Dec 30, 2011

Profiling Scott Adkins (Hector)

Last Profile: Scott Adkins playing Hector in EX2, the right hand man to the film's main villain "Jean Vilain", played by Van Damme. 

Adkins was born in 1976 in England. His acting career took off in 2001. He's a Martial Artist/Actor who's mainly stared in straight to DVD movies. Since martial art/action movies' commercial success has declined in North America over the past two decades compared to the 80's-90's, Adkins like other martial artist/actors of his generation is struggling to break through on the big screen. His highest profile big screen role so far was in 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' as Weapon XI and EX2 is definitely offering him his biggest exposure ever to the general public. Nevertheless Adkins has a solid fan base of hardcore action movie fans who best know him as Boyka from Undisputed II & III. 

According to IMDB he was offered the role of Dan Paine in EX1 that went to Austin, maybe why he was considered again for EX2. The announcement of his role in EX2 was positively welcomed by the EX fans. It appears that he was initially set to be billed in the main cast in early September but lost his position to Hemsworth when the latter was announced. On two occasions his name appeared in the main cast: first time when Millennium inadvertently posted the cast on their website in early September, the second time was when the French distribution company of EX2 released their own teaser poster for a convention in France. After the leak of the controversial EX2 poster where his name was not billed and his face not pictured, no other official material that followed did bear his name or image. The omittance of his name and image ticked many fans off and some went as far altering the EX2 promotional material to add Adkins.
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The extent of his role in EX2 is not clear but from what we've seen so far all signs indicate that he will most likely play a similar role to the one Gary Daniels held in EX1 with the same amount of screen time and importance. EX1 didn't do much for Daniels so the same destiny could be expected for Adkins, but some major differences between the two exist, Adkins is much younger and has a stronger fan base among action movie fans. With the huge success of Fast Five and depending on how further EX2 relaunches the future of action movies on the big screen, there could be new opportunities opened to him for his career development.

I personally am an old school/traditional fan of big screen 80'-90's action movies and don't watch straight to DVD action flicks. I browsed through Undisputed II & III only after Adkins was added to EX2. Nonetheless I think he has a good potential to play an important role in the future of action movies if they are commercially revived again on the big screen. That's all folks!

Dec 28, 2011

New Photos of Stallone, Statham & Lundgren with the EX2 Dietitian

Found a couple of new photos of the Expendables while still in Bulgaria with their Dietitian. They are from a Bulgarian news article telling the story of the thank you letters she received from the cast members for Christmas. She must have done a good job...

 

Profiling The New Expendables: Liam Hemsworth (Billy The Kid)

After Nan's profile, Liam Hemsworth (Billy The Kid) is next on the list, another new addition to the EX team. He is more known to the North American audiences than Nan but probably not by much. To many people the name Hemsworth is not that alien and resonates with "Thor" played by Chris- Liam's older brother - but less is known about the younger Hemsworth, specially to the 80's-90's action movie generation who forms the largest piece of the EX2 fan base.

Born in Australia in 1990, his first noticeable exposure in North America was through "The Last Song" where he played Miley Cyrus's love interest, who also happens to be his girl friend in real life. But he really came to international notice in 2011 when he was cast in "The Hunger Games" a future blockbuster movie produced by Lionsgate who also look after EX2's distribution in the US - coincidence?!

To many fans the selection of Hemsworth in EX2 came as a surprise and was not well understood, but to Lionsgate the eventual success of "The Hunger Games" could bring a new and younger audience for EX2. To Stallone the Expendables "also need some new blood in there, a Navy Seal-type, because with the Expendables none of them have 20-20 vision anymore. They need some help, man". Rumor has it that Taylor Lautner was first thought of to play the "new blood" but declined the offer - thank you Lautner.

Hemsworth was officially announced on Sep 19 to join EX2 two weeks after Millennium Films posted the cast minus his name on their website, to take it down two days later. The news of his involvement in EX2 was widely covered by the media including the Australian Herald Sun reporting him as Rourke's replacement quoting his agent as their source of information. Initially thought to play a character named Timmons, he's set to play Billy The Kid, a new member of the Expendables, possibly a sniper. 

First called to play a role in the 1st EX movie but then written off, the extent of his role in EX2 is not known yet. He arrived on set on Oct 21, almost a month after production started in Bulgaria. He spent less time on set than the other EXs (except Li), which could translate into less screen time than the rest of the team. If Rourke's character (Tool) is not the EX to die then I think Hemsworth's character is the most probable to be next on the list - see our theory of the plot, possible spoiler!

