Sylvester Stallone Exits The Expendables Franchise

Posted 2017/04/01 2640 0

The Expendables franchise appears to have lost its leading man today as Deadline reports that Sylvester Stallone has exited the big-screen action series.


Plans for a fourth film in the blockbuster series have been underway since The Expendables 3 was released in 2014, earning more than $214 million worldwide. But Stallone and Avi Lerner, Nu Image and Millennium Films chief, have been unable to agree on certain elements for the fourth film, including a director, according to Deadline, which first reported Stallone’s exit.

"We’re going to do our best, but I think we’ve got some really great attitude going,” Stallone had teased of the fourth film earlier this year on his Facebook page. “We’ve got great ideas. I think everyone is expecting something different and we’re going to give it to them.”

The Expendables franchise, which currently spans three films, has featured Stallone as mercenary team leader Barney Ross, with kick-ass heavyweights like Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture and Arnold Schwarzenegger making up the core group. Other action stars have made their way to the franchise, including Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Harrison Ford, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas, and Wesley Snipes. Stallone, however, has also served as producer and screenwriter on every Expendables film to date.

Lerner today told Deadline, sounding optimistic that something could still be worked out to have Stallone involved.

“We’ve got disagreements with Sly, but we’ve had them for over a year and a half. Right now, each one has an opinion. We agreed on 95 percent of things, but there are certain things in production we don’t agree on. I don’t think it’s over, but write whatever you want. In my opinion, it’s not dead.”

The first film in The Expendables franchise proved to be a success at the box office, taking in $103 million domestically with another $171 million from foreign markets, but interest in the series began to wane in the US with The Expendables 2 bringing in $85 million and The Expendables 3 collecting just $39 million at the domestic box office. Both films, however, still saw tremendous success internationally with a foreign total of $229 million and $175 million, respectively. Stream them all for free here by clicking on the movies' names or scrolling down for the movie tracklist!

There is no word at this time on how the absence of Stallone’s character Barney Ross will be explained in The Expendables 4, assuming the film moves forward. It is also unclear who will take over leadership of the group of mercenaries in his place, in any and all future installments in the action movie franchise. At the end of The Expendables 3 Ross was celebrating the addition of several new recruits onto his team. So some kind of explanation will be needed to explain why he would leave the team right after he helped it grow.