The Expendables 2, the Simon West-directed sequel to The Expendables, appeared at the end of the opening day of Comic-Con 2012. They opened the panel with the previously released trailer for the film, before Sylvester Stallone himself took the stage (to a “Rocky, Rocky!” chant). He was soon joined by other members of his cast, setting the Guinness world record for most testosterone ever on stage at one time. The Expendables 2, also starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Liam Hemsworth, Terry Crews, Jean Claude Van Damme, Scott Adkins, Charisma Carpenter, Yu Nan and Randy Couture opens August 17th. Hit the jump to check out the rest of the panel and make sure to click here for all of our continuing Comic-Con coverage.
As Stallone took the stage, the crowd welcomed him with thunderous applause. Then, they screened a series of clips taken from Stallone’s career that spanned the Rocky franchise, the Rambo franchise, as well as Copland, Demolition Man and so much Cliffhanger. Stallone once again called for some “male pattern badness” as a throwback to the good old fashioned ass-kicking action movies of the 80s.
He also talked about the tone of the sequel as compared to the original and the difficulties in showcasing the personalities of the action-filled ensemble cast. Stallone quipped that there’s simply no time for a backstory since they strive to keep the momentum moving forward. The Expendables experience helped allow him to set the tone and amplify it for the sequel. Stallone says that he’s certainly surpassed the first film.
Couture, Crews and Lundgren also joined Stallone on stage. The audience was then treated to a clip montage of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career before the Governator himself took the stage. (To be honest, I love Stallone but Schwarzenegger’s film reel blows his out of the water, in my opinion.) Schwarzenegger also said that he’s killed 289 people on screen while Stallone only killed 288 people, so he wins. He went on to talk about being welcomed back to the action scene after taking some time out for political life. He was happy to find that he could jump back into the action with little preparation from his co-stars.
Crews then went on to talk about working with veteran action stars such as Stallone and Schwarzenegger and compared it to his time in the NFL. Schwarzenegger commented Crews on his muscle gains to the delight of the crowd. Couture then talked about moving from the MMA into legitimate acting. Lundgren talked about punching Stallone so hard that a helicopter had to fly him off to a hospital. Stallone said that the punch was so bad, that the hospital techs thought he had been in a car accident.
Back to the movie itself, Stallone talks about the crew being in the middle of a situation where they come into contact with other mercenaries. When they return home, Stallone’s character is blackmailed by Willis’ character into taking on another assignment. They inevitably get into major trouble but are saved by unlikely allies. Stallone said that he doesn’t think he’ll ever see something this incredible again, which may or may not rule out a third Expendables movie. Stallone also talks about the unique styles and weaponry for each character, including Norris. He says that fans are in for a “tremendous ride.”
Schwarzenegger stresses that working with the right people, ie actors who are trained in martial arts as well as drama, is what really makes the film work. He further complimented Stallone for bringing together such a compatible cast who brought their acting and athletic skills to the set. Schwarzenegger sneaks in one last jab by saying Stallone was his English teacher when he came to America; Stallone said they should have a Spelling Bee.
Stallone and Schwarzenegger have a great rapport and a fantastic history. The entire crowd could easily sit here and listen to their stories for hours. Stallone talked about the Golden Globes when Rocky won best picture and how that was the first time he met Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger said Stallone’s mother came up to him and told him he looked like a piano mover. They also commented on the fact that they recently wrapped on the prison film, The Tomb, which they’ll star in together.
Crews gets in on the act by talking about Stallone offering him the part (and does a pretty spot-on Stallone impression). He also reminds the crowd that Stallone literally broke his neck during the first movie, but talks up the new blood that will appear in the sequel.
Stallone explained the three seashells from Demolition Man like this: “You know the way chopsticks work? That’s how it was explained to me.”
Schwarzenegger further commented on the sequel to Twins, called maybe Triplets. Ivan Reitman and Universal Studios have shown interested and he’s looking forward to finding the right writer.
Fans of The Governator cartoon with Stan Lee may be appeased to know that he’ll be announcing something about it fairly soon.
Stallone admitted that his line from Rambo 2, “You’re expendable,” was the genesis for The Expendables title. He also said that “The Dependables” didn’t quite work on the same level.
Stallone answers the question that was on all fans’ minds: who would win in a fight? He plays up the athletic ability of Couture, the raw strength of Crews and the pedigree of Schwarzenegger.
Stallone’s favorite Arnold movie is Junior. Schwarzenegger’s favorite Sly movie is Stop or My Mom Will Shoot. (Actually, it’s Terminator 2 for Sly; Schwarzenegger talks up Sly’s success with the franchises of Rocky and Rambo.)
The final part of the panel showed another exclusive Comic-Con clip from The Expendables 2. It features two opposing mercenary forces, one led by The Expendables and one composed of Van Damme, Adkins and some of the faceless bullet fodder. Together the two groups shoot up a lobby (somewhere in a Russian-speaking country if the bar sign is to be believed). There’s a fantastic exchange of famous one-liners between Schwarzenegger and Willis and the crowd absolutely ate it up.
If the chemistry among the actors on stage is any indication, The Expendables 2 is going to be even better than the original. The Expendables 2 opens August 17th. Check out all of our continuing Comic-Con coverage here.