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'Expendables' Spin-off 'ExpendaBelles' Gets 'Legally Blonde' Scribes, Plus Carano & Sackhoff UPDATED

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson & Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 12, 2012 at 8:32PM

"ExpendaBelles" -- Millenium's spin-off of "The Expendables" -- has found two scribes; "Legally Blonde"'s Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. The project wants to "show the feminine side of the mercenary business," but will be going much younger with its female version. The median age of "The Expendables" was 57...
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Angelina Jolie, Wanted
wanted
Beckinsale, Underworld Evolution
Beckinsale in 'Underworld Evolution'

"ExpendaBelles" -- Millenium's spin-off of "The Expendables" -- has found two scribes; "Legally Blonde"'s Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. The project wants to "show the feminine side of the mercenary business," but will be going much younger with its female version. The median age of "The Expendables" was 57. So far they've got 30-year old Gina Carano ("Haywire") and 32-year old Katee Sackhoff ("Battlestar Galactica"). EARLIER:

Sounds like a great idea. There's just one tiny problem. In what universe will Hollywood produce a film about a bunch of aging female action-stars with a median age of 57? Most men, when presented with the concept of kick-ass women in action, can't help but think in terms of babes like 34-year-old Michelle Rodriguez. But the whole "Expendables" idea is about casting older--yes, senior--established action stars in an ensemble. It's about reminding us they can STILL kick butt.

Consider the age of the main players in "Expendables" 1 and 2: Chuck Norris: 72; Sylvester Stallone: 66; Arnold Schwarzenegger: 65. Mickey Rourke: 59; Bruce Willis: 57; Dolph Lundgren: 54 and Jean-Claude Van Damme: 51. At 44, Jason Statham and Jet Li are the two babies of the group. The playing field for men and women in Hollywood has never been equal, and certainly not in the action genre. It's tougher to round up a group of kick-ass women who can wield a gun, fight and star in an action film and/or TV series. But it's not impossible. Given the inequalities that have only recently started to change for women in action films, we've lowered our age range --but only to 35.

Sigourney Weaver and Ian Holm in "Alien"
Sigourney Weaver and Ian Holm in "Alien"

We can toss around names, but the likelihood is slim that the best of these actresses --our dream team of six includes Sigourney Weaver, Helen Mirren, Linda Hamilton, Michelle Yeoh, Carrie-Anne Moss and Angelina Jolie--would sign up for such a B-flick. If only some women would write up a smart script...

ESTABLISHED ACTION ICONS

Kate Beckinsale: 39 ("Underworld" trilogy)

Linda Hamilton: 55 ("The Terminator," "The Terminator 2")

Angelina Jolie ("Tomb Raider," "Wanted," "SALT")

MIlla Jovovich: 37 ("Resident Evil" series)

Lucy Lawless: 44 ("Zena: Warrior Princess," "Battlestar Galactica," "Spartacus")

Sigourney Weaver: 62 ("Alien," "Aliens")

Michelle Yeoh: 50 ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "Tomorrow Never Dies")

TOUGH WOMEN WITH ACTION CHOPS

Halle Berry: 46 ("X-Men" trilogy, "Catwoman")

Sandra Bullock: 48 ("Speed," "Miss Congeniality")

Geena Davis: 56 ("Thelma & Louise," "Cutthroat Island," "A League of Their Own," "The Long Kiss Goodnight")

Jennifer Garner: 40 ("Alias," "Electra," "Daredevil")

Daryl Hannah: 52 ("Blade Runner," "Kill Bill Vol. 1," "Kill Bill Vol. 2")

Famke Jenssen: 47 ("GoldenEye," "X-Men" trilogy)

Lucy Liu: 43 ("Kill Bill Vol. 1," "Charlie's Angels")

Demi Moore: 49 ("G.I. Jane")

Carrie-Anne Moss: 44 ("The Matrix" trilogy)

Cynthia Rothrock: 55 ("Undefeatable," "Above the Law")

Charlize Theron: 37 ("Hancock," "Æon Flux")

Uma Thurman: 42 ("Kill Bill Vol. 1," "Kill Bill Vol. 2")

TOUGH WOMEN WITH GUNS, NO ACTION CHOPS

Judi Dench: 77 ("Bond")

Helen Mirren: 67 ("The Debt," "Red")

Kathleen Turner: 58 ("Romancing the Stone," "Prizzi's Honor," "V.I. Warshawski")

Susan Sarandon: 65 ("Thelma & Louise")

Empire made a few suggestions too.


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.