Female ‘Expendables’ Confirmed; Big-Name Actresses in Talks

Published 3 years ago by

female expendables Female Expendables Confirmed; Big Name Actresses in Talks

We’re at a turning point in the cultural zeitgeist, concerning the representation of women. Male-dependent damsels like Bella Swan are increasingly frowned upon, in an age where princesses prefer swordplay to swooning over prince charmings. Televised hits Mad Men and Game of Thrones explore patriarchal societies in historical and fantasy context, while Homeland examines feminist ideals in the new century. This is a banner year for blockbusters featuring modern action heroines, thanks to Haywire, The Hunger Games, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Brave.

Thus, there is no time like the present for an Expendables-riff that unites all the armed-and-dangerous babes who’ve graced the silver screen. Director Simon West (Expendables 2) has revealed a desire to incorporate an “Expenda-Belles” team in a future installment, name-dropping such gals as Angelina Jolie (Tomb Raider) and Helen Mirren (RED) as possibilities. However, reports are in that Hollywood has begun the process of assembling a girls-exclusive riff on Expendables that takes place in a separate universe (but maintains the badassery factor).

Expendables 2 Review starring Sylvester Stallone Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger Female Expendables Confirmed; Big Name Actresses in Talks

Sylvester Stallone and Yu Nan in 'The Expendables 2'

Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables celebrates the past exploits of its masculine cast by teaming over-the-hill superstars (Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger) with beefcakes in their prime like Terry Crews and Randy Couture. Expendables 2 (read our review) opens the floodgates wider to include a female screen hero (Yu Nan) and youthful face (Liam Hemsworth) for a second round of ultra-violence and self-camp nods to Americana die-hard cinema. Two years ago, we here at Screen Rant assembled our own dream cast for a feminine-flavored Expendables that brought together definitive badass ladies (Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hamilton) with icons of the past 15 years, in Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez.

Executive producer Adi Shankar is developing an all-woman take on Expendables. Variety says that Shankar will back through his 1984 Private Defense Contractors banner, with newcomer Dutch Southern scripting. Shankar stumbled with the biopic Machine Gun Preacher, but went on to find success with gory machismo flick The Grey and the viral hit Punisher: Dirty Laundry short. He also has violent films both visceral (Dredd) and artistically-satisfying (Killing Them Softly) in the can. Suffice it to say, he brings with him the practical experience and knowledge to ensure an effeminate Expendables is also an impressive one.

lena headey dredd Female Expendables Confirmed; Big Name Actresses in Talks

Will Lena Headey join the 'female Expendables'?

Early negotiations are ongoing with “several prominent actresses affiliated with the action genre” to sign on for Shankar’s (untitled) female Expendables. Celebrities ranging from 1980s and ’90s relics Cynthia Rothrock (Undefeatable) and Brigitte Nielsen (Red Sonja) to actresses Jennifer Garner (Alias) and Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) fit that bill, along with the younger Summer Glau (Firefly) and her Sarah Connor Chronicles costar Lena Headey. Potentials range from Zoe Saldana (Colombiana) to Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) – and far too many others to list here.

Stallone engineered a simple, but satisfactory, excuse for craggly hooligans of the big screen to work under the same roof in Expendables: they are all mercenaries, unified across different nationalities by the desire to reduce cartoonish baddies to mincemeat (and get paid while doing it). The female equivalent could follow suit, without straining credibility more than Sly’s machismo franchise does. Of course, suspension of disbelief will be of little concern to men and women who just want to see some fine gals kick ass (and chew bubblegum, perhaps).

expendables 2 yu nan Female Expendables Confirmed; Big Name Actresses in Talks

Yu Nan as the first (official) female 'Expendable'

Who would you like to see recruited for a female-centric Expendables? Moreover, who would you like to see play the villain in an all-women Expendables? Sound off in the comments section, and who knows – maybe some of the bigwigs around Tinseltown take notice of demand from fans (hey, we can dream, right?).

The Expendables 2 is playing in theaters around the U.S.

Source: Variety, E!Online

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  1. judging by the previous comments there are great choices thrown about.
    Personally I think these women are a must if this film wants to show it wants to be the equivalent to the male version in terms of action names and an international box office success.

    Linda Hamilton (Terminator 2, Chuck)

    Sigourney Weaver (Aliens)

    Pam Grier (Foxy Brown, Jackie Brown) has also tweeted that she is interested in a part should she be approached.

