If ‘The Expendables’ Were Women

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 5th, 2014 at 9:45 am, This is a list post.

The Expendables All Female Cast Group PictureThe Expendables hit theaters in 2010 in a screen-rattling, action-packed, explosive extravaganza. While The Expendables failed to impress some casual movie audiences and action fans, many thought it was just what the action-doctor ordered. The movie got us thinking... sometimes we tend to forget that there have been a long line of major butt-kicking ladies who not only get the job done, but do it looking sexy as hell. Jane Fonda in Barbarella, Uma Thurman in Kill Bill 1 & 2, Rhona Mitra in Doomsday and Underworld 3 - all these women knew how to whoop some major rear while still being completely feminine.We at Screen Rant thought: “Who would we pick to be on our all female 'Expendables' team?” and let me tell you, I think we came up with a fantastic list. There may not be some of the newer action lady stars like Rosario Dawson (Death Proof), Zoe Bell (Whip It!), Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary), Summer Glau (Firefly) or Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse) - but only because we wanted to find appropriate (age, popularity, etc.) counterparts to the male actors in The Expendables.

Sigourney Weaver / Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone in The ExpendablesWhen picking a leader for our all-female team there wasn’t any choice other than the woman that epitomized female bad-assery in the 70s, 80, and 90s: The Alien-fighting Ellen Ripley. Even though she’s done all sorts of genres and a slew of other films (including most recently Avatar), Weaver remains the top choice to command an estrogen-heavy commando team.

Milla Jovovich / Jason Statham

Jason Statham in The ExpendablesTo call Milla Jovovich an up-and-coming female action star would be a gross misrepresentation of her career. Starting with The Fifth Element and moving on to the highly successful Resident Evil franchise, Jovovich has proven herself to be a solid and entertaining butt-kicking actress for quite a long time. Nobody I know would question her ability to be Weaver’s right-hand woman. I could easily see her and Weaver being long time friends in a movie.

Michelle Yeoh / Jet Li

Jet Li in The ExpendablesWhen looking to replace one of the top martial arts males in the film industry, we didn’t have to look any further than the beautiful Michelle Yeoh. Like Li, Yeoh’s martial arts film experience started back in the 80s with the Hong Kong action films Supercop and Police Story 3 and quickly moved on to be the go-to lady for female martial arts roles. She became an American favorite in the epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and once again proved her acting/action prowess in Tomorrow Never Dies and The Mummy 3. Interesting side note, Yeoh was the lady training with the cobra in the recent Karate Kid remake.

Cynthia Rothrock / Dolph Lundgren

If you’re talking about 80s female action stars then you absolutely have to include the beautiful Cynthia Rothrock. 80s action film fans will remember her most from the films Jungle Heat, Rapid Fire, Martial Law and her best known role Lady Dragon. In real life, Rothrock is a true badass and holds six black belts in multiple forms of various martial arts. Just like Lundgren, Rothrock continued to make movies after her heyday but she just never got the attention she deserved due to the changing tastes of fickle movie-going audiences. Still, it would be quite a sight to see her fight Michelle Yeoh in a modern setting.

Vivica A. Fox / Terry Crews

Terry Crews in The ExpendablesOriginally I had picked Zoe Saldana (The Losers) for this role but she’s just way too young to properly replace Crews. Instead, I turned to the “Copperhead” from Kill Bill Vol. 1: Vivica Fox, and then my choice was settled.  Fox has the same ability as Crews to be both a badass and a comedian at the same time. It’s true that she hasn’t been known for her over-the-top action-heavy films but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she is beautiful, sexy and potentially deadly.

Lucy Lawless / Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke in The ExpendablesThis decision is really self-explanatory but I’m going to talk about it anyway. There are only a handful of female action characters that people know by name and probably the most well known is Xena: Warrior Princess. Lawless quickly showed that a tall beautiful woman was just as strong and capable of fighting as any male counterpart. Just when fans thought she was done, Lawless moved on to Battlestar Galactica and proved that she still had the action chops to hang with the big boys.

Michelle Rodriguez / Randy Couture

Michelle Rodriguez may not have the true fighting experience of Couture but she more than makes up for it in terms of action films. In just about every action film she has appeared in she is a shining example of a strong female character. The Fast and the Furious, S.W.A.T., BloodRayne and Avatar are great examples of her ability to act tough and kick all sorts of butt.

