Sylvester Stallone Returning for ‘The Expendables’ Sequel Has Fans Divided: Here’s Why

by John Jamison

Sylvester Stallone has become a franchise staple over the decades. From playing Rocky Balboa to Rambo, and now Barney Ross in “The Expendables 4,” Sly is no stranger to blockbusting sequels. But at 75 years old, one has to wonder how long he can keep delivering the action.

Fans didn’t quite know how to take the recent announcement which confirmed “The Expendables 4” after a seven-year hiatus.

For one, the first three movies in the franchise came out within a four-year span. From 2010 to 2014, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, and company were churning the movies out. They captured the attention of moviegoers worldwide, leading to strong box office returns. But after such a long break, there’s no guarantee that the popular interest will remain.

Further, the majority of the cast wasn’t exactly youthful when the first “Expendables” movie came out in 2010. More than 10 years have elapsed since then, and the actors in the lead roles have aged accordingly. This has led to some criticism on social media. People have pointed out how the Sylvester Stallone-led sequel may only appeal to an older audience.

“I’m sure a lot of 60 year old straight men are very excited about this,” a Twitter user wrote.

Though some felt that they should embrace the older demographic and cater to it specifically.

“This is a movie for males over the age of 45 so they should cast accordingly:) Danny Glover. Danny Trejo or any Danny over the age of 60. Even Kane Hodder. Michael Ironside. Carl Weathers. Really anyone that Rocky has fought,” Bill Strohler wrote on Twitter, offering some creative casting options.

‘The Expendables 4’ Will Feature a New Ensemble Cast Alongside Sylvester Stallone

Regardless of what fans are saying on social media, Lionsgate has already taken some casting steps to help bring a younger appeal to the project. “The Expendables 4” will reportedly include “Transformers” and “New Girl” star Megan Fox, rapper and “Southpaw” actor 50 Cent, and martial artist Tony Jaa. The fresh faces add a little bit of youth to the long-established franchise.

If the past “Expendables” movies are any indication, then the coming weeks will reveal even more high-profile faces to help fill out the cast. The franchise’s model has consistently relied upon starstudded ensembles to carry the load.

The president of acquisitions and co-productions at Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, Jason Constantine, made a statement.

“We are thrilled to partner with our friends at Millennium Media for the next installment of the ‘Expendables franchise. It’s so much fun to bring these stars together for a no-holds-barred action film. The new film will raise the stakes and be the biggest, most badass adventure yet,” Constantine said.

At present, there is still no release date for “The Expendables 4.” But based on the announcements, it’s safe to assume production will start sometime in 2021.