Now that Sylvester Stallone has reportedly parted ways with the franchise, fellow series stalwart Arnold Schwarzenegger has revealed to Entertainment Weekly that he currently has no interest in The Expendables 4 without his action cohort.
EW caught up with the Austrian Oak in anticipation of Aftermath, Elliott Lester’s revenge thriller that recounts the tragedy of the Überlingen mid-air collision through the lens of a grieving husband and father. It wasn’t long before the conversation veered toward The Expendables franchise and, more specifically, Schwarzenegger’s future in it – or lack thereof. Like one domino setting off a chain reaction, it seems all but certain that if Sylvester Stallone chooses to hang up the hat, other stars will follow in his footsteps. After all, the character of Barney Ross was in many ways the glue that bound that ragtag team of mercenaries together, and we struggle to imagine a scenario in which Nu Image/Millennium’s series finds success without its biggest names on the masthead.
When asked about the possibility of The Expendables 4 sans Stallone, Schwarzenegger told EW straight up that “there is no ‘Expendables’ without Sly. I would never do the movie without him, no.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the fourth movie will be scrapped altogether, though, as Arnie teases the studio’s tentative August start date, before reflecting on The Expendables 3 – and the big man doesn’t pull any punches.
“I have not seen the script; I don’t even know if there is a script, even though they want to shoot in August again, like they usually do. You know, I think the first and second one were terrific. But, the third one, I thought my part was not written well. It was also not playing well in the movie, as far as I was concerned. Maybe other people believed differently. But I didn’t believe that I had any value in the movie. I love the franchise, by the way. I think it’s a spectacular franchise, The Expendables. I think that Sly has good ideas, what he wants to do with it, and I think if they write a really good script [in] which my part is very well-developed, I would do it. If not, then I won’t do it.”
The Expendables 4 and the general future of Sylvester Stallone’s action franchise remains up in the air for now, but what are your thoughts on Schwarzenegger’s frank assessment? Let us know in the usual place.