It's been a busy last couple of weeks, as far as casting for The Expendables 3 is concerned. Director Patrick Hughes will begin principal photography on the film - the third installment in Sylvester Stallone's franchise centered around a group of seasoned mercenaries who undertake the most dangerous of missions available - next week, in order to make a release date that is just over a year exactly from the time of writing this.
Series producer Boaz Davidson - who also teamed with Stallone on Rambo - has unveiled the current official cast lineup for Expendables 3, which once again looks to include most of the big-name players (read: aging 1980s/90s action icons) who appeared in the first two movies - save for Bruce Willis. However, a couple of heavily-rumored new cast additions were not mentioned in Davidson's breakdown.
Davidson posted the following Expendables 3 lineup on his Facebook page (via Bleeding Cool):
[Sylvester] Stallone, [Jason] Statham, [Harrison] Ford, [Mel] Gibson, [Dolph] Lundgren, [Wesley] Snipes, [Jet] Li, [Randy] Couture, [Antonio] Banderas, [Ronda] Rousey, [Terry] Crews, [Arnold] Schwarzenegger, [Victor] Ortiz, [Kellan] Lutz.
Rousey, Ortiz and Lutz - who were confirmed for Expendables 3 a few weeks back - will costar in the film as "a younger group of tech-savvy action heroes" who initially butt heads with Barney Ross (Stallone) and his hard-lived team - but, in the end, manage to work out their differences, play nicely, and kick all sorts of ass together. THR is also reporting that 24-year old Glen Powell, who is a little-known actor that played "Trader #1" in The Dark Knight Rises, might join the previously mentioned young (read: under 30) cast members in the action throwback - with his role described as "a highly trained combat veteran who is also an expert hacker and drone pilot."
Wesley Snipes has essentially been on Stallone's wish list for Expendables 3 since Day 1, but this is the first official confirmation we have that the Blade star is onboard for the project. Similarly, while there's been no question about people like Statham, Crews and Lundgren coming back for the third installment, some fans were beginning to worry that Jet Li wouldn't be involved - not only because he was onscreen for such a brief amount of time in The Expendables 2, but also because it has seemed that fellow martial arts movie legend Jackie Chan might all but replace Li in this movie.
However, assuming the lineup that Davidson listed is basically the final roster, then it appears that neither Chan nor previously-rumored candidate like Milla Jovovich and Nicolas Cage - all were reported to be in substantial talks at some point - will be involved with the project after all (for the record, Cage already mentioned that he probably won't show up in Expendables 3 back in July). It's possible that there is some last-minute negotiating taking place right now; that aside, though, it looks like Gibson being confirmed to play the villain may be the last major casting announcement for this flick.
Do you approve of the official casting lineup for The Expendables 3, as it stands?
The Expendables 3 opens in theaters on August 15th, 2014.