Long before the reboot craze kicked in, The Expendables had already built an empire around nostalgia. Launched in 2010, the franchise throws back to the high-octane action films of the ‘80s and ‘90s, featuring a revolving door of the actors that led them. Sylvester Stallone has co-written and starred in all three movies, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, and Dolph Lundgren are among the high-profile names that have appeared in the series.

Though The Expendables were never quite the blockbusters some may have expected them to be, they fared well financially: together, they’ve brought in a collective box office total of nearly $800 million. However, cracks began to show in the third and latest entry, 2014’s Expendables 3. The full film was leaked three weeks ahead of release, and it went on to be both a financial and critical flop.

Still, Stallone and crew have soldiered on with plans to produce a fourth film. It’s been in the works for quite some time, but was most recently confirmed by Stallone in a Facebook video. While on a flight to Florida, Stallone said he would soon begin bulking up to shoot the project, and revealed some vague details about what fans can expect. “We’re going to do our best, but we’ve got some really great attitudes going,” he said. “We got great ideas. I think everyone’s expecting something different, and we’re going to give it to them.

What “different” entails remains to be seen, but things could go in either direction. Expendables 3 knocked its rating to PG-13, cutting out much of the violence the franchise has made its staple, and attempted to bring in a fresh class of young stars – all choices its loyal fan base vehemently rejected. Even Stallone regretted the decisions, calling their attempt to reach a wider audience a “horrible miscalculation.”

At the same time, a return to the first two films’ signatures could play out as tired, so it lands the team in a tricky spot. The fourth Expendables will reportedly be the last in the series, which bumps up the pressure even more. Stallone has built a career on comebacks, but not only will he have to rebound from the third movie’s failure, but hopefully close out the franchise on a high note. Giving viewers what they want will be key.

Thus far, no official cast, premise, or start date has been set for Expendables 4, but it’s slated to arrive sometime in 2018.

Source: Sylvester Stallone