"THE EXPENDABLES 3" from Lionsgate opens Aug. 15, 2014.
STARRING: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas and Kelsey Grammer.
Since "Expendables 2" was released there has been much speculation regarding who will and will not be in the third installment of Stallone's action-figure extravaganza. Nicolas Cage, Milla Jovovich, Jackie Chan, Bruce Willis, Steven Seagal, Mickey Roarke and Chuck Norris are all out. Some of them could be back in at some point but as of now, not so much. Clint Eastwood has (apparently) been offered a part but that also is gone with the wind. Should Stallone decide to do a fourth film, some of these names could resurface and be added to the cast. Stallone has refused to speculate on a fourth film until the third one is in the can.
As should be obvious from the above list, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes and (now) Kelsey Grammer have been added to the cast. This is an unusual grouping to be sure. Harrison Ford is an established superstar who has excelled in action films from Star Wars to the Indiana Jones series to war epics such as "Force 10 From Navarrone". Despite undeserved criticism for Indiana Jones 4, Ford's catalog is one of the most impressive of the actors on this list. (Incidentally, in light of the absolute garbage foisted on the movie-going public this past summer and last fall, Indiana Jones 4 is a bloody masterpiece by comparison. Check out "The Lone Ranger", "Insidious 2" and anything with the word Paranormal in the title and you'll understand.)
Mel Gibson's presence is also a bonus. Just because he has an attitude problem which is less than P.C. doesn't mean his talent has diminished. His work in the Lethal Weapon series, "Signs" and "Bird on a Wire" speak for themselves. Antonio Banderas always adds class to a project and this will be the second time he's worked with Stallone. In 1995, he and Stallone faced off in "Assassins". Both actors know what to expect from each other which can only enhance this project.
Throwing Kelsey Grammer into this mix makes a great deal of sense. He's no stranger to drama or action films and, should Stallone need a touch of humor, Grammer is perfect for that. Frasier wasn't just a pretty face after all. Grammer's recent stint as Mayor Tom Kane on the highly-acclaimed "Boss" is a hint at the type of character he might play in this film. Grammer will also appear in "Transformers: Age of Extinction" next summer which will also benefit from his presence.
Should Stallone decide to attempt a fourth installment, many of these same names will be back, possibly even if they die in this one. Stallone said he wanted to take things into other genres and he has demonstrated a fondness for science fiction. That's jumping the gun a bit but that's fun, too. It's not like anyone's clamoring for a geriatric Rocky film.