florentine also produced the forthcoming Boyka: Undisputed for director Todor Chapkanov which has a current U.S. release set for August 1 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

As for the future of the Expendables franchise and Stallone's departure, what say you on the possible direction of a fourth outing?

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