What’s cooler than a bunch of 80s action stars coming together to kick some butt for Sylvester Stallone? More 80s action stars!
When The Expendables was coming together, every fan of action movies in the world was fantasy casting the lead roles, throwing out names like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal, names unfortunately that didn’t make it into the feature film despite Stallone offering the chance.
Come the success of the film and word of a The Expendables 2, and now everyone wants in, including JCVD.
While Stallone rolls around ideas in his head, he has made it well-known that he wants to bring in some more action stars for The Expendables 2 and that Bruce Willis will have a larger role as the sequel’s like villain. According to Willis, Stallone is “going for all the marbles this time, and [is] going to get everybody in ['The Expendables 2'].”
That first new addition may just be JCVD, aka “The Muscles from Brussels.” Van Damme was offered a role in the first The Expendables but turned down the opportunity because Stallone didn’t have a fleshed out character to offer him at the time. Instead, Van Damme went on to make another Universal Soldier, straight-to-DVD. Weird.
MovieWeb picked up on the forums of The Van Damme Files where director Sheldon Lettich (The Order, Double Impact) participates. Lettich wrote several of Van Damme’s earlier films, even directing a few, and he’s currently seeking to make Double Impact 2. According to him, Jean-Claude Van Damme is up for joining the cast of The Expendables 2:
“JC seems to be leaning towards appearing in the sequel, as far as I know. If Steven Seagal is not in the sequel, from what I’ve heard it won’t be because of Sly but because of producer Avi Lerner, who had a few bad experiences with Steven.”
I’d choose JCVD over Seagal personally, but it’s a shame they both might not be able to join. Either way, we’ll be hearing casting confirmations soon. Van Damme would be joining a large cast including all of the characters of The Expendables along with larger roles for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and new characters possibly played by Ryan Seacrest and more to come (hopefully Kurt Russell!).
[Edit: For those wondering, the Seacrest casting came from Stallone tweeting about what great physical shape Ryan is in and that he'd do some damage in a fight in The Expendables 2. Later, Seacrest revealed that he was asked to play some sort of computer geek. If Lundgren has his way, Seacrest wouldn't be doing heavy lifting but would be playing some CIA guy instead. Nothing's official yet.]
Should Van Damme climb onboard officially, should he play a villain? A new member of Stallone’s elite? Or, a member of another team like Schwarzenegger’s?