The first Sylvester Stallone ’80s action throwback flick to hit theaters in 2012 (before The Expendables 2) was originally going to be Bullet to the Head: an adaptation of Alexis Nolent’s French graphic novel “Du Plomb Dans La Tete”. The story is about a cop (Fast Five‘s Sung Kang) and a hitman (Stallone) who join forces to avenge the deaths of their respective partners.

Warner Bros. yanked Bullet to the Head from its release schedule less than two months before its original April date. Jump to the present and the studio has instead selected a February 1st, 2013 date for Sly’s buddy/action flick to storm into theaters – alongside the delayed zombie rom-drama adaptation, Warm Bodies.

Bullet to the Head, as directed by ’80s icon Walter Hill (48 Hours, Red Heat), will actually face stiff competition for the attention of action-hungry moviegoers in the traditionally slow first quarter of the year. Just two weeks before Bullet hits theaters (pun intended), the Arnold Schwarzenegger comeback vehicle The Last Stand will arrive in theaters, followed by the latest Jason Statham thriller (Parker) a week later. If that wasn’t enough, the Keanu Reeves-headed Samurai epic 47 Ronin opens just a week after Bullet to the Head – followed the next week by action movie heavyweight Bruce Willis in A Good Day to Die Hard.

That release schedule doesn’t exactly set the stage for Bullet to the Head to have much longevity, despite the film boasting a big name like Stallone alongside such fan-faves as Jason Momoa (Stargate: Atlantis, Game of Thrones) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Oz, Lost). Additionally, rumors that Stallone did a significant rewrite of the original script co-penned by Hill and Alessandro Camon (The Messenger) – coupled with previous claims that Stallone took over editing on the film (which Warner Bros. denied) and the new February “dumping ground” release date… well, usually when there’s that much smoke, there’s also some fire.

Still, the cast and crew for Bullet to the Head reads as pretty solid, while Nolent’s source material is generally well-regarded (by those who’ve actually read it, at least). Here’s hoping the final product also turns out well – a sentiment that goes for all the aforementioned action titles due out in the first quarter of 2013.

Source: Box Office Mojo