It’s been half a decade since we last saw a new movie in The Expendables franchise, but a fourth one is still on the way. In fact, production on the sequel has been scheduled to begin this month since last summer. Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jason Statham are all expected to return for the latest installment, and as with the previous sequels, the fourquel will likely bring in a new roster of action movie legends to join the ensemble. Rumors have been running wild about casting, so here are 10 Action Movie Legends We Want To See In The Expendables 4.
10 Steven Seagal
Out of all the action stars to have appeared in The Expendables franchise, there’s one legend who can always be counted on to ham it up in a pulpy, testosterone-fueled thriller who still hasn’t made an appearance and that’s Steven Seagal. Seagal has openly stated that he’ll never be in an Expendables film due to problems he has with unnamed cast members: “I just [don’t] like some of the people involved. Life is too short to work with funny people.” Still, there’s nothing wrong with wishful thinking. And if he doesn’t like them, maybe he could play a villain – then his performance will seem authentic.
9 Kurt Russell
We got a semi-Tango and Cash reunion in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when Kurt Russell and Sylvester Stallone both played roles, but we haven’t seen the two of them kicking ass together in true old-school fashion since that cult hit was released all those years ago. Since Quentin Tarantino and Fast & Furious have both brought Russell back into the mainstream in the past few years, it’s the perfect time for him to jump on The Expendables franchise. It could even get meta if he plays an old associate of Stallone’s character Barney Ross and some Tango and Cash quotes are recontextualized.
8 Danny Glover
We got one side of the famous Lethal Weapon duo of Riggs and Murtaugh in The Expendables franchise when Mel Gibson played the villain in the third one. So, why not bring in the second half of the iconic buddy cop pairing, Danny Glover, for the fourth one?
Glover is not primarily an action star, but the Lethal Weapon movies are mentioned in the first minute of any discussion of the greatest action films of all time, so that grants him enough clout in the action cinema community to make a big splash in the cast of The Expendables movies.
7 Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel’s status as an action movie legend had not quite been solidified back in 2010 when the first Expendables movie was released. In fact, it was still up in the air when the second one was released in 2012 and the third one was released in 2014. But now that Fast & Furious is the top-grossing action movie franchise of all time and even the xXx and Riddick franchises are gaining some traction, and he’s also appeared alongside Sylvester Stallone in the MCU, it might be time for Diesel to join their ranks as a younger (but not much younger) member.
6 Danny Trejo
Back when the first Expendables movie was going into production, it was widely reported that Machete star Danny Trejo had been cast. However, as he later revealed, not only was he not in the film, he’d never even been contacted about it by Stallone. So, one wonders how the press got the idea that he was in it in the first place. Anyway, now that we’re four movies in, surely it’s time to bring the beloved star of such action classics as Con Air and Heat into the mix. But for real this time, not just another misreported casting that disappoints fans when it turns out to be false.
5 Gerard Butler
It must be tough casting the new stars joining an Expendables movie. They have to be big enough for people to care, but not big enough that it’s weird that they’re part of a team. This is what discounts the A-list lone wolves like Nicolas Cage or Denzel Washington or Tom Cruise – those guys can carry a whole movie on their own in their sleep. Gerard Butler has the perfect amount of fame – and the perfect kind of starring vehicles: dumb, gigantic, explosive, action-packed capers like Geostorm and the Has Fallen movies – to fit right into one of these old-school team-ups.
4 Liam Neeson
No one is knocking it out of the park as an action hero more regularly than Liam Neeson these days. Over the past 11 years, he’s shaken his image as a respectable dramatic actor and moved into action cinema. It’s gotten to a point now where Neeson holding a gun in a film poster is a guarantee that audiences will flock to see it. However, his last couple of movies haven’t been as big as his heyday with the Taken trilogy. So, it’s high time he joined The Expendables franchise as “an old friend” to win back some of that star power.
3 Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan is an action movie legend of the highest order. Like Stallone, he doesn’t just star in his movies – he also writes and directs a lot of them. Chan has actually been offered roles in previous Expendables movies and he keeps turning Stallone down.
He explained why: “This morning, I did hear – the office called – Sly [Stallone] wants me for Expendables 4. I said, ‘Okay,’ because they already asked me to be in 2 and 3, but I refused. Well, I didn’t refuse, but I said, ‘Sly, can’t we just do you and me? Not just a bunch of people and me only coming out for five minutes.’ Because then the audience is, ‘Oh!’ And then I’m gone.” Here’s hoping he’ll change his mind about being a member of a huge action legend team by the time The Expendables 4 finally goes into production.
2 Keanu Reeves
When The Expendables franchise first started in 2010, Keanu Reeves was already a hugely respected name in action cinema from roles in movies like Speed and The Matrix trilogy. But even then, that was before he reinvented himself yet again with the game-changing John Wick franchise. John Wick was so incredible and visceral and groundbreaking that it forced the rest of action cinema to step up its game. In fact, the only way The Expendables 4 will be able to keep up is by having the ever-committed Keanu Reeves in its cast, impressing all the stunt coordinators with his dedication.
1 Dwayne Johnson
Having officially shaken his wrestling roots, Dwayne Johnson is a prime candidate to join The Expendables franchise. He’s got the rippling muscles, the action hero charisma, and he’s in enough insane high-concept action movies (fighting a giant gorilla, fighting an active torpedo, fighting an earthquake, etc.) to qualify for the cast. In fact, he’s one of the only actors today keeping the spark of hope alive for the existence of that specific type of action star that makes up The Expendables’ roster – the kind whose name alone sells their ridiculous, yet absurdly entertaining movies to a huge audience. If it weren’t for Johnson, they’d be a dying breed. To see him fighting alongside fellow wrestler-turned-actor “Stone Cold” Steve Austin or F&F co-star/friendly rival Jason Statham in an Expendables movie would fulfill every action movie fan’s dreams.