By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 11, 2014 at 6:42PM
It's been 1 1/2 years since the announcement of an all-women Expendables movie was made, and about the same amount of time has passed since our last update on the proposed project.
Expendables 2 director Simon West got the ball rolling in 2012 when he expressed interest in an all-female spin-off of the The Expendables franchise, telling E! Online, "I like the idea of the Expenda-Belles where it's seven or eight women mercenaries. It would be Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Milla Jovovich, the list goes on. Helen Mirren, Jamie Lee Curtis would be great... It would be running parallel. They would meet up and then they would fight and they would join up and save each other."
Our man Terry Crews, who plays Hale Caesar in the Expendables movies, was vocal with his support of the idea, adding "I would love to see Charlize Theron. She would be a sweet badass just doing some crazy stuff!"
At the time, it all seemed like just wishful thinking on their part, as nothing concrete had been announced at the time.
However, it didn't take very long after that for an all-female Expendables movie to get a greenlight, when executive producer Adi Shankar (the man behind movies like The Grey, Killing Them Softly - the upcoming Brad Pitt project- the Judge Dredd reboot, and Allen Hughes' Broken City) hired newcomer Dutch Southern to pen a screenplay for an all-female take on the Expendables movie franchise.
Shankar was to produce the film, via his 1984 Private Defense Contractors production company (interesting name for a production company), which was to also fully finance the film.
At the time, the news was that the production company was already "in talks" with several well-known actresses who aren't strangers to action films, although no names were mentioned.
1 1/2 years later, after I'd completely forgotten about the project, Robert Luketic has reportedly been hired to direct what is being titled The ExpendaBelles (no word whether that'll be its final title), from a script penned by Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah.
Who is Robert Luketic, you ask? He directed films like Legally Blonde, Monster-in-Law, The Ugly Truth and more. Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah scripted Legally Blonde, so this is a reuniting of that film's writing/directing team.
Unexpected choices to write and direct an all-women version of The Expendables, given what they've done in the past.
We also have an official synopsis for the film, which reads:
The Expendables universe has a new team. An elite group of highly trained female mercenaries are brought together for a covert hostage rescue mission. Once they are behind enemy lines, the women discover that they will also need to topple an evil dictator bent on world domination. It becomes clear there there is no such thing as the right man for the job. The Expendabelles is the ultimate story of female empowerment and kick-ass teamwork.
Principal photography is set to begin this summer, although no actresses have been cast yet. That should change very soon.
Sylvester Stallone and Kevin King will produce. Heidi Jo Markel, Julie Kroll, Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson and Mark Gill will exec produce.
So, once again, given what we now know about the project, who would you cast in it? I'm quite sure that at least one of The Expendabelles will be a black woman. I'd be really surprised otherwise. I say cast Angela Bassett and Lupita Nyong'o and call it a day! Just check out the guns in the above photo (we can't really see Angela's here, but we've seen them before. Plus she's no stranger to action films). No it's not award-winning material, but it could be fun and entertaining for both the actresses and the audience who'll be seeing them in an altogether different light.
Who would you cast?