- The Expendables 4 marks a transition from Sylvester Stallone to Jason Statham as the leading man, with director Scott Waugh describing this change as “exciting.”
- Despite Stallone’s reduced role, he will always be a part of the franchise as the starter and original director of The Expendables.
- The future of the franchise is uncertain due to the poor reviews and underperformance of The Expendables 4, raising doubts about the possibility of an Expendables 5.
The Expendables 4 director Scott Waugh explains Sylvester Stallone’s future in the franchise. The Expendables franchise was conceptualized in part by Stallone, who directed and starred in the first movie. The series went on to feature Stallone heavily in both The Expendables 2 and The Expendables 3 before he took on a smaller role in the newly-released fourth film and ceded the spotlight to Jason Statham.
Waugh now clarifies Stallone’s future in the franchise after he passed the torch to Statham for The Expendables 4. Speaking with Moviefone, Waugh mentioned that this transition is “exciting.” In the case of Stallone, the director admitted that he is “in a place in his life where time is super important to him.” Check out the full quote from Waugh below:
I think the idea that Stallone’s passing this to Statham is exciting. Stallone still amazes me, his physical capability at his age. It’s still unbelievable to me. I’m 53 and busted up, and somehow he is in his late seventies and can still do it. But I think for Sly, he’s in a place in his life where time is super important to him. Being on the full run of an ‘Expendables’ movie takes up a lot of his time and I fully respect that. Jason’s my age and really is still excited about continually working a lot. So it was a natural pass. Now, I’ll say, I definitely don’t think Sly is out of the brand. I think Sly will always be a part of it. He’s the starter of ‘The Expendables’ and the original director. So I think it’s new blood with the old.
What Does The Future Of The Expendables Look Like?
Waugh gives an apt summation of what the franchise is like after its latest movie. The Expendables team looks different than it did upon the franchise’s 2010 introduction. The first two movies, for instance, both included Bruce Willis along with Stallone, Statham, and the rest of the crew. Willis, who has since retired from acting following an aphasia diagnosis, does not appear in The Expendables 4, nor do other former cast members such as Harrison Ford. With this change and the shift to Statham, the Expendables 4 cast does indeed mix “new blood with the old” by ingratiating seasoned stars like Stallone with younger faces.
Lead actor aside, the future of the franchise may not be as secure as Waugh would imply. The Expendables 4 has been hit with the worst reviews of the series, holding a meager 15% on Rotten Tomatoes. To make matters worse, it also bombed at the box office, vastly underperforming its already-low projections by making only $8.3 million at the domestic box office. Therefore, the potential for an Expendables 5 seems rather unlikely.
The Expendables series has overcome critical failure already, but such a box office trend may be impossible for the franchise to beat. Producers Kevin King-Templeton and Les Weldon have said that another sequel is possible with fan buy-in, but nothing is yet confirmed. With such negative performances at the box office and in reviews, its seems that Waugh should be questioning not Stallone’s involvement in the franchise but whether the franchise will go on at all after The Expendables 4.