The Expendables 2 opens this weekend and is expected to dominate the competition, meaning Expendables 3 is more an inevitability than a far-fetched hope. Series producer Avi Lerner says they’ve already attached Nicolas Cage to play a character in the threequel – assuming it gets the green light (again, the odds are in its favor).

Lerner is also confirming that grizzled acting icons Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford have been approached to join the Expendables crew for their third go-round. While that means the two are “in talks,” it should be emphasized their discussions are preliminary (so hold off on telling your friends that Dirty Harry and Indiana Jones are in a movie that features Rocky, Terminator, and The Transporter).

Cage was rumored for Expendables 2 last year, but that casting possibility did not come to fruition for undisclosed reasons (the actor was busy starring in as many B-movies as possible). Hence, it’s not surprising that a deal was worked out for Cage to join the third Expendables installment. We’ve heard rumblings that another previously-sought candidate, Steven Seagal could also sign up for Expendables 3 – in addition, Antonio Banderas has said he’s open to the idea, after passing on Expendables 2 due to his hectic schedule.

Lerner informed Total Film about Cage being up for Expendables 3, along with news of gestating deals with Eastwood and Ford. The former emerges from semi-retirement in next month’s Trouble with the Curve, where he portrays another age-appropriate curmudgeon; it’s the sort of role Eastwood and Ford prefer nowadays, and Expendables 3 should offer just that. The threequel may be a bit too, well… stupid low-brow (not, per se, in a bad way) for Eastwood, so Ford seems the more likely to actually accept.

Eastwood and Ford are wanted for 'The Expendables 3'

Expendables 2 adds vintage action movie icons Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme to the mix, while also upping the screen time for Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The sequel is being touted as closer to Sylvester Stallone’s vision for the first film, with more bromance, old-fashioned killing, references to its cast’s back-catalogue – and, of course, explosions galore. It’s not exactly a recipe for a critical darling, but the “bigger and badder” mantra seems to work for Expendables 2 (and thus, logically, should be carried over for Expendables 3)

Wesley Snipes is also on the wanted list for Expendables 3, though Lerner admits they’re waiting for the Blade actor to finish his current prison sentence before they can actually make an official offer (he’s up for release in July of 2013). Moreover, Mickey Rourke was not brought back for Expendables 2, but could return in Part 3 – so long as “he won’t be too crazy,” says Lerner. There’s increased demand for all aging action stars to sign on for Expendables 3, as it could be the finale.

The Expendables 2 opens in theaters this Friday.

We’ll keep you updated on The Expendables 3 as the story develops.

Source: Total Film