‘The Expendables 4’ finally guns down a new release date, but without a big star

'The Expendables 4' gets release date
Image: Lionsgate

The action franchise nobody asked for is soon set for its fourth film, as The Expendables 4 aims its sights on a release date against a huge comic book franchise.

After eight years since the threequel, the Sylvester Stallone-led series will finally return as Lionsgate has greenlit a release date outside of the usual window. The fourth entry into the franchise will now see a Sept. 22, 2023 release date, putting it up against a currently unnamed DC / Warner Bros. film.

The franchise has not been overly successful with audiences, as The Expendables 3 is believed to have only just made a profit if you follow the rough rule of doubling a film’s production budget to judge breaking even. Grossing $214 million from an estimated budget of $100 million, the franchise has so far not managed to gross over $300 million on a single film.

Further worries come as Arnold Schwarzenegger is not part of the fourth film, while Terry Crews also dropped out after alleging Sylvester Stallone’s agent had sexually assaulted him. There’ll still be plenty of star power, with series regulars Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, and Randy Couture joined by newcomers 50 Cent, Megan Fox, Randy Couture, and The Raid’s Iko Uwais.

The Expendables 4 will also return to an R-rating, following the PG-13 threequel which lacked the bloodshed of the first two. It’s astonishing a franchise that has failed to really land much critical recognition or even solid box office success is set to return. Up against a DC film, it feels likely to struggle.

The predecessor was in a battle against Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 and very much lost out. Whether or not The Expendables 4 will suffer a similar fate remains to be seen.