Angelina Jolie / Steve Austin

Few would argue that the sexy Angelina Jolie doesn’t belong on this list and it’s with good reason that we place her on here as well. She’s a strong actress with a decent staple of actions films under her belt including Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Beowulf, Wanted and the role she is most well known for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Even in the upcoming action film Salt, she looks like she belongs in an action role.

Linda Hamilton / Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis in The ExpendablesBruce Willis has a very limited role in The Expendables but his face and action films are very well known - and the same thing is true for Linda Hamilton. Her role as Sarah Connor in The Terminator forever solidified her persona as a female badass. If anyone wants to argue that point then I encourage you to watch Terminator 2: Judgment Day as she pumps a shotgun with one arm and blows the hell out of a T-1000.

Brigitte Nielsen / Arnold Schwarzenegger

Who better to represent one of the best known action film stars of all time than the woman that fought alongside both Schwarzenegger and Stallone in the 80s? She played Red Sonja in both Conan and her own movie and also played Ingrid in Stallone’s Cobra. She sort of lost her way in the lesbian-laced Chained Heat II, found her soul mate on VH-1’s the Flavor of Love and rounded out her trifecta of oddness by having plastic surgery on a German reality show. Still, she deserves a spot on our list just for her original action role as Red Sonja.

Pam Grier / Eric Roberts

What Expendables list would be complete without a bad guy? Eric Roberts has played his share of bad guys throughout his long film career - and he did it not only with great martial arts action but some fair acting chops as well. Trying to replace him is a tough order but I think Pam Grier is up to the challenge. She’s best known for her roles in Foxy Brown and Jackie Brown but she also played a badass woman in Women in Cages and Above the Law. Grier would make a great antagonist for our female Expendables.

The Expendables All Female Cast Group PictureThose are our choices for an all-female Expendables crew. Regardless of what you might think of the choices, you have to agree that if done right, a movie in this vein would be absolutely phenomenal to watch on the big screen. It would make for an interesting storyline for a future Expendables movie.If you would like to have the All Female Expendables Team pic as a wallpaper we have it available in the following sizes:

1024x768 - 1280x960 - 1600x1200

Who would you add to our list and who would take out?The Expendables blasts onto screens August 13th, 2010.
TAGS: the expendables


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  1. i wud take out michelle yeoh and put in Ziyi Zhang i think michelle doesnt have a big action film resume like jet li but i think Ziyi Zhang is a asian girl that is well known in alot of action movies that is close enough to live up to jet li’s popularity and experience in fighting in action films

    • Hold on…did you just say Michelle Yeoh doesn’t have a big action film resume? But you want to replace her with Ziyi Zhang? I give up.

      • @angela

        I would have to agree with you. Michelle Yeoh has a long list of action films in Hong Kong way before Zhang Ziyi hit the big screen. I think Zhang was still attending Chinese Theater school when Michelle was already kicking-a** “cinematically” speaking. She even starred with Cynthia Rothrock in one movie: “Yes, Madame!” I just can’t remember if they did more movies together.

        Also, if I’m not mistaken, Michelle Yeoh used to appear under the screen name Michelle Khan. Hehe, she looked like a “tomboy” under that name…with short hair and her skin tone was tanned. The first movie that I saw with Michelle looking like the beauty that she truly is was “Wing Chun,” well, at least in the movie’s final fight scene.

  2. The matches are very good. Where are The Black Expendables?

    • Why does it have to become racial? So you think next should be a White Expendables? Or would that be racist?

  3. I actually really want to see this movie.

  4. I’d replace someone for KATE BECKINSALE (Underworld)

    • It would be good but i agree kate beckinsale should be in

  5. Where is Uma Thurman?

  6. I love this list! I would totally go see a film with all of those ladies in it!

  7. I think Geena Davis should be in place of Angelina Jolie to match with Steve Austin (just think of long kiss goodnight)

  8. There is another actress more worthy of consideration than Brigitte Nielsen to be Arnold’s counterpart.

    Her name is……..SYBIL DANNING.

    Take one look at her film and TV resume and I DEFY ANYONE TO DISAGREE with this choice.

    Does anyone else out there share my vision? LET ME HEAR YOU!!!

  9. Fine idea, but terrible writing. I can’t believe you actually get paid to form words into sentences.

    • “Fine idea, but terrible writing.” – I can’t believe you think that was a sentence.

      • Ha! Sterling comeback sir. Can’t wait to read your next Grade 5 book report – sorry, I meant “article.”

      • “I can’t believe you think that was a sentence.” Really? I’m pretty sure it would be thought.Learn how to write

  10. Angelina Jolie has to go. I would replace her with Kate Beckinsale or Rhona Mitra. Also I think a place has to be made for Kristanna Loken who rocked in Terminator 3 (she was the terminator), Painkiller Jane, Mortal Kombat, and the Dark Kingdom: Curse of the Dragon King.

  11. Sorry to be the kill joy on the forum, but; If this movie were actually produced, it would be pretty stupid.
    I’ll believe women can fight men when MMA goes coed.

  12. New post.
    Here are the depicted women that should stay, only because they probably have a little scrap in them for real.
    Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh. Everyone else can take a hike.
    What makes the expendable’s cool, is their on screen capabilities transcend in to real life. These are actually tough guys who can beat the crap out of you if cross them on the street.
    You don’t feel the script or choreography at work when you watch them kill.
    With women, It’s pathetic, because you know the 90 pound ex model isn’t going to throw a guy across the room. Or be taken down with one hit. It’s retarded.
    Devise a new list, this one is terrible.

    • So you don’t think Lucy Lawless could beat someone up?

      • She’s a big girl. But no.

  13. Saw Expendables today, it was awful. I had high hopes for this movie but it really disappointed. Like her or not (I am not a big fan), Jolie rocked Salt and it was a much better and smarter action film. Even though the plot was ridiculous in Salt, it makes Expendables look absolutely embarrassing. Unless you want nothing but blood and explosions, don’t bother paying to see this, wait for DVD.

  14. Hahah this is a great list! I’m glad that Pam Grier is on her! She rocks! I agree that Uma Thurman should also be on this list.

  15. Bette,I am just curious, what are some of your faorite action films?

  16. Sorry Bette, I meant to ask what are some of your favorite action films?

    • Not too big a fan of many action films.
      I’d say; Rambo 1 and 4, Terminator 1 and 2, Demolition man. Alien’s. Escape from L.A.,Once Upon a Time in the West, Matrix. Transporter 1, Big Trouble Little China, Desperado. Ninja Scroll (animated), Speed, District 9.
      I’m more in to Blade Runner, Taxi Driver, Ghost Dog, Pulp Fiction and Rocky 1-2 for my favorite movies in general.
      I can’t get enough Woody Allen films.

      Most women depicted in that line-up are just fetish models. They can’t kick any real butt without the script instructing it to happen. My suspension of disbelief constantly broken as 90lb pound ex models throw men like ragdolls across rooms, or wield their match-stick thick limbs at their heads; delivering kung fu wannabe death blows.
      Enough already, we get it.
      Gina Corano, Zoe Bell, Rhona Mitra Michelle Rodriguez. Lets get some women with some real fire power

      • You state enough with the 90lb models and then you mention Mitra and Rodriguez? Can’t have it both ways bud :)

        There are only so many women in Hollywood that can both kick butt and act so choices are limited. If you want real life badass women then the lineup would consist only of female bodybuilders and female police officers…do you really want to watch a film where Chyna is acting in teh place of Angelina Jolie? Yeah I didn’t think so.

  17. I just saw the movie and it was great… but Stallone forgot about someone …. Chuck Norris !!!… and if it was to be woman well… well you guy’s decide cause no one comes to my mind at this moment…

    • Actually,Chuck Norris WAS asked to be in the film,as was Steven Seagal.
      Both said no. Just as well,too. Norris already did this sort of thing back in the day with “Delta Force”. Steven Seagal is not really a team player,although it WOULD have been cool to see him get his ass kicked by Jet Li or Jason Statham.

  18. Hello, where’s Betty White? No all-women Expendables will be complete without this dynamo. Granted she wasn’t in any action movie before but I think she can pull it off now as an action star. Her karate chop-chop would be formidable.

  19. “that a tall beautiful woman was just as strong and capable of fighting as any male counterpart.”

    You completely lost me with the sentiment itself.
    As a full grown physically fit man I find this pretty hilarious. On the other hand, fiction is where this stuff belongs.

  20. Rhona Mitra (check her out in doomsday)
    Gina Corano (is getting her action movie break with Steven soderberghs; haywire)
    Cynthia Rothrock
    Michelle Rodriguez
    Zoe Bell
    Jillian Michaels (not an actress) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1992190/
    Michelle yeoh

    I don’t want no prissy woman who’s action films involve her doing a back flip, kicking a guy in the face, then striking a pose on the landing.

    If the cast of the expendables can kick ass in real life, then you at least need to involve women who could/almost can do the same. Or at least those who have a physique that is somewhat intimidating.

    Can your cast kick my cast’s ass, in real life?

  21. Wow! What an awesome list… although, personally, I would’ve found a spot for Evan Rachel Wood – she’d be perfect for that type of role. She’s in the upcoming movie “The Conspirator” which is premiering at Toronto next month: http://www.TheAmericanFilmCompany.com/

  22. Obviously this is a superficial list going after high profile actors. But if you were really serious the list would have to start with Zoe Bell the real deal Kiwi. Period.

  23. its a fantastic movie! i’ve watched it online at http://popcornmoviez.com/the-expendables-2010

  24. As a woman, I’m a little insulted at some of the comments. You say that women can’t kick butt in films, but in Hollywood there are few movies that can pull it off. Maybe Kill Bill is the exception, but most action movies starring women suck. Seriously…somebody needs to step up, write a good script, and make an awesome action movie about women!

  25. Kelly Hu, Lucy Liu as candidates to replace Michelle Yeoh please… they need to be badass butt kickers… and Sexy Too Right?

    Halle Berry for Fox
    Famke Janssen from Goldeneye and X-men for Cynthia… europian and deadly gorgeous

    Marg Helgenberger from CSI

    • Michelle Yeoh is essential to this list.

      Are any of the male expendables “sexy”? Geeze. They don’t have to be sexy.

  26. If the cast of the expendables can kick ass in real life, then you at least need to involve women who could/almost can do the same. Or at least those who have a physique that is somewhat intimidating.

    Can your cast kick my cast’s ass, in real life?


    Hmm…now this made me think. Well, if this is what you’re looking for, then maybe this “all-women Expendables” should include Joan Marie Laurer (a.k.a. Chyna) and Elizabeth Kocanski Carolan (a.k.a. Beth Phoenix) from the WWE. Yeah, you may think these are professional wrestlers who only do “pretend” fighting but I think these gals have the physique that you’re looking for and I guess if they wanted to, they can kick-butt for real. I mean, Chyna was once charged for domestic assault when she allegedly beat-up her former boyfriend (who was also a pro-wrestler). Sure, they may not be very good actors but in action movies, do we really need “Shakespearean” thespians?

    Also, we may consider Kathy Long, a 5-time professional kickboxing champion who was the stunt double of Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, and has appeared in several other movies and TV series. Throw in Dana Hee as well. She’s an Olympic gold medalist for Tae Kwon Do and is a professional stunt woman. Getting her to act may not be that hard to do (I think).

  27. Nice article. It was similar to one I write, actually, here:

    I’ve already been lambasted for leaving Brigitte Nielsen off of it, though.

    • Witney,

      Technically, your article is similar to ours since we wrote this months ago and you wrote yours yesterday.


  28. A bunch of female mercenaries might be a bit too unbelievable. But perhaps a bunch of some sort of spies who get into a jam and have to fight their way out… and I have sometimes daydreamed of a movie about a group of women who have become friends because they are into martial arts and guns, and some are retired cops and/or soldiers, or married to ones and hubby has trained them, and they sort of give the impression of your average group of a bit older women friends until there is some sort of trouble – somebody’s family member gets kidnapped, they are on a vacation and the resort is targeted by terrorists, something like that, and then they give a rude surprise to the bad guys. I love both type of stories, ones where we are given an obviously tough hero or heroes in the beginning, but also those were the heroes look more like obvious victims at first and we are given only a few hints that perhaps they are not what they look like until the fun begins, and, I’m not sure why but I think I’d like the latter better if we are talking about a group of women.

  29. Forgot about Angela Bassett from Strange Days. She kicked ass and took names.