Action franchises are something of an area of expertise for actor, writer, and director Sylvester Stallone. He wrote all the movies in the Rocky franchise except for Creed and starred in each of them. He’s also known for playing solider and missionary John Rambo in four films, as well as writing and starring in The Expendables and its sequels. He has appeared in numerous other action films, playing a variety of both heroes and villains. Stallone knows a good thing when he is a part of it and has never been one to turn down a sequel and another chance to play a character he enjoys.
Being an action star is certainly a role he’s embraced. All three Expendables films allow Stallone to fight either alongside or against a variety of his fellow action stars, including Jason Statham, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Rocky IV co-star, Dolph Lundgren. Numerous roles in the franchise were offered to friends and costars of Stallone’s from previous films. He also teamed up with Schwarzenegger again in 2013’s Escape Plan, the first movie to feature them both in starring roles. Escape Plan 2 was announced last month, with Stallone reprising his role as prison expert Ray Breslin, though with no word on who he would be teaming up with this time.
Now however, it seems that Stallone’s Escape Plan 2 costar has been chosen. According to THR, it is Dave Bautista, former professional wrestler and star of Guardians of the Galaxy. The casting of Bautista follows the recent trend of Stallone pairing up with his previous co-stars, as Stallone will be appearing in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which once again features Bautista as Drax the Destroyer.
There is no word yet as to whether Bautista’s character in Escape Plan 2 will be a friend of Stallone’s Breslin or a foe. In the first film, Breslin was a security expert who would escape from maximum security prisons in order to find their weaknesses. After being tricked and locked up in what is supposed to be an inescapable prison, he teams up with a fellow inmate played by Schwarzenegger, in order to find a way out. So there are pretty good odds that the sequel will involve Breslin being trapped in an even harder-to-escape prison and needing to find his way out. Bautista could be playing a character like Schwarzenegger’s, a potential ally. Or he could be someone who gets in Breslin’s way, as a guard or a fellow inmate.
Escape Plan 2 is being written by Miles Chapman, who co-wrote the first film, and directed by Steven C. Miller. Bautista, for his part, is currently busy reprising his role as Drax for the Marvel Cinematic Universe “event” Avengers: Infinity War. He will be joining the Blade Runner franchise later this year, with his as-yet undisclosed role in the sequel, Blade Runner 2049.