It's safe to say that The Expendables 3 is happening, but who's joining Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and the rest of their gang for another round of self-aware ultra-masculine action fantasy? Jackie Chan might be getting in on the fun, so long as he approves of Sly's script; furthermore, the rumors about Nicolas Cage and Wesley Snipes boarding the Expendables train - once the latter is released from prison - continue to circulate.
Expendables staple Dolph Lundgren lends further credibility to that speculation in a new interview, where he suggests the third movie could begin shooting as soon as this September. That would set it on-course for a Summer 2014 release and keep the franchise on schedule (e.g. one new installment arriving every two years).
Ludgren informed Movieweb that he doesn't expect Expendables 3 to be ready for production until this fall, not long after he finishes working on the TV series Rescue 3. He also discussed how Sly welcomes input from his fellow muscle-bound screen heroes, which in part accounts for why the butt-kicking icons Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme eventually agreed to get in on the fun in Expendables 2. (Besides the chance for one last hurrah before fading in the sunset, that is.)
"I let [Sly] go at [the screenplay] first. He kind of knows me creatively, and personally, because we've worked together quite a bit. So I will usually read the script, and then I will add a few comments about this or that. He knows all of the actors that are in the piece, and there are so many characters involved. They all want to be involved, and everyone wants to have a little something special to do. So, he tries to satisfy that. He's done a great job so far. And I trust him. I usually add a few comments, and he is open to that. Yeah, if everything works out...All these other variables...Then I am not that worried about the script, really."
There's been talk about old-timers like Steven Seagal, Harrison Ford and Clint Eastwood coming aboard to make an appearance in Expendables 3, but the more consistently-whispered names so far have, indeed, been Cage, Chan and Snipes. Lundgren confirms as much, though he admits to being clueless when it comes to how likely any of those names are (or how interested, in the case of Cage and Snipes).
"I don't know anything for sure. I know...I have heard that they do want Wesley Snipes. They want Jackie Chan. Nicolas Cage, I have heard too. But we don't know want is going on just yet. All of those are pretty great names. They are good actors, and I think the fans would love to see them in there, with the rest of us, for sure. Yeah."
Admittedly, Cage and Snipes have financial motivation to agree to Expendables 3, but that doesn't guarantee their commitment either. Lastly, in terms of director: Expendables 2 helmer Simon West has been associated with the third installment so far, enough as to suggest he's essentially set to return. However, if he doesn't, John Woo wouldn't mind taking the job (or so we've heard) ...
More on The Expendables 3 as the story develops.