Stallone wanted "some new blood", Lionsgate is possibly seeking a wider and younger audience, not all the fans approve of it, the addition of Hemsworth should not have any major negative impact on EX2. If Stallone plays him right it could actually turn out to be positive.

That's it for Hemsworth, next profile is Adkins.

Dec 26, 2011

First Peek at Noel on EX2 Set

Nothing huge but nice while the EX2 production is on vacation. Nikolette Noel has tweeted an on set photo of herself, it's the first picture of her on set, posted so far.

Profiling The New Expendables: Yu Nan (Maggie)

Holidays over, back to business. Not a lot of news circulating on EX2. They seem to be taking  a long vacation and preparing to go to China in January. So in the meantime I had the idea of studying the new members of the EX team since not a lot is known about them. One of my friends who's a big fan of Adkins asked me to throw him in the pack too (even though he's not an EX member) so I might do his profile later. 

I decided to start with
Yu Nan (Maggie) who probably is the least known cast member of EX2, or at least to the North American audiences. As she happens to be from China, it's not easy to gather information on her. So I asked one of my friends who travels quite often to China and who's picked up some (limited) Mandarin to browse Chinese websites for me and gather some information on her.
 
She was born in 1978 in China. Doesn't have too many movies in her resume but is very talented. She has served as a jury member & won the Best Actress prize a few times in several internationally renown film festivals, and has played in a few international productions including a French film (she can be seen in the picture with the French actress Emmanuelle Béart). Apparently she's fluent in French & English (we'll find out in EX2).

She's fairly known in China but is not a mega star there. Here's an article reporting her involvement in EX2 where it's mentioned that she is not one of the country's top artists due to her heavier international acting career than local. So I'm not sure on what basis she was picked by the studios if their intention was to attract massive Chinese audiences - or maybe they didn't want to overshadow Li given she has a more comprehensive role than he does in the movie.


Stallone explains, "Maggie is a Chinese agent who's very mysterious. Nobody quite knows what her role is to start with. But as the story unfolds, you realize how important she is to the story. Yu Nan is a wonderful actress and she adds a lot of mystery and intrigue to the story. Maggie challenges Barney all the time because Barney's not very good with women; he's got this wall up he tries to keep her at a distance. And she's constantly trying to penetrate his outer shell.”

King-Templeton adds, “Yu Nan is a very accomplished actress in China. She’s perfect for this role because you also really believe that she can fight and you believe she can get involved in these kind of dangerous situations. She holds her own with all the boys. Maggie challenges Barney’s emotional side. Barney as the leader of the Expendables is always looking out for the guys. He's never really had time for any kind of female relationship. She makes him look at another side of life he could have possibly had.”

One thing is for sure, she is an attractive lady and here are a few (hand picked) pictures of her to showcase it- viewer's discretion is advised. More pictures and info could be found here & here. For my part I find her an exotic and interesting addition to the EX team.


 

 

Dec 19, 2011

Stallone's Poster Picture Extracted

We managed to extract a high quality picture of Stallone from the official poster. Click to expand to a larger size. Compliments of EX2 Blog, enjoy!

Dec 18, 2011

Anatomy of the EX2 Plot, Possible Spoiler!

We have made an attempt to predict the plot of the EX2 by drawing conclusions based on clues gathered from some details of the plot revealed by Lundgren in the interview he gave in Japan (details here), set photos that were released in early October when Schwarzenegger, Willis and Norris shot their scenes, the official synopsis, Stallone’s interview with ET, and the teaser trailer. This is pure speculation on our part and is not the official plot of EX2 in any shape or form. It might be long but worth the read for hard core fans.

Opening Scene:

Clues: according to Lundgren, in the opening scene Schwarzenegger is rescued by the EX team in Burma. On his first day on set Schwarzenegger shot his scenes in a prisoner outfit and had bruises on his face, signs he was beaten. The scenes were shot in the studio, so they were obviously apart from the scenes he shot at the airport where he was wearing his Hawaiian shirt and military jacket. Plus in the trailer we can clearly see that the airport is in an Eastern European country, so the airport scenes are not related to where the rescue mission in Burma takes place. 

Further according to Lundgren it is after the rescue mission of Schwarzenegger that Willis sends the EX team on a new mission. The Willis/Stallone scene in the trailer is after the rescue in Burma. Willis stayed a day longer after Schwarzenegger left to possibly shoot his scene in the suit.

