It’s an action/thriller casting break this evening, featuring the return of some classic actors to familiar old stomping grounds. So after the break you’ll find:

  • Peter Stormare is a bad guy in Arniold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Stand,
  • Anthony Hopkins will hunt a serial