It appears The Expendables 4 won't start filming until April 2019. The Expendables began life as a gritty action thriller from writer/director Sylvester Stallone focused on the adventures of professional mercenaries, but once the star began casting action luminaries like Dolph Lundgren and Jet Li, it morphed into a love letter to classic 80s action flicks instead. While the film didn't receive glowing reviews, nostalgic love for the action genre saw the film become a hit, and The Expendables 2 added more icons like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris to the star-studded line-up.
The Expendables 3 provided to be a disappointment, however, with producers insisting on saddling it with a PG-13 rating in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience. Their experiment backfired, and the watered-down entry became the lowest-grossing of the series. Stallone declared he was done with the series last year, but it seems the actor has had a change of heart, and The Expendables 4 is now back on.
The Expendables series famously features a large cast of action icons, but balancing the various schedules of those big names can be tricky business. With stars like Stallone busy with upcoming projects like Rambo V and Jason Statham due to start on Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw in September, Omega Underground are reporting from a source that The Expendables 4 is likely to start shooting in April 2019 at the earliest.
No story details for the movie have been revealed, and outside of Stallone no returning cast have been officially confirmed. When Stallone previously ruled out a return, Arnold Schwarzenegger also said he was done, whilst criticizing the writing for his character in the third movie. If Sly in coming back, it's not hard to imagine Arnie may join in on the fun again, so hopefully the next movie will give him more to do than spout silly one-liners.
The Expendables movies have sold themselves on being old-school action flicks, but they've never quite lived up to their potential. The films have received mixed reviews for their reliance on forced humor and CGI action, and the weak reception to the third movie turned some fans off the franchise. That said, Stallone himself has admitted the last movie's move to PG-13 was a mistake, and that The Expendables 4 would definitely be R-rated. There was also talk of Fox developing an Expendables TV series – with Antonio Banderas being rumored to lead – but talk of the show has since gone quiet.
Source: Omega Underground