Li did not film in Bulgaria and will only shoot his scenes in China for a couple of weeks at best. He is probably not part of Willis’s mission that would take place in Eastern Europe. The scenes in China are possibly the ones where the EX team fights the Burmese bad guys to rescue Schwarzenegger. There were action scenes shot in Bulgaria with Asian stunts, they were most likely related to the rescue scenes in Burma as well.

Lundgren confirmed on his Facebook that he will be shooting in China: “Wrapped the Bulgaria shoot for "The Expendables 2" after two long gruelling months, filming will resume in China around mid-January...”

Van Damme has informed his fan site VanDammeFanz.com that he won’t be shooting in China.

The scenes in China are most likely independent from Willis’s mission in Eastern Europe, from Van Damme and the villains who kill the EX member(s).

Conclusion: the opening scene is where the EX team - Li, Stallone, Lundgren, and possibly Crews & Couture rescue Schwarzenegger from prison in Burma (we have to wait to see if they’ll shoot in China, plus the last four were first to start shooting in Bulgaria for a few days without Statham).

Closing Scene:

Clues: Stallone told ET that he was saved by the big guys (assuming he meant Schwarzenegger, Willis and maybe Norris). 

According to the official synopsis “things go wrong” on the new mission orchestrated by Willis and one of the EXs is “savagely killed”. 

In the trailer Willis says to Stallone that he could have put him in a whole (doesn’t say he saved him from one) but chose not to because he knew there’d be a time he could use him. So the Willis/Stallone scene possibly takes place before things go wrong, before one of the EXs is killed, and before the saving mission of Stallone and his team.

Schwarzenegger and Willis share a scene with Norris that is comparable to the one they had with Stallone in the prequel (according to Lundgren).
This is possibly when the three decide to send Norris first to help the EX team after things go wrong. Norris shot more scenes than the other two and had photos with the EX gang in an old Eastern European looking town; he obviously spends more time with the EXs during their mission than the other two. 
Conclusion: Norris’s help probably won’t be enough to save Stallone and his team so Schwarzenegger and Willis decide to join the mission (this is possibly what Stallone meant in his interview with ET). This is where the big final battle scene is shot at the airport with the big guys and the remainder of the EX team fighting side by side to defeat the villains.

Which EXs are killed?

For reasons given previously, we don’t think it's Li. He is probably part of the opening rescue mission in Burma and later on declines to follow the EXs in the new mission ordered by Willis. Plus killing him will not sit well with the Asian audiences and studios are banking a lot on the Asian market for this movie.

It couldn’t be Statham, Lundgren or Crews, all three shot scenes at the airport for the final battle.
For obvious reasons, it won’t be Stallone.

They won’t kill a woman so it won’t be Nan either and there were pictures of her too at the airport.

There is still the possibility of Rourke appearing in the movie and being the member who is savagely killed, and remember the very first plot that was rejected by Stallone had Rourke as the member who was killed. Even though Rourke stated that he was not in the movie, later he mentioned in an interview that he might do a cameo in a movie but he couldn’t tell. This could be it and would be a huge surprise to create hype. Van Damme holds an EX knife in the trailer, it could be Rourke’s, but it could also be Stallone’s or Statham’s, so hard to take this clue as basis to predict who is killed.

If Rourke is not the guy, then we think Hemsworth is the first EX to die. He did not shoot any scenes at the airport nor in the old town with Norris, as a matter of fact he arrived on set after Norris left. It is probably after he is killed that Norris joins the EXs to help them. Noel who plays his wife flew late to shoot a couple of scenes, probably in which Stallone tells her how sorry he is and gives her some personal stuff left by her husband. Last clue, when he joined the cast, an Australian news site reported from his agent that he was to replace Rourke.

West had also mentioned that a few good guys would die in the movie. So we think the next EX to die is Couture. He was not seen in any pictures at the airport but was seen with the EXs in the old town. He possibly dies before the final battle of the airport. He is also billed after Crews which was not the case in the first movie. He probably has fewer scenes than Crews.

Crews or Lundgren could also die during the final battle but we don’t have enough clues to support the theory.

We rest our case here, and think no matter what the real plot will be EX2 will be grandiose. Bon soir a tous...

Dec 16, 2011

First Official Poster for EX2

Following Wednesday's teaser trailer, the first official poster for EX2 is now officially released by Lionsgate. My favourite poster is still the EX2 poster that was claimed non official but this one is also impressive and looks better than the posters from the first movie.

Dec 15, 2011

New Photos of EX2 Teaser Trailer

We managed to extract some pictures of all the actors from the Teaser Trailer of EX2, except Li's picture that was from the first movie. Compliments of EX2 Blog, enjoy!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dec 14, 2011

EX2 Teaser Trailer is OUT!!!

