While the buzz on "The Expendables 2" was fairly muted and the domestic gross lagged behind that of the first film, the blockbuster action sequel still netted a cool $300 million worldwide. Given that making these movies doesn't break the bank, it's not a surprise to learn that a third iteration is in the works. While no director is attached, and the script has yet to be written, Dolph Lundgren confirms he'll return for the musclebound action franchise's third outing, which could even begin shooting this year.
Speaking to MovieWeb, he says, "From what I understand, they won't even have 'The Expendables 3' ready until the fall." Though he also says there's no script, and from the sounds of it, he's definitely on the outside of development looking in. However, Lundgren has maintained a strong relationship with series mastermind Sylvester Stallone since "Rocky IV," so it makes sense he'd know a little bit about casting. When asked who would join the roster, he stated, "I don't know anything for sure... I have heard that they do want Wesley Snipes. They want Jackie Chan. Nicolas Cage, too. But we don't know what's going on yet. All of those are pretty great names. They are good actors and I think the fans would love to see them in there, with the rest of us for sure."
"The Expendables 2" upped the ante with roles for Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Scott Adkins and a larger participation from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This time around, the names had better be big, and judging by the three Lundgren mentioned (if they get them), it looks like they will be. Cage has been discussed as a near-lock for a while now (and he's not exactly the type to turn a project down, particularly with frequent collaborator Millennium Films). And Chan has openly talked about wanting to jump aboard. Grain of salt and all that, but maybe not too big a grain.
Snipes is another matter. Due to be released from prison on July 19th after a three-year stay for tax evasion, he's definitely the type that's been considered damaged goods. Though a trained martial artist, Snipes probably has the most accomplished acting CV of any potential "The Expendables" peers. A few years of direct-to-DVD action junk has obscured a body of work that includes strong dramatic turns in Mike Figgis' "One Night Stand," and Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever" and "Mo Better Blues," not to mention classic comedic turns in "White Men Can't Jump" and "Major League." And while it's not a great film, Snipes and Robert De Niro are both excellent going toe-to-toe in the late Tony Scott's "The Fan." Then again, judging how things have gone in the last decade, perhaps he'll have to be offered a script with a post-it note saying "To Blade."