Exclusive : More Expendables 2 casting nuggets


Long time no blog, guys;

Cap on deck. Hope you’re all fighting fit and avoiding Smurfs.

The good troopers at Twitch have fired off a little bit of news regarding martial-arts rag regular Donnie Yen and the potential role he may have in Simon West’s “Expendables” sequel.

Reports the site, “a spokesperson from Yen’s company confirmed that there was in fact an offer, and went on to say that Yen may be interested in THE EXPENDABLES, but because he currently has a number of projects to choose from, he will not decide until he sees if the script appeals to him or not.”

And they’re spot on, according to a trusted member of the production team – Yen is atop of the wishlist the big boys are working from.

As reiterated by Twitch, “there is no deal yet” but Yen (“Ip Man”) is someone atop of the wish-list put together by director West, star Sylvester Stallone and producers Avi Lener and Boaz Davidson. With the film looking to lens in Asia, it makes sense we might see a couple of domestic big-timers amongst the cast – if even to suffice a nice tax break.

Other names on that list? The oft-mooted Chuck Norris and John Travolta (neither of whom are signed at this point, it’s “at interest level”), who I personally can’t see jumping through fiery hoops to be a part of this.

…As welll as, according to our contact,…

”Lautner. Lambert. Cage. Slater… big list, man. Most offers yet to go out”

Assumingly, our pal refers to :

Taylor Lautner – who’d be able to bring a stout fanbase, and some action-movie appropriate guns, to the sequel. Guessing they’ll be keeping an eye on how well “Abduction” does when it opens in a couple of weeks (Clint’s seen it apparently and spoke to Lautner about it earlier this week; that will be up shortly);
Christopher Lambert – the frenchman who hit big with the role of Connor McCloud in ’80s hit “Highlander” and it’s sequels before moving on to numerous action efforts like “Gunmen”, “Mean Guns”, “Fortress” and “Mortal Kombat” (Lambert is making a comeback in next year’s superhero sequel, “Ghost Rider : Spirit of Vengeance”);
Nicolas Cage – The unstoppable tentpole headliner who has been rockin’ action fare since the ’80s. Lerner has worked with Cage on several films now, including “Medallion”, “Tresspass” and “Bad Lieutenant”, so no surprise that he’s mentioned the project to the actor.
Christian Slater – Currently working with Stallone in “Bullet in the Head”. Guessing he’s someone Stallone wants to bring to the party. He makes sense, I guess… lots of good action fare in his past, like “Young Guns II”, “Broken Arrow” and “Kuffs”.

I have a problem with none of those guys… well, maybe one doesn’t quite fit… but financially and creatively-speaking, all make sense in some capacity.

Still, it’s a big list, as we’re told, for all we know there’s a hundred names on it… ‘Computer-Generated Telly Savalas’ could be scrawled at the bottom for all we know.

Thing is, so many people knocked back roles in the original “Expendables” because they didn’t like the idea of it; some actors believe they’re better than a couple of throwaway lines in a star-packed bit of fluff – and they were probably right for knocking it back too.

In other words, I’m guessing someone like Cage, even Lautner, will realize they’ve better offers on the table than this and pass.

Still, money is the king manipulator.

Nobody besides the leads – Stallone, Statham, Willis and so on – are signed for “The Expendables 2” but the wish-list suggests that, despite the original’s mega-cast, Sly and the gang are out to further outdo themselves on this one. Hoping the film itself follows suit.