Finally!

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First Look at EX2 from ET

First Sneak Peek of EX2 by ET. I watched the show and the piece on EX2 was very short. The only major revelation was that Stallone is saved and owes Willis, who sends him (and I'm guessing the EX team) on a new mission. It was initially revealed by Lundgren in the interview he gave in Japan that Schwarzenegger was rescued in Burma in the opening scene, which makes the plot more ambiguous now. Patience and we shall find out soon...
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Dec 13, 2011

EX2 Sneak Peek on ET Coming Tomorrow

It's finally coming! Stay tuned tomorrow to watch the first scenes from EX2 on ET. And if you don't have ET on your TV you can still watch it on line a few hours later on their website.

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Dec 12, 2011

Stallone chez le dentiste

To post or not to post. This is the question I asked my friend "EX2 Blogman" (the founder of EX2 Blog) when a few pictures of Stallone visiting a dentist in Bulgaria came out a couple of days ago. The blog has one policy, only post material that is directly related to the EX2 movie, cast or plot. No fan made stuff, no pictures of stunts or actors outside the frame of the movie (partying in clubs, doctor visits, pushing weights, etc). So the question was: is the dentist stuff EX2 material? It turns out it was.

In fact, everything started with an accident during the shooting. Stallone fell on his upper tooth and a serious aesthetic problem threatened the shooting as the only alternative he thought of in the first place was to urgently return to the US. But then some Bulgarian businesswoman put him in touch with a reputable local dental clinic where she is a patient. She advised him to at least go and take a look at the clinic. After two preliminary visits he fully trusted the Bulgarian specialists and had his tooth done. And EX2 shooting was not delayed! So here are some pictures of Stallone with the Bulgarian heroes who saved the movie from any further delay. Vive les dentistes bulgares...
 
 
 

Intercepted transmission from Bulgaria

Here's another video of Stallone from EX2 set in Bulgaria to promote the release of The Expendables Director's Cut.
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Lubo & The Expendables

We found a bunch of new pictures of Lubo (Lyubomir Simeonov) with the Expendables. We don't know if he has any role in EX2. For those who don't know him, he's a Bulgarian mixed martial artist AKA The Hammer or The Rower. Given that he's of Bulgarian descent he could have been in Bulgaria during the filming of EX2 and simply stopped by to say hello to the team. It'd be cool if he played a role in the movie, we'll find out soon...

Dec 11, 2011

Willis, Stallone and Schwarzenegger Share a Fight Scene

Bulgarian news websites have been reporting over the weekend the death of bats from the famous cave where EX2 shot some of their scenes. One website also published a couple of pictures that were not seen before.

The 1st one goes back to the airport scenes where Willis, Stallone and Schwarzenegger doubles can be seen firing at the bad guys. It's not confirmed yet whether the battle at the airport is the opening or closing scene. We usually don't post photos of the stunt doubles but we thought this one was important since we can now assume that there could be some explosive scenes where the trio is fighting beside each other and we couldn't ask for more.
The 2nd picture is from the scenes where Norris, Lundgren and Stallone had filmed together in what looked like an old ravaged town. A few pictures were released back then, this is one of them and was missing in the collection. Nan & Stallone can bee seen walking through the town.

Stallone Weekend News

ET had a segment on Hollywood's Biggest Comeback Kids and there was a piece on Stallone. During the Stallone piece they mentioned that next week they would premier the first look at EX2 but didn't give further details. As posted before a sneak peek of EX2 is to be released soon and that could be it. So stay tuned, even if you don't have ET on TV, they usually put their latest full episode on their website for free.

While awaiting the Sneak Peek, the filming of EX2 has apparently wrapped in Bulgaria as Stallone is shaved and back in LA. His pictures while out in Beverly Hills were taken and released over the weekend on Zimbio.

Dec 8, 2011

New Pictures & A Message From Lundgren

Some more new set photos have been released over the past couple of days: 2 from Van Damme (posted yestreday on EX2 PIX) and 1 from Statham.
Lundgren has also released a new message on his Facebook page: 

"Hello karma!

Wrapped the Bulgaria shoot for "The Expendables 2" after two long grueling months, filming will resume in China around mid-January..."

It was already known that he was going to China, this makes it official.


And finally Crews has a new video on Youtube.

Thanks to
VanDammeFanz & Kicker for the pictures.

Dec 6, 2011

EX2 Exclusive Sneak Peek

Have Millennium Films heard fans out? An Exclusive Sneak Peek of EX2 Coming Soon? Merry EXmas...