The followup to last year's '80s action mashup, The Expendables 2, is now officially slated for theatrical release almost two years exactly after its predecessor shot, cut, slashed, smashed, and whatever-other-past-tense-violent-verb-you-can-think-of its way into theaters.
Sylvester Stallone will be back as intrepid Expendables leader Barney Ross in front of the camera, but looks to hand over the directorial reins to someone else on the sequel. Ross' fellow mercenaries - including Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Toll Road (Randy Couture), and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) - are all expected to return as well.
Former '80s and '90s action stars including Jean-Claude Van Damme aim to join the party in The Expendables 2, while both Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger could potentially expand on their all-too-brief cameos from the first film and become either supporting or main characters in the follow-up.
The news that Stallone will let someone else call the shots on this sequel should be more than welcome by those who recall the shoddy cinematography and uneven editing in the first Expendables. While the film still managed to be an overall entertaining ride for those in the mood for high-octane violence, most would agree there's plenty of room for improvement.
So what other aging action stars could sign up for Expendables 2? Names like Steven Seagal and Chuck Norris have been bandied about a lot, although both turned down parts in the first; I suppose even someone like Keanu Reeves is of a fitting age to join the party (assuming everyone wants to invite him?). Maybe we'll get a kick-ass actress onboard this time as well. I'll go ahead and nominate Michelle Rodriguez, who proved herself more than worthy just recently in Battle: Los Angeles.
To reiterate - The Expendables 2 hits theaters on August 17th, 2012. Who do you want to see show up in the sequel?