    Angelina Jolie (Salt, Wanted, Mr & Mrs Smith, Tomb Raider)

    Grace Jones (Conan the Destroyer, A View To A Kill)

    Cynthia Rothrock (martial arts film star)

    Michelle Yeoh -(made countless action and martial arts films including Yes Madam, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and Tai Chi Master) she was also frontrunner to play Seraph in the matrix.

    Gina Carano (mma fighter, and had some intense fight scenes in haywire)

    thats 8….

    Then it would be foolish to overlook Zoe Bell ( a professional stuntwoman, Tarantino’s DeathProof) Milla Jovovich and Uma Thurman who have all done their own stunts or done months of training with guns and swordplay and will slot into the film perfectly.

    im now at 11…

    i would think there has to be at least 11 to 12 actresses. we all have our own ideas so my teams would be….

    Expendables: (Leaders) Linda Hamilton and Sigourney Weaver, Pam Grier, Gina Carano, Michelle Yeoh, Milla Jovovich, , Lucy Lawless, Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck, Dexter). (Team complete!) – most of this team wouldn’t be expensive to cast either.

    Villains: (Terrorist) Angelina Jolie, Cynthia Rothrock, Zoe Bell, Grace Jones, Michelle Rodriguez. – again, only Angelina Jolie and maybe Grace Jones would cost more than the others considering Rothrock, Bell and Rodriguez will be willing to do it considering these type of all female action films hardly get made often and they are not leading actresses in films.

    Arnie type of cameo: possibly 2 from any of – Uma Thurman, Geena Davis (Longkiss Goodnight, Thelma & Louise), Demi Moore (GI Jane), Jamie Lee Curtis (True Lies, H20), Carrie Ann Moss, Queen Latifah, Zoe Saldana.

    If too many big names appear that’s the budget blown and the film will be sh*t so i think it’s best to stick to only a few actresses with a high fee. I think ANGELINA JOLIE is ESSENTIAL to this film and will only come on-board if she plays the villain and I am convinced she will make this a BOX OFFICE success regardless of her role so if she wants to play the villain then she can. We know from #Girl Interrupted that she can play a crazy sick and twisted character better than anyone and therefore will make this film interesting and a success if she’s included and the chances of a sequel will be very likely too, the sequel is when some of the actresses that I have overlooked such as kate Beckinsale, Eliza Dushku, Maggie Q, and those i mentioned in the cameo section can then play more of a starring role.

    if this film wants to be a success it needs to market and sell the film by using household names Angelina Jolie, Milla Jovovich, Gina Carano and the high profile cameo stars Uma Thurman, Kate Beckinsale and Queen Latifah heavily than the other established veterans, to appeal to the core young audiences.

  2. I suppose this list depends on what kind of movie you are making. If you are just making a female action movie, then anyone that has done any action movie will do, however if you are doing the Expendables then no. To stay true to the Expendables premise them you have to qualify the actors as those who have a extensive past as action icons. For this movie you could not include someone who has only done one action movie or anyone who did not actually fight in the movie. I don’t think you can look at box office success first.

  3. Michelle Yeoh, Milla Jovovich, Jennifer Garner, Lucy Liu, Kate Beckinsale, Sigourney Weaver, Jija Yanin (Raging Phoenix and Chocolate)

    • I LOVE that you mentioned JeeJa! YES PLEASE.

      My personal list would include her, Jolie, Jovovich, Carano, Thurman, Liu, and Rodriguez. I also like the girl on the Expendables movie.

    • oh and I want me some Lena Headey too!

  4. Zoe Bell!!

  5. Zoe Bell, Zoe Bell and Zoe Bell

  6. Zoe Bell TOTES needs to be in this! No hate to Lucy Lawless (much aroha to her in fact) but Zoe was Lucy’s stuntwoman, not to mention, Uma’s double in Kill Bill. Actor (Death Proof) and actress all in one!

    Also, you should see her in the documentary “Double Dare”, b***h is fabulous!

  7. Zoe Bell TOTES needs to be in this! No hate to Lucy Lawless (much aroha to her in fact) but Zoe was Lucy’s stuntwoman, not to mention, Uma’s double in Kill Bill. Actor (Death Proof) and actress all in one!

    Also, you should see her in the documentary “Double Dare”, b***h is fabulous!

