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. Ladies and gentlemen,

    I love all the suggestions here, but remember that it has to be a manageable ensemble so that each of the actresses shine.

    The other great thing about the Expendables that the “Expendabelles” should emulate is the self-referential humor of its male-centric counterpart. The “I’m Back” scenes, the Smart Car chase with Ahhhnold and Bruce Willis, etc is what made the Expendables such a fun movie to watch.

    • The villain of a females-version ‘Expendables’? Three words:

      Andrew Dice Clay.

    • Gina Carrano

  2. i woud like to see sarah michell gellar lucy lawlles lucy lui michell rodriguez …………………….. and more female like that

  3. Angelina Jolie and Anne Hathaway better be in it.

    • i so agree with you!! anne and angelina need to be in this movie.
      they shouldnt put too many OLD freaky ladies.

      • Uhm, Angelina is pretty old. Besides, without those “freaky old” ladies, there would be no bad assery for an idea like this. Sigourney Weaver led the way for bad ass female roles. I mean what do young bloods have to offer this kind of movie? I guess Kristen Stewart could always wear sparkles and straight face her way through it. But then it wouldn’t be worth anyone’s time.

  4. this is pathetic… most of the women you people are asking for are awful actors…. name one good thing angelina joke-lie has ever been in… and at the same time please name 1 movie michelle rodriguez ever “performed” in… she ruined every scene of the resident evil movie she was in… and everything else she has been in is the same boring “im a tough chick that can talk like a man” crap… she cant act, all she does on stage is act like a dyke and people praise her for it… so if a man goes on stage and acts like a fairy in all his movies he should get praised for that?? acting has to be emotional and heartfelt… not the same person saying the same lines over and over again.

    • Seriously? Are you aware of the type of movie in question right now? I really don’t think now is the time to be bashing Rodriguez’s acting. If there was any movie for her to “act like a dyke” as you put it, then this is the one.
      Who really went to see the Expendables in anticipation of its emotional and heartfelt acting? Or are we just going full-on double-standard, here because they’re female?

  5. Oh yes, I would like to see a movie like that with kickass women. I agree with most of the lists… absolutely agree with the must be presences of Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton… and Lucy Lawless, true badasses
    and of course Summer Glau (she was a perfect machine of fight) and Kate Beckinsale (she is better as a warrior than q damsel, hehe) and Milla Jovovic, Michelle Rodriguez of course, Carrie-Ann Moss, Zoe Saldana…
    what about Keira Knightley, she kicked as Domino!!!
    and Angelina Jolie, Zhiyi Zhang, Charlize Theron, and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
    I wish this movie comes to life… I watched the Expendables and it was funny but the name should not be the same.
    What would be the plot??? Do we need a boy in the cast?? at least one?

  6. IMO, project like this need some real kickass women to be trustworthy. Otherwise it for sure will turn to laughable bad joke (like when they decide for really skinny A. Jolie or U. Thurman). Some of them in alphabetical order:
    Kate Beckinsale,
    Jessica Biel,
    Linda Hamilton,
    Natasha Henstridge,
    Milla Jovovich,
    Rhona Mitra,
    Carrie-Anne Moss,
    Michelle Rodriguez,
    Charlize Theron,
    Sigourney Weaver,
    Michelle Yeoh,
    Ziyi Zhang,

  7. Uff, and Zoe Bell, off course!

    • And Michelle Pfeiffer, Sharon Stone (blame my holey memory!).

      • Do you guys want girls that can kick ass? Most of these actresses are not real fighters, they rely on speed up, close up, wires and CGI. Here are the real fighters, who can also act.

        Gina Carano
        Cynthia Rothrock
        Michelle Yeoh
        Michelle Rodriguez
        Jessica Biel
        Zoe Bell
        Jija Yanin
        Yukari Oshima
        Ngo Thanh Van

        • I have to agree, although many of the actors in Expendables are not fighters. I think the point is that the actress needs to have a well established identity as a action star, not just a villain or hero. Unfortunately most actresses do not have the physical appearance of being able to fight. A lot of what the viewer perceives as fighting ability is muscularity and attitude, the rest is acting, stunt people and CGI.

  8. PAM GRIER, an original female action star; in her work during her earlier career she was as tough as they come and never hesitated to go head to head with anyone, woman or man. Definitely Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton, too. Carrie Ann Moss would also be great, as well as Michelle Yeoh and Uma Thurman. Zoe Saldana and Lucy Lawless, too. That’s more than good enough!

  9. I think Lucy Liu (Charlies Angels) and Kelly Hu (The Tournament) and maybe Cameron Diaz should be placed in the women’s expendables.

    • Has every 1 forgotten about lucy lu. Come on ppl wat the hek. I pic her over jolie any day……

  10. I don’t see why every movie franchise has to evaluate their female standing. Women are allowed to essentially be the only characters in chick flicks and nobody has a problem with that. If anything, they have more titles that intelligently deals with their issues and womanhood. Too many guys films are pushed out of an immature factory filled with potty humor and guys that like buckshot in their face.

    We should be concerned with the casual and non-ending violence against men and the way that they are distanced parents who don’t have a clue about their kids or anything else except guns and bombs.

  11. Here’s who you really need in this movie:
    Lucy Lawless, Brigitte Neilson, Angelina Jolie, Michelle rodriguez, Daryll Hannah

  12. I’m worried about that one. Unlike their male counterparts, most of these actresses have long ago moved to better things or dropped out completely.
    Oscar nominated, stage actresses won’t get involved in that kind of project unless the script is top notch or the cast/crew make them want to get in.
    So it really depend on who they sign for sure.
    If it’s going to be a movie led by Michelle Rodriguez (who proved she’ll do whatever) with forgettable “action ladies” looking for publicity who were in movies 2 years ago that nobody will remember in 2 years…

  13. ZOE BELL. This is the kind of movie she was made for, and she’s amazing.

  14. sigourney weaver, linda hamilton, jodie foster, michelle pfeiffer, pam grier, mary elizabeth mastrantoni,jamie lee curtis, etc. those are the best tough babes i’ve seen who did action films and who would be good love interests of the expendables.

  15. How are more people NOT mentioning Gina Carano???

  16. Dina Meyer, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, and anyone else who wants the part.

  17. I’m going to rant on a little bit here, so apologies in advance for the longevity and serious tone I have on such a light-hearted and fun topic.

    I think it should be women who, not only were believable and kick-ass action stars, but who moved the genre forward. Women who put a new spin on it and showed us a another way to be tough but feminine, gritty but compassionate, smart, funny and sexy, but without it being embarrassing and overtly sexual. I think there are a lot of actresses who made a really good action movie/TV show here or there, but how many of them stood out on their own apart from the movie and really took the genre to another level? Definitely I think we can all agree on Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton. When someone mentions the characters “Ripley” or “Sarah Conner”, it isn’t just the movie that comes to my mind; it’s the actresses who played them. (Granted some credit goes to the writer(s) for creating such fantastic and multi-dimensional characters.) And I’m glad there are a lot more action roles out there for females these days. I just think that if this movie is to be a success, you can’t use the same formula as they did with “The Expendables”. Same idea, yes, which I think is great! (I want to celebrate those good ol’ action movies, and feel like I did when I watched Alien for the first time.) But like it or not, the pressure to be a wicked believable female action star, as the lead of the movie, is still greater, (and unfortunately still exists), than if it were a man playing the part. So this movie has to be written slightly different. Otherwise it ends up being like the Charlie’s Angels movie– a cheesy, albeit entertaining, nod to girl power. (I hate that term by the way, so lame!) There would be no question that many men will go see this movie. But how many women will go see it and not feel like it just another guns and babes flick? When this movie comes out, I think it should feel, (and this is probably asking a lot), like it is a nostalgic tribute and celebration of such actresses–and yes damn fun too!

    Having said ALLLLL of that, here are some of my top picks and the movie that made me choose them:
    Sigourney Weaver (Alien)
    Linda Hamilton (Terminator 2)
    Pam Grier (Foxy Brown)
    Carrie Anne Moss (The Matrix)
    Uma Thurman (Kill Bill Vol.1)
    Kate Beckinsale (Underworld)
    Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element)
    Gina Carano (Haywire)
    Daryl Hannah (Blade Runner)
    Michelle Yeoh (Tomorrow Never Dies, Supercop)
    Ziyi Zhang /Zhang Zi-Yi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
    Saoirse Ronan (Hanna)

    Anne Parillaud! (Anyone remember La Femme Nikita?! I’m surprised no one mentioned this one – one of the originals!)

    I’m a little mixed on the idea of using TV action stars, or comic book characters though. At least for the first one. They would be good for the sequels though if they make any. There are women like Lynda Carter, Jennifer Garner, Jessica Alba, Rebecca Romijin, Charlize Theron, Lucy Liu, and Summer Glau, who I think are all awesome. But I think the women I listed previously before, stood out for me the most because the role they took on didn’t already have a history or preconception attached to it. As for TV stars, though many have made the leap to movies now, I think it takes a lot of guts to take on the lead of an action movie when the lead role is an original character, and the actress is that good that the character becomes iconic even apart from the film. I mean the film might not be that great, with terrible direction and story line, but the character could be really great. A good example is “Haywire”. Gina Carano’s acting was passable given her first try, and I thought that the movie had the potential to be so much better. And I’m not saying her character was iconic, But it was her fighting and action sequences that blew my away. I thought the same thing for “Hanna”. Pretty lame ending, with lots of gaps in the story, but great performance by Saoirse Ronan.

    Anyway, before this very long rant almost becomes an essay, (sorry!), I’m proud that we actually have so many actresses to choose from now. I’m glad there is actually now a debate about it. So wither or not you agree with who ends up being cast for the first movie, its pretty damn cool that such a list even exists! On second thought, it’s pretty damn cool that this movie is even being made!

    I anticipate more news about the film and its release with cautious optimism!
    (And Hollywood, I hope you’re paying attention to the all the message boards!)

  18. Holy Crap! Six pages of comments! We sure do like our kick-ass chicks, don’t we? 😀


  19. Milla Jovovich, Helen Mirren, Sigourney Weaver, And Charlize Theron definitely need to be in it. I think that Glenn close would be an excellent villain or leader of the villain pack for the movie. If it has those ladies I will absolutely have to see it!

  20. I’ll pass. (The male ‘Expendables were already cheesy enough)

  21. The baddest of badass ladies,
    Dirty Dozen style:

    1) Linda Hamilton
    2) Pam Grier
    3) Sigourney Weaver
    4) Cynthia Rothrock
    5) Kate Mulgrew
    6) Lucy Lawless
    7) Sara Michelle Gellar
    8) Jamie Lee Curtis
    9) Katee Sackhoff
    10) Jennifer Garner
    11) Angelina Jolie
    12) Michelle Yeoh

  22. Jaimee Lee Curtis?!?!? She never kicked any butt, she was too busy running for her life in all her movies, or showing her boooobies

  23. Angelina Jolie Linda Hamilton Lucy Lawless Sara Michelle Gellar Jennifer Garner Milla Jovovich KATE BECKINSALE Jennifer Garner Uma Thurman Kelly Hu Jessica Biel halle berry Jessica Alba michelle pfeiffer Sharon Stone Natasha Henstridge

  24. I think the best actresses for the roles are.
    1) Michelle Rodriguez
    2) Kate Beckinsale
    3) Milla Yovovich
    4) Jennifer Garner
    5) Angelina Jolie
    6) Jessica Alba
    7) Sigourny Weaver
    8) Gina Carano
    9) Charlize Theron
    10) Uma Thurman
    11) Zoe Saldana
    12) Lucy Liu
    13) Drew Barrymore
    14) Camron Diaz