Following years of whispering and hearsay, it was finally confirmed last month that a new Expendables movie was on the way, with several of the franchise’s veteran action heroes being joined by some new faces. However, the official announcement didn’t outright name the project as the fourth installment in the series.
Prior to that, Sylvester Stallone teased something Expendables-related on social media on a regular basis, hinting that it would be spinoff A Christmas Story. That film was initially announced with xXx: Return of Xander Cage‘s D.J. Caruso directing and Jason Statham’s Lee Christmas taking center stage.
However, Scott Waugh is directing the next outing for the aging badasses, with a script from Spenser Cohen, Max Adams, and John Joseph Connelly. Everything we’ve heard since leads us to believe that we’re getting The Expendables 4 after all. A new theory put forward by ScreenRant posits that it might mark the end of an era for the titular band of mercenaries, with Stallone’s Barney Ross potentially meeting his demise.
Realistically, how long can The Expendables go on? Sly is the oldest of the bunch at 75 years old, with Statham the baby among the returnees at a sprightly 54. As per the theory, the movie could draw inspiration from the plans for A Christmas Story, with Barney’s death early in the story setting Lee up as the de facto leader of the group. That would also provide a revenge-driven narrative, which is a a standard part of the action genre.
It would also prove a hell of a twist that would take fans completely by surprise, instantly establishing that The Expendables 4 is a million miles away from the sanitized, watered down, and all-round disappointing last entry.