As big dumb action movies go, The Expendables franchise has been among the biggest and the dumbest. Unfortunately, The Expendables 3 was not quite big and dumb enough, trying to expand the appeal of the franchise by toning down some of the madness and mayhem enough for a PG-13 rating. Sylvester Stallone now admits that this was a miscalculation, but has promised to up the ante with The Expendables 4.
Speaking with Crave Online (via /Film), Stallone confessed that attempting to broaden the appeal of the franchise was “a horrible miscalculation.” Here’s what he said:
Absolutely unequivocally yes. I believe it was a horrible miscalculation on everyone’s part in trying to reach a wider audience, but in doing such, diminish the violence that the audience expects. I’m quite certain it won’t happen again.
Stallone went on to discuss the possible future of The Expendables franchise, including where the team might wind up next. While they probably won’t be going back in time to World War II (apparently that’s a thing), Stallone does say that he’s toyed with similar ideas:
I have actually entertained the idea of putting the group into such an unnatural environment that it, in an of itself, creates extra suspense and tension: the “fish out of water” scenario. That environment might not be time travel, but nearly just as jarring.
I’m not terribly clear what an Expendables “fish out of water” tale would look like, but it’s an intriguing idea nonetheless.
We must remember that The Expendables 4 is not necessarily a sure thing. The third film did not do as well critically or financially as its predecessors, though that could be chalked up to the dilution of violence in an attempt to get that PG-13. When it comes down to it, we all expect an Expendables film to be big and violent, with a plot you can just about follow and badass action stars spouting one-liners. If it does not fulfill that criteria, there’s really no reason for it to exist.
We shall have to wait and see what the future holds for our geriatric action stars. I personally would be all for The Expendables 4, just because it’s always fun to see these guys duking it out with each other. I do wonder though who else they could possibly bring into the fold. Are there any major action heroes who have not appeared in an Expendables film at this point?