  8. Just as long as they don’t get too caught up in “Ooooh look, they are girls, with boobs and butts and sexy parts.”

    I mean seriously, what is wrong with women just mowing down bad guys like the men do, without doing the whole “sex as a weapon” trick, or “sexy-while-in-combat” sort of thing. I mean, I expect some of that but I’d like to see them stick to what the Expendables 1 & 2 were like, only with girls.

    • Eric you hit it right on the head! It should absolutely be just chicks kicking major ass! I think America is ready for non-ultra sexified women in action. Not that women can’t be beautiful and feminine and lethal just that usually Hollywood goes to far into the hotness category and the grittiness that true beauty provides is lost. It’s nice to see there are men who understand that.

  9. Lucy Lawless needs to be in this, she is total kick arse n did many of her own stunts n fights on Xena Warrior Princess and she is a very talented and amazing actress!!

  10. This is destined to be a bomb. Who on earth would watch this?

  11. i don’t think Angelina because she has the tendency to take up the screen in a film. Haven’t you ever noticed whenever she plays a movie she rarely has a VERY important supporting character? And whenever she does, its normally a male opposite. She doesn’t share screen time very well with female costars.

    Michelle Yeoh on the otherhand, she normally plays movies with female actresses (Ziyi Zhang ie) that are just as famous as she is. But she normally does martial arts, so her character may be the Asian Mercenary if she’s put in this film…

    If they do this film, they really should look into how well the females get along. Its one thing making a film with a bunch of guys- guys tend to turn everything into one big sausage fest when they get together. But girls…Girls/women tend to have their jealousies and catty behavior get in the way. And of course, GOSSIP. Considering the gossip that goes with Angelina, alot of females may be wary about working with her now that her image is seen as goodwill goodie twoshoes/man stealing b****.

    Other than that, I have no qualms about the other characters, and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

  12. I would so LOVE to see Michelle Rodriguez!! She has a dark sexiness to her that gives BADA** a heightened hotness!!

  13. Pam Anderson



  16. PAM GRIER!!!! BAD A$s KICK A$s SEXY MATURE BLACK WOMAN! Gotta put ANGELA BASSETT SHE IS BUFF DYING TO DO AN ACTION ROLE & her ACTING IS SUPERB!! Halle Berry is great at action fighting scenes! Zoe is cool too.

  17. LUCY LAWLESS. Linda Hamilton. Michelle Yeoh. Michelle Rodriguez. All MUST HAVES!

    A special cameo appearance by Sigourney Weaver would be fantastic.

    I’d also like to see Pam Grier, Lucy Lui, Geena Davis, Milla Jovovich, Zoe Bell and Jamie Lee Curtis.

  18. Lucy Lawless for sure, of course She is the best actress.
    Others I like are Zoe Bell, Milla Jovovich and Sigourney Weaver.
    I dont mind other actress, but the ones who you talks here could be good also.

    • Definitely: Yeoh, Lawless, Hamilton, Weaver, Rodriguez, Jojovich, Grier and Grace Jones.

      Probably: Garner, Saldana, Headey, Gina Torres, Zoe Bell, Lucy Lui, Summer Glau, Rooney Mara, Peta Wilson/first tv Femme Nikita.

      Someone made an excellent point about these women needing to be associated with successful action franchises/characters or having played mostly roles that we associate with action etc. Now, granted Hollywood rarely has roles for strong women so this is not as large a pool as we would like, but I think the above list is representative. Also, they don’t all have to be major parts…cameos are good, too.
      Who would lead? Out of all those diverse looks/temperaments, I’m liking Hamilton or Torres. They have a way of been even keel, in command, but not about the hotness so much. They look great, but they don’t exude that primarily…which makes them authoritative and convincing. Thye seem like they could manage a team of kickass women.

  19. Jolie can’t be in it, her physic is just too poor. Lucy Lawless on the other hand! I’d love to see some Michelle Gellar too

  20. Kate Beckinsdale, Uma Thurman and Jennifer Garner! Sigourney Weaver would also be a decent choice.

  21. Milla Jovovich, Rhona Mithra, Lucy Liu, Sana Latham, Michelle Rodriguez, Carrie Anne Moss, Katee Sackhoff, Kate Beckinsale, Michelle Yeoh, Zoe Zaldana, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba.

  22. Linda Hamilton
    Sigourney Weaver
    Uma Thurman
    Carrie-Anne Moss
    Milla Jovovich
    Michelle Yeoh
    Kate Beckinsale?
    Lucy Lawless?

