Despite Expendables 3’s box office belly flop two years ago – possibly due to the film’s online leakage, according to Lionsgate – Sylvester Stallone has been secretly developing the 4th installment.
After the fan backlash of Expendables 3’s PG-13 rating, Stallone stated that he’s going back to making the next installation R-Rated: “If I do another one it’s going to be a lot bloodier… hardcore R.” He added (via Crave): “I believe it was a horrible miscalculation on everyone’s part in trying to reach a wider audience, but in doing such, diminish the violence that the audience expects. I’m quite certain it won’t happen again.”
The fact that the recent release of Marvel’s Deadpool became the third R-Rated movie to cross $300 million domestically (The Passion of the Christ and American Sniper are #1 and #2, respectively), making Expendables 4 R-Rated is practically a done deal.
Stallone also mentioned the possible addition of Jackie Chan, who has been linked to the franchise since the original Expendables: “We’ve always wanted to use Jackie Chan. The only reason we didn’t is because there really wasn’t a part big enough for him, because we had so many actors. But in the next one, we are going to reduce the actors, and let’s just say, expand the screen time of each star.”
In addition to Chan, other names – such as Dwayne Johnson, Hulk Hogan, Christopher Lambert, Jean Reno, Pierce Brosnan, Donnie Yen, Steven Seagal, Jack Nicholson, Clint Eastwood, Hulk Hogan, and even Manny Pacquiao – have been considered for the franchise (see our updates regarding Expendables casting here).
During a recent Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), Steven Seagal was asked if he’d be down for Expendables 4; Seagal simply replied: “I will not be doing Expendables 4.” No reason was implied or given.
Updates: Expendables 4 is definitely happening. According to THR, Splendid Film has picked up rights for the film across German-speaking Europe. The film is set for a 2018 release.