Much of the fun of The Expendables films (at least, in theory) is the gathering of so many previously unassociated actors under a single cinematic roof. With a batch of newcomers such as Harrison Ford (Ender’s Game), Wesley Snipes (Blade), and Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon), The Expendables 3 already resembles some sort of Hollywood action star block party.
With a cast already bulging at the seams, one might assume that the next installment of the Expendables franchise would be unable to add even more familiar faces. Of course, one must never assume that an Expendables film cannot exceed at excess. Yet another well-known actor has joined the Expendables crew – former comedy mainstay Kelsey Grammer (Boss).
Deadline shares the scoop that Grammer has accepted a role in the upcoming Expendables 3. Reportedly, Grammer will fill the combat boots of Bonaparte, a retired mercenary leader with valuable information for the Expendable team in their new adventure – a role previously offered to Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance).
Though already established in film and television by the 1980s, Grammer came to prominence as the laconic Dr. Frasier Crane in the long-running, smash-hit sitcom Cheers. This lead to the 90s spin-off series Frasier, which further cemented Grammer as a straight-man comedy fixture. After the end of Frasier in 2004, Grammer became best known for his role as Beast in X-Men: The Last Stand.
Previously associated primarily for taking roles as erudite, somewhat stuffy characters, Grammer changed his image with his performance as take-no-guff Mayor Tom Kane in the Starz political drama Boss in 2011. Though Boss has since been canceled, Grammer’s portrayal earned him a spot as the villain in the upcoming Transformers: Age of Extinction – which in turn likely helped him land Bonaparte in The Expendables 3.
Without knowing much about Bonaparte’s character, it’s impossible to say exactly what Grammer will bring to this third iteration of the stuffed-to-the-rafters action series. Given the sheer number of stars involved in the film, it may end up that Grammer’s role will be little more than a cameo.
That said, it could be mighty fun to watch Kelsey Grammer cut loose in a role previously intended for Nicolas Cage. Despite his reputation for playing dry and arrogant characters, Grammer can definitely chew the scenery when called to do so (see: his phenomenal voice work as Sideshow Bob on The Simpsons). One can only hope that he ends up standing out in what’s becoming something of a cast of thousands.
The Expendables 3 will kick down the doors of cinemas on August 15th, 2014.