    Demi Moore and/or Lucy Liu as villains

    I think Michelle Rodriguez, Zhang Ziyi, Jessica Alba and Summer Glau are too young, they haven’t even hit their mid 30’s yet to appear in a flick about over the hill action heroines. Sorry I never felt Jennifer Garner was ever kick your butt badass tough or convincing in any fight scene. Why Jamie Lee Curtis? She’s never kicked anyone’s ass in any film. And as much as I’d like to see Angelina Jolie it would overblow the budget.

  23. sarah michelle gellar
    gina carano
    lucy lawless
    mila jovovich
    pam grier
    zoe bell
    summer glau
    & sigourney weaver!!

  24. the expendables 2 was ruined because of Chinese women she was ugly and like a mice in lions pack

  25. Whoever they cast, they must keep to the same specs as the male Expendables, as in they shouldn’t just have been in one action film – they have to be/be close to iconic action figures. This means there’s a lot less to choose from of course, but quality over quantity. They have to be names you hear and think ‘action film’, not ‘oh, she had a fight scene in that film…’.
    Becoming a film legend takes years, so it’s unlikely young actresses would be convincing.

  26. Okay here’s my wishlist: Claudia Christian (Babylon 5, The Hidden), Cynthia Rothrock, Linda Hamilton, Maggie Q, Yancy Butler, and Pam Grier

  27. My take.

    Pam Greer: The O D (Original Action Diva) plus she’s of Stallone’s/Ahhhnold’s age.
    Sigourney Weaver: The first movie action heroine see above
    Linda Hamilton: her career mirrors Dolph Lundgren’s big in the 80’s-90’s, relegated to TV movies afterwards.
    Lucy Lawless: ‘Cause she’s Xena’ but let’s make her the bad girl. She did it in the Battlestar Galactica reboot.
    Cynthia Rothrock: My concern is that she’s not well known outside those who follow kung fu movies.
    Michelle Rodriguez

    I think instead of having them be a team from the beginning of the movie like The Expendables, they should build the team throughout the movie. Perhaps have a core of two or three handed a mission so difficult’ they have to ask for help

    • I agree with you on the age thing and it’s making me reassess my former picks. But then that would exclude Michelle Rodriguez, By my count, the youngest of the male Expendables is in their late 40’s, which means that MR is only in the film as the child of someone who died…or some such narrative contrivance. And of the age appropriate (late 40’s plus, One-Movie-Reach Category, Demi Moore, Geena Davis, Jamie Lee Curtis come to mind, but they don’t convince entirely.

      For me, the list has to include Michelle Yeoh, who is known to us mostly through Bond and Crouching Tiger but has done plenty of work in Asia.

      Greer, Yeoh, Lawless, Hamilton, Rothrock, Weaver, and Grace Jones (Yes, I know she only did the Bond and Conan flicks, but you all need to check out the youtube clip of her hula hooping during the entire time she sang “Slave to the Rhythm” at the Queens Diamond Jubilee. Grace is 64 years old! AND sexy as hell!)

      • Remember, that there are younger stars like Jason Stratham in the Expendables. Seeing how bad-a** Michelle Rodriguez was in Avata. I know the guys are older, but remember the that there is an older bench in the XY-gene team.

        I’m a guy and I would like to see this film. I just hope they don’t make it into the Expendabelles but instead have its own ideocincracy, rhythm and stroylines.

  28. ofcourse that would be lucy lawless , kate beckinsale , milla jovovich , charlize theron , jennifer garner , rose mcgowan , anne hathaway , uma thurman , jessica alba and as a big fan of buffy the vampire slayer , definitely sarah michelle gellar and eliza dushku!

  29. My main choices are Sigourney Weaver, Cynthia Rothrock, Linda Hamilton, Demi Moore, Uma Thurman, Lynda Carter, Jennifer Garner, Pam Grier, Grace Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Lucy Lawless, Maggie Q, Ziyi Zhang.

    Other possibilities are Kelly Hu, Eliza Dushku, Devon Aoki (Miho, Sin City), Katee Sackhoff, Kate Beckinsale, Milla Jovovich.

    I hope this gets made! I’m sick and bloody tired of all these prissy characters like Bella freaking Swan and the like. Lets kill the princesses and bring in some kick ass chicks. Just, as someone said earlier, don’t focus it on the feminine assets, cos that would be a huge waste. Not to mention degrading, which is something a film like this is beating with a heavy object.

    Bring on the girls!