Briefly: As if the cast of Simon West‘s The Expendables 2 wasn’t already big enough, here’s one more. The film already features Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Liam Hemsworth, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger in what may be the most egregious collection of biceps and testosterone since Pumping Iron II: The Women.

Now we’ve learned that the current top-ranked tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, will cameo in the movie. Why? Because producer Avi Lerner is a fan and wants him in the movie. (Or wanted to hang out with him for a minute, and so got him to be in the movie.) Djokovic has already gone to Bulgaria, where the film has been shooting for weeks. He’ll cameo as himself in the movie. Hopefully he’ll kill someone with a racket. We’ll find out on August 17, 2012.

After the jump, check out a couple videos featuring Djokovic, one of which shows him doing impersonations of other players. Read More »

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Briefly: Simon West, the director of Con Air, The Expendables 2, and the Nic Cage film Stolen that we just mentioned this morning, is now in talks to make a new ‘racing romance’ called Dust and Glory.

THR says the film is based on a novel by Evan Green, which is set during the Redex trials of the ’50s. That is, a race that covered thousands of miles of very difficult Australian landscape. In fact, the trade says the book and resulting script (by Robert Lewis Galinsky) is something like Mad Max crossed with Jewel of the Nile. (What, a Romancing the Stone reference wasn’t available?)

There’s no casting yet; producers of the indie hope to cast the film by the end of this year, and shoot in Australia by summer 2012. West, meanwhile, has to finish The Expendables 2, and he’s also set to direct the mo-cap CGI war film Thunder Run.

‘The Expendables 2′ Poster: Just Call it ‘EX2′

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I don’t have any belief that The Expendables 2 is likely to be the movie I hope it will be. After the first movie, I’m not even convinced that this sequel is fated to be a solid action movie. But magic can happen. While we wait to see any footage from the movie that Simon West has been directing in Bulgaria, here’s a poster that also acts as the best collage of aging action stars you’re going to see this year.

I can easily see some young action fan having made a similar version of this poster by collaging stills in the late ’80s or early ’90s. This one really ups the ante with leather, flying dirt and a lot of thousand-yard (well, maybe 400-yard for some of those guys) stares.

Check out the full poster below. Update: image has been removed at the request of the studio. Read More »

Modern war films have rarely done well at the box office in the past decade that we’ve been at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The audience that might come out to see films set during these wars either hasn’t been interested in the stories being told, or would rather get their war fix from Call of Duty. So it isn’t that surprising that we haven’t seen much in the way of ambitious CGI mocap war films.

Producers at a new company called Freedom Films (yep) are working to change that with an adaptation of David Zucchino‘s book Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad. As part of a gambit to get investors and distributors interested in the project, they’ve enlisted Gerard Butler, Sam Worthington and Matthew McConaughey to act in and voice the leads. Read More »

Liam Hemsworth Joins ‘The Expendables 2′

Briefly: The focus as we’ve covered The Expendables 2 has been the list of actors returning from the first movie, and the other ’80s and ’90s action stars that might join in the sequel. All told, the list is pretty huge already: Sylvester Stallone will be joined by Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The assembled circumference of all those biceps would enclose a bus; collect the cast’s testosterone and you’d probably be able to fuel it for a cross-country run.

Now we’ve got a new, younger body to add: Liam Hemsworth, junior brother of Chris ‘Thor’ Hemsworth and one star of The Hunger Games, has signed on. We don’t know his role, but the thinking is pretty transparent: bring in female audiences under 24. The Expendables 2 shoots soon in Bulgaria under the direction of Simon West. Nicolas Cage and John Travolta remain possible participants as well, because the cast just wouldn’t be ridiculous enough without them. [Variety]

The last time we had good word on The Expendables 2, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger had been confirmed for meaty roles alongside returning star Sylvester Stallone and presumably returning actors Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews and Jet Li.

Donnie Yen, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris and John Travolta have all been rumored as well, with one report seeming to confirm the participation of classic ass-kickers Norris and Van Damme. (And Travola, too, though he’s less of an ass-kicker.) Now we’ve got word, straight from Stallone, that Norris, Van Damme are indeed in the film, and a Nicolas Cage and John Travolta will show up if things can be worked out. Read More »

Briefly: There has been a crazy amount of speculation about the cast of The Expendables 2, which will shoot soon. Given that the original film isn’t exactly beloved, that speculation goes to prove that the concept of putting aging action stars together into a ‘one last mission’-type picture is enough to ignite significant public interest.

We still don’t know what new talents might be joining the sequel, but Deadline reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis have now closed deals to take substantial roles in the film. Both had parts in the original, but neither amounted to more than a cameo. Simon West will direct the sequel in October, and Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews and Jet Li are all likely to return alongside Sylvester Stallone. Moviehole reported over the weekend that Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and Scott Adkins are all confirmed, based on a leaked cast list, but those names are not confirmed at this point. Donnie Yen, also rumored, is yet to be confirmed as well.

Things are getting clearer and clearer in regards to The Expendables 2. That’s not to say there’s a cast yet, not even close, but all the names that are being floated now make more sense. A new report says that Taylor Lautner, Christopher Lambert, Nicolas Cage and Christian Slater are all on an extensive wish list that director Simon West, producer/star Sylvester Stallone and producers have for the action sequel. On that list are also the names previously reported: John Travolta, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme. However, most actors – Donnie Yen excluded – have yet to be made offers so it’s nothing more than a list. Read more after the jump. Read More »

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