There’s finally been some casting confirmations for The Expendables 2, which is slated to begin production in Bulgaria next month. Heavyweights like Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme have officially joined the acting roster for the sequel, while returning faces like Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are confirmed to expand on their (too) brief roles from the first film.

A fresh-faced actor – whose screen career is definitely on the rise – has now officially joined the cast for the new Expendables flick. Don’t worry, though, it’s not previously-rumored candidate Taylor Lautner. ;-)

Variety is reporting that Liam Hemsworth has officially joined the cast of Expendables 2. For those not familiar with the actor, he’s the younger brother of Thor himself (a.k.a. actor Chris Hemsworth) and is portraying Gale Hawthorne in the upcoming adaptation of The Hunger Games.

Hemsworth’s joining the Expendables sequel is nonetheless a curious move, seeing how (quite literally) every other individual who’s been courted, pursued, or rumored to join the film’s cast has some sort of significant action movie pedigree. That’s even the case for Lautner, who boasts some serious real-life martial arts skills – and is looking to possibly launch his own action franchise with this week’s Abduction.

Nonetheless, Variety says that Hemsworth will appear in Expendables 2 as a sniper – but does that mean his character won’t also be the offspring of either Sylvester Stallone’s Barney Ross or any of the other members of his Expendables squad (Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture – and, technically, Mickey Rourke)?

The rumors about Lautner prompted several Screen Rant readers to speculate that he could be up to play one of the main stars’ (brawny) offspring – and it’s certainly possible that could turn out to be the case with Hemsworth. Like father, like son, right?

Liam Hemsworth (center) in 'The Hunger Games'

Rumors are still circulating that Expendables 2 could end up reuniting Face/Off costars John Travolta and Nicolas Cage – not to mention, mark the latest collaboration between Cage and director Simon West (the two previously worked together on Con Air and Medallion). Now that we’re approaching the actual start of principal photography on the flick, there will soon be some definitive confirmation of what other aging action icons are officially in – or out – for the second Expendables venture.

The Expendables 2 shoots its way into U.S. theaters on August 17th, 2012.

Source: Variety