If the Expendables franchise does indeed continue, it’ll be missing one crucial element: Sylvester Stallone. Per Deadline, Stallone has exited The Expendables 4 in both writing and starring capacities, reportedly due to disagreements with Nu Image/Millennium chief Avi Lerner over the film’s script, director, and “certain qualitative elements of the film” including which VFX house to use for the effects. Stallone is nothing if not thorough, and is known to take a very hands on role in these kinds of films. He wrote the first three films himself and directed the first, and has seen himself as a face of this action series that revived many of the biggest action personalities of the 80s and 90s.
Where this leaves the future of the Expendables franchise is unclear. Stallone is said to have turned down a massive payday around $20 million for The Expendables 4, but in the wake of his Oscar-nominated turn in Creed was worried about creatively underwhelming audiences with a subpar Expendables sequel.
For his part, Lerner insists to Deadline that The Expendables 4 is not dead and has hope that Stallone will return, but other sources indicate he’s done. Back in 2014, Stallone admitted going PG-13 for The Expendables 3 was a mistake and promised a more violent fourth film, but beyond that we really didn’t have any details for what to expect in Expendables 4. The third film brought Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson into the mix, as well as new blood in the form of Kellan Lutz, Ronda Rousey, and Glen Powell, but it’s unknown who was expected to fill out the Expendables 4 ensemble.
What say you, folks? Are you bummed to hear Stallone has exited The Expendables 4? Would you even want to see an Expendables movie without Sylvester Stallone? Sound off in the comments below.