A lot of people are excited by Sylvester Stallone's forthcoming action epic The Expendables. With a supporting cast of Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture, Eric Roberts and even Arnold Schwarzenegger, the film is a must see for fans of the action genre - in particular pre-CGI action.
It recently came to light that Jean-Claude Van Damme had rejected a role in the film and now come reports that Sly's Tango and Cash co-star Kurt Russell has also turned down an offer to join the ensemble cast.
The Rocky star told Stallone Zone:
‘'I know that many people on the site have asked for Kurt Russell. I asked for him too. Actually, I was taken aback when asked to put the request in a letter and send it to his agent. Subsequently, I was called back by the agent several days later after refusing to send a letter and he said Kurt Russell is not interested in ‘ensemble acting' at this time. So, people, I came, I saw, I failed".
Now, Clint Morris at Moviehole believes that this is simply a case of Russell's agent not relaying the message - it certainly reeks of that. It wouldn't be the first time that a good offer wasn't relayed to an actor: James Woods famously fired his agent when he wasn't shown the script to Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs.
However, it could simply be the case that Russell isn't interested in the movie. A decade ago following the release of Soldier he stated that his muscle bound action days were over and I'd imagine that to star in The Expendables he'd need to be in pretty good shape and at 58 maybe he sees hitting the gym as too much work.
Could Russell perhaps be playing Marvel-style hardball because he wants a solid paycheck and good billing in the ensemble film? Or could Sly be toying with us and Russell actually has a cameo in the film? After all he can't leave us without any surprises, can he?
We will find out when The Expendables opens on April 23, 2010.