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'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?