The Expendables 3 was, generally-speaking, the worst-received installment in the Expendables movie franchise to date, from a critical perspective. It did gross around $206 million worldwide (still the lowest total in the series yet), but only $39 million here in the States; meaning, Expendables 4 is a possibility, but not at all a given to happen for the time being.
Franchise anchor Sylvester Stallone has already spoken a bit about his early plans for a fourth Expendables movie installment, but it turns out the property could live on in another form. Fox, as it were, is currently developing an event series based on the Expendables movie property. And this time around, Stallone will only be serving as an executive producer, while writing/producing duties are handled by NCIS: Los Angeles creator Shane Brennan, as well as screenwriter Greg Coolidge (Ride Along) and the lesser-known scribe Kirk Ward.
Deadline reports that similar to how the Expendables movies unite iconic action stars of the big screen from decades past – with the plot usually boiling down to a bunch of hardened mercenaries working together to stop a new global terrorist threat – the Expendables event series adaptation will be a “fun action drama that unites iconic TV stars as a new team of highly-skilled heroes who are on a mission to stop a dangerous terrorist.”
“Iconic TV stars” is a wide net to cast, but the most logical choices might include such names as Alias lead Jennifer Garner and 24 star Kiefer Sutherland – who reprised as Jack Bauer in the event series 24: Live Another Day last year – or perhaps more old-school types such as Tom Selleck (Magnum, P.I.) and Edward James Olmos (Miami Vice), depending on how far back the show-runners want to go. The primary appeal of the series would be that it presents an opportunity for popular screen actors to play action hero together in the same universe – so greater variety in the casting selections (from a range of TV action/dramas over the decades), the better, really.
Live Another Day was enough of a success ratings-wise that it’s convinced the head honchos over at Fox to give thought to keeping the 24 TV show brand going in the future. Similarly, a number of cable networks have begun to enjoy the benefits afforded by churning out limited or anthology series – with the better-known recent examples including True Detective, American Horror Story, and Fargo – and event series can offer many of the same rewards, assuming they are handled correctly.
Case in point, because an Expendables event series isn’t a longtime commitment, it could have an easier time getting big-name stars to sign on. The writers involved on the project don’t necessarily inspire much confidence, in terms of the creative merits of such a series. But again, much like with the Expendables movie, that’s not at all the major selling point; you assemble together the right mix of people onscreen and this project sells itself.
We’ll bring you additional information on the Expendables event series when we have it.