Sylvester Stallone may have created The Expendables franchise and led the team as beret-wearing badass Barney Ross through their first three adventures, but a lot of fans have been operating under the impression that the action icon was poised to bow out when the fourth movie comes to theaters.
Not only was it revealed that Sly had spent a suspiciously short amount of time on set once production was underway, but the first promo poster revealed at CinemaCon gave him the fated “and” credit, an unusual move for an actor who had always been the first name billed in the ensemble up until that point.
The Rocky and Rambo legend has now effectively confirmed the news in an Instagram post, where he reflects upon his upcoming departure alongside co-star Jason Statham, which means we’ll probably see the latter’s Lee Christmas assume the mantle of point man when The Expendables 4 arrives.
Statham and Stallone are in a cheeky mood, throwing barbs back and forth about the architect of the explosive series bowing out of his baby, and it may have even hinted at a major plot detail. We’re just spitballing here, but the early death of Barney at the hands of The Expendables 4‘s villain would be more than enough to spur the team back into action to seek revenge, where they’ll embark on a journey that was described as being “more violent than Will Smith at a comedy club”.
The Expendables 4, or Expend4bles if you’re into that kind of thing, doesn’t have a release date as of yet, but it could be with us before the end of the year.