Though The Expendables 3 was a substantial box office disappointment, drawing less than its two predecessors both domestically and internationally, a fourth installment in the star-studded, testosterone-fueled action franchise is still happening, according to sources.
The Expendables 4, which is being greenlit with a sizable $100 million-plus budget, is getting the green light after Nu Image and Millennium struck pre-sales deals with SP International Pictures on behalf of SSXH Beijing and Max Screen Film Distribution to make the movie happen.
Those deals include equity investments in the project and give Chinese distribution rights – $78 million of the last installment’s $206 million haul came from the country, where The Expendables is apparently a beloved and extremely lucrative series instead of the more nostalgia-infused amusement it is stateside. Or, as Steven Paul of SP International puts it:
“What seems to work in their favour in China, is that these movies are good old-fashioned shoot ’em up entertainment.”
The Expendables 4 was far from a done deal after tremendously disappointing returns on Expendables 3, which execs blamed on a variety of factors, from the movie being leaked online ahead of its release to the PG-13 rating (the two previous installments were hard-Rs with plenty of glorious bloodshed). Striking a deal to ensure the fourquel gets a big push in China was likely instrumental in getting it made.
No director or cast have been revealed for The Expendables 4, though the film is expected to include series stars Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Wesley Snipes, Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz and Antonio Banderas. Hulk Hogan has also been rumored for an appearance in the movie, which is expected to adhere to the franchise’s pattern of stuffing as many old-time action heroes into one frame of celluloid as humanly possible.