May 19, 2017

EX4 Moving Ahead Without Sly!

It's finally confirmed by Avi himself - EX4 will be moving ahead without Sly, it's official, Sly is out of the EX franchise. Here's what Avi had to say:

THR: Sylvester Stallone said there will be no more Expendables with him.

Avi: Well, that's what he said last time.

THR: You think there might be another?

Avi: 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.

THR: Are you still friends with him?

Avi: 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.

THR: So you're not doing Expendables 4?

Avi: 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.

THR: What's the biggest-budget movie you've made?

Avi: Expendables 3 was $80 million.

THR: What's the most you've paid an actor?

Avi: Twenty million. Sylvester Stallone. We were going to pay him that for Expendables 4.

THR: What's next?

Avi: 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.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So that's it...it's kind of sad. I can't imagine the EX franchise without Sly but I'm willing to give it a chance if they make it a quality production keeping the original concept, no young Expendables please.

Personally I think it will not draw the same amount of crowd without Sly and Arnold (who said would be totally out without Sly), but who knows, he might accept to return if Avi gives him the lead role and more money. Now anything could happen, Avi seems to be determined to get the 4th installment going. 

The other point where I believe Avi is overly optimistic about is when he compares the EX franchise with Batman or Spider-Man. It's an interesting and disconnected perspective that he carries. I believe there was some comparison when they were promoting EX3 to the Avengers as well!! People go see Batman for Batman not so much for the guy behind the mask, same for Spider-Man or any comic book superhero, that's why you can keep recycling the actors. The concept and context remain the same no matter who plays the character (of course people have preferences, Bale over Kilmer, or Keaton over Clooney, etc.) but they still go see Batman. The EX franchise is based off a unique concept of assembling old time action icons i.e. Sly, Arnold, Willis and Co. You can't replace them by new actors, people go see the Expendables for the men behind the action not so much the characters in the movie. You can't replace Sly or Arnold...

That being said, if Avi remains authentic to the original concept and is able to keep Statham on board, give Arnold more money and one of the lead roles, bring Willis back, make peace with Seagal, add other action Stars such as Jaa, Yen, Chan (unlikely as he's already doing a project with Sly and has never been a big fan of cameos, unless he also gets a lead role with some hefty money), bring Van Damme back in some new capacity, get Russell (he's taking any ensemble role nowadays) or even add some newer action guys such as Johnson (unlikely to happen but Avi has the money now since Sly's $20M is up for grab and money talks in Hollywood) or Diesel (he might actually do it for $20M); then we might be going somewhere here...knowing Avi's track record, what I'm wishing for here is probably optimistic on my part!

May 18, 2017

EX4 Cannes Poster

A glimpse of news. A poster of EX4 has been identified as what seems to be a promotional item for Cannes. It looks to be legitimate but the question is how realistic is it for Avi & Co. to sell EX4 to distributors at Cannes knowing that Sly has declined to take part (so far) as there hasn't been any news of the contrary.

The other interesting point is the cast. Only Sly, Statham & Banderas appear on the poster whereas in the past Li was always promoted even when there was no definite negotiation for his participation. It looks thin and I wonder whether we'll have EX4 at all and if yes will any of the heavyweight action stars be in it?

Apr 22, 2017

EX4 Now or Never!

There has never been a better time to make an EX movie. If Avi has some good business sense he will put his ego and differences with Sly aside and work things out to get EX4 going. This is probably his best window of opportunity to leverage the star power momentum building up around some of the main cast members of the franchise - namely Statham, Sly and Lundgren.

Statham has seen his star power propulsed thanks to the mega success of the 8th FF, and a spin off movie focusing on his character (and Johnson's) is being widely talked about. He is now a well recognized star worldwide and should enjoy that status over the next few years with the FF franchise.   

Sly is set to appear in the upcoming GOTG2 a guaranteed blockbuster. He should be getting a fair amount of publicity over the next while and his star power could keep going up. He's being talked about to play a major role in the upcoming instalment and maybe even in the Avengers series. He has once again risen from the ashes.

Lundgren was recently confirmed to appear in the next DC Aquaman and has received a lot of attention. It is still to be seen whether his momentum will be sustainable over time but for now and until Aquaman is released he should enjoy some comeback.

Now you have 3 EX actors attracting a new fan base from the FF, Marvel and DC universes - put them together in a movie and you could bank on a fairly strong amount of interest and publicity if timing is right, which should be now or it might just be too late.

So Avi what are you waiting for? This is the time, the franchise has never had so many of its cast members enjoy this much publicity and attention at the same time. Don't waste the opportunity.

Apr 17, 2017

Now Lee Christmas!

Something's cooking up. I wonder why EX's FB keeps posting these new artworks of the EX characters? Started with Barney and it's Lee's turn now! Like I said I like them, just hope it means they are refreshing fan's memories to prep them for the upcoming installment. 

Apr 14, 2017

EX FB Still Active!

While contradictory news & rumors about a fourth installment of the The Expendables keep frustrating fans, the franchise's official FB page keeps posting new artworks teasing the same fans I imagine. Not sure what to think of it but here I found the newest artwork posted on the website and it's kinda nice...I just hope we get an official announcement soon, totally getting pissed and impatient.



Apr 8, 2017

Sly Open to Reconsider EX4

It looks like Sly is not completely closing the door to Avi. Asked by TMZ if he was open to doing EX4, he quickly replied "Absolutely". And further added that some bumps have to be taken out of the road.

TMZ further claims that they got some other actors from the "Expendables" franchise earlier this week -- including Wesley Snipes and Dolph Lundgren, both of whom said they wouldn't do 4 without Sly.

Avi, you heard the man, take those bumps out and bring the movie back to life.

Apr 5, 2017

Arnold: Never EX4 without Sly

Looks like Arnold thinks like many of us fans out there and won't be doing EX4 without Sly.

He told EW that he will not appear in The Expendables 4 without Sylvester Stallone, who has reportedly departed from the action sequel. “There is no Expendables without Sly,” says the Terminator star. “I would never do the movie without him, no.”

Arnold is out so is probably Statham who received kudos from Sly on his Instagram account for being a standup guy and having Sly's back, so we can safely assume that he'd be out too if Sly was.

Here we have it, EX4 seems to be going back to either being a dead project again or becoming a DTV franchise...RIP.

Mar 31, 2017

Sly Exits EX4!

As per Deadline: "In a crushing blow to fans of The Expendables, Sylvester Stallone has washed his hands of the franchise. He has withdrawn from taking part in the fourth installment, even though, sources said, it would have meant the biggest upfront payday in his career at north of $20 million. The reason? He and Nu Image/Millennium chief Avi Lerner could not find common ground on a new director, on the script and on certain qualitative elements of the film. That went right down to the selection of the CGI house to handle visual effects. The franchise has used Lerner’s own VFX house, Nu Boyana in Bulgaria.

Sources said that Stallone — who set a high bar for himself reprising Rocky Balboa with Michael B Jordan and director Ryan Coogler in Creed — was concerned about potentially underwhelming results of another franchise with which he is indelibly linked. Stallone wrote the first script with Dave Callaham, co-wrote all the sequels, and directed the first film. But knowledgeable sources said that Expendables team leader Barney Ross has led his last mission.

One who knows the dynamic of the long Stallone-Lerner relationship suggested they often disagree and eventually work it out over a couple of cigars, but it doesn’t sound like that’s going to happen this time. Lerner acknowledged the differences he has had with Stallone, but wasn’t willing to concede a divorce just yet. “We’ve got disagreements with Sly, but we’ve had them for over a year and a half,” he told Deadline. “Right now, each one has opinion. We agreed on 95% of things, but there are certain things in production we don’t agree on. I don’t think it’s over, but what write whatever you want. In my opinion, it’s not dead.”

It is unclear how Stallone’s exit impacts the film or its beefcake action hero cast.."

Well, if this is the case the franchise is done in my opinion and will turn into a DTV cash cow. I for sure am done with it if Sly is not part of this.