Milla Jovovich, Meryl Streep & Cameron Diaz in Talks for ‘The ExpendaBelles’

Published 10 months ago by

milla jovovich expendabelles Milla Jovovich, Meryl Streep & Cameron Diaz in Talks for The ExpendaBelles

There are two all-female-cast action/thrillers – inspired by Sylvester Stallone’s hit macho action throwback franchise The Expendables – that are being developed by Hollywood right now. One is an untitled project that producer Adi Shankar (The Grey, Dredd, Killing Them Softly) is currently putting together, with Gina Carano (Fast & Furious 6) and Katee Sackhoff (Riddick) very loosely attached to star… whenever it comes together, that is.

Meanwhile, Expendables franchise producer Avi Lerner is backing a direct spinoff of Sly’s 1980s/90s-inspired action brand, called The ExpendaBelles. Since The Expendables 3 concludes principal photography in Bulgaria this week, Lerner was in the country and spoke to the country’s press about what everyone can expect from the (Estrogen-fueled?) spinoff. In addition, he dropped a few of the names of actresses who are currently in negotiations for the film.

Lerner spoke with the Bulgarian news site Standart earlier this week, but it wasn’t until Deadline picked up the story that we heard about it. The producer told Standart that not only will he be back to shoot ExpendaBelles in the same country as the Expendables movies, but he also promised that the spinoff will be made by accomplished women on both sides of the camera – with set pieces and production values to match those for their male counterparts’ franchise.

Here is what Lerner told Standart (note: the following is probably a translation):

“The action movie will be spectacular – and in nothing inferior to the three male movies of the “The Expendables” There will be battles, special and visual effects and stunts – the spectacle will be equivalent to what Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis and Jean Claude van Damme have done … Two excellent screenwriters are already working on the picture. Now we are in search of a female director.”

For those unaware, the ExpendaBelles script is being written by Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith (Legally BlondeThe Ugly Truth). Whether or not you share Lener’s enthusiasm about that pair being involved behind the scenes, is a matter we leave to your discretion. (As we’ve mentioned in the past, it is possible that Lutz and Smith are planning to move as far away from the quality and tone of their previous work on ExpendaBelles.)

meryl streep cameron diaz expendabelles Milla Jovovich, Meryl Streep & Cameron Diaz in Talks for The ExpendaBelles

In addition, Lerner mentioned that negotiations are ongoing with several name actresses interested in joining the project. However, the three he proved willing to mention by name include three-time Oscar-winner Meryl Streep – whose next appearance will be in the awards-hopeful drama August: Osage County later this year – as well as Cameron Diaz (The Counselor) and Resident Evil‘s leading lady, Milla Jovovich. You may recall that Jovovich was also rumored for Expendables 3 at one point, but it seems as though that film’s producers decided to save her for ExpendaBelles instead.

Jovovich and Diaz – who kung-fu’d people in the Charlie’s Angels series and as high-fly-kicking Fiona in the Shrek movies (kidding on the second one… sorta) – make a reasonable amount of sense for a tongue-in-cheek action movie about female mercenaries, but Streep is more of a left-field choice for that kind of genre fare. Then again, chances are good that the Academy-favorite actress will be playing one of the ExpendaBelles’ employers (a la Bruce Willis in Expendables 1 & 2); though, we’re not against having Streep pick up a gun at some point in the film (hey, it worked for Helen Mirren in the RED franchise).

helen mirren doctor who Milla Jovovich, Meryl Streep & Cameron Diaz in Talks for The ExpendaBelles

Helen Mirren in ‘RED’

On that note, it might be best that everyone anticipates ExpendaBelles amounting to little more than a campy celebration of feminine power – even more than the Expendables movies are kitschy testosterone-fueled action homages – rather than a sincere expression of female empowerment, along the lines of a James Cameron film like Aliens and/or Terminator 2: Judgement Day. For the latter, it seems as though you’re probably better off waiting to see when/if Shankar’s project comes together.

Let us know if you’re interested in seeing The ExpendaBelles, based on what you’re heard thus far.


Source: Standart [via Deadline]

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TAGS: ExpendaBelles, The ExpendaBelles, the expendables


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  1. The Expendabelles???

    That title is horrible and borders on self-parody.

    • +1
      The idea is alright but the name is just plain stup*d. They really should of called it something entirely instead of playing on the Expendables name.

      • Disagreeing! I LOVE the title. Actually I called it that way even before the title was officially announced. It’s a no-brainer to call it exactly that. They would have missed a real opportunity here by giving it another title…

        That said, I really hope the will include Linda Hamilton, Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez in this one…they are MUST HAVES!

        • OMG, heck yes!!! I agree so much with this!!

    • The whole series is self-parody. That’s the point.

  2. I feel like this would be better just as a surprise triple cameo in one of the expendables movies. That would be kinda cool not to mention funny.

  3. all they need to do is add Sharone Stone now

  4. Katheryn Bigelow as director! Time for her to have some forgettable fun

  5. please don’t call it expendabelles

  6. Yeah dont like that title at all.
    Cast is interesting though, but was really hoping Gina Carano would be in this one. Ohhh well. :(

  7. the title is perfect for a movie such as this that doesnt take itself seriously

  8. I like the title.

  9. Meryl Streep in a pure action movie?

  10. Lucy Lawless should lead them

    • This should happen.

    • Agreed Lucy Lawless!

  11. Oh damn… I wanted Jovovich and Uma Thurman for Expendables 3 :(

  12. Lucy Lu, Michelle Rodriguez, ect. Get em’.

    Meryl Streep as an evil corporate villain? yesh

  13. I don’t see Meryl Streep doing one of these movies at all.

  14. What about Kate Beckinsale from the Underworld franchise?

  15. What about Kate Beckinsale from the Underworld franchise? She’d be great to add to the cast!

  16. I said they should do a movie like Expendables but for all the female action stars. But I’d rather them have the writers who did the script for RED do a script like this so it could be taken more seriously.
    The cast is very important. I would have never chosen Meryl Streep. I love her but nope. They should definitely have: Milla Jovovich, Kate Beckinsale, Lucy Lui, Zoe Saldana, Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie, Angela Bassett, JAda Pinkett, Michelle Pfeifer, Scarlett Johanssen, etc. Those are just a few of the name that I feel NEED to be in this film!!!!!

  17. The one thing they still need to do in this franchise is to include a syndicate run by some severely sinister mobsters sitting around a round table…SPECTRE-style…and all the guys at that table are the former Bond actors, with Sean Connery cuddling a white cat…

  18. This is a terrible idea. I hope they make it. I wont watch it. A bunch of people wont watch it. They will lose money and wont learn anything from their lack of success. You have to throw every male action star from the last 30 years into an action film to make a profit. A movie with Jason Statham or Nicolas Cage? Straight to DVD. A movie with Arnie and Sylvestor alone cant make an impact at the box office. This is just a bad idea all around. Ask Billy, go ahead. The new troll.

    • It really is amazing how they keep finding backers for what so many of us think of as a horrible idea…..And are generally right (Lone Ranger..Three Stooges,,,on and on) I guess it must just be write offs because it’s hard to concieve that people in the business can’t see the same bad ideas floated at them…

  19. And soon to be announced: Julia Roberts, Natalie Portman.

    There its wrecked

  20. I like the idea, hate the title.

  21. I don’t think with a name like Expendabelles there really going to find a female director willing to be attached to it that can make it great. Katheryn Bigelow would be a good choice to direct if they got a decent title.

  22. This whole idea was an epiphany on the toilet. That name made me spit my drink out.

  23. I don’t know about this. The primary novelty behind “The Expendables” is that for the most part it’s older, established action stars. If you want to tie in the female version to the original, fine, but to have a bunch of younger stars – some of whose (who’s?) connections to action films are tenuous – doesn’t seem to make sense. I think it would be better to continue the “Expendables” series, and just start incorporating women who would fit the mold of long-time actions stars, like Weaver and Jovovich. Go ahead and do the same thing with younger stars, because you have a lot more of a pool to pull form for that, but don’t confuse it with “Expendables” – just start up a new franchise.

  24. I’m liking this already.
    We need more female action characters in lead roles in movies instead of the same tired old male action hero all the time.
    Now we need
    Sigourney Weaver
    Jamie Lee Curtis
    Michelle Pfeiffer
    Julianne Moore
    Charlize Theron
    Glenn Close
    Natalie Portman
    Nicole Kidman
    Angelina Jolie
    Keira Knightley
    This would be great.

    • + Michelle Yeoh (y)

  25. @EtotheJ  
    Yes! But that would be different then my line up because i was listing something more a Mr & Ms Smith/Red

    Here’s a better action female list
    Michelle Yeoh
    Ziyi Zhang
    Zoe Saldana
    Carrie-Anne Moss
    Anna Torv
    Maggie Q
    Summer Glau
    Uma Thurman
    Rhona Mitra
    Rinko Kikuchi
    Michelle Rodriguez
    Rosamund Pike
    Ellen Hollman
    Paula Patton
    Lucy Lawless
    Moon Bloodgood
    Olga Kurylenko
    Kristin Kreuk
    Sigourney Weaver
    Jennifer Garner
    Xun Zhou
    Zoe Saldana
    A list of female actresses that really can fight fight, not pretend.

  26. Lexi Alexander (Punisher:War Zone) is the only possible director!

  27. Not sure about the name-but heres you cast:
    Milla Jovavich-5th element/Ultrviolet/resident Evil
    Kate Beckinsale-Underworld/Van Helsing
    Angelina Jolie-Tomb Raider/Mr and Mrs Smith/Wanted
    Yancy Butler-Witchblade
    Jessica Beil-Blade trinity,Ateam
    Michelle Rodriguez-Fast and Furious/Avatar
    Nia Peeples-Walker Texas Ranger
    Charlize Theron-Eon Flux/Hancock
    Linda Hamilton-Terminator
    Sigourney Weaver-Alien series
    Cynthia Rothrock-Martial artist
    Rachael Luttrell-Stargate Atlantis
    Sarah Michelle Gellar-Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Kelly Yu-Xmen/Scorpian King
    Ming Na Wen-Agents of Shield
    Grace Jones-Conan
    Brigette Nielson-Red Sonja
    There may be a few more but these are my picks.

  28. Drew barrymore, renee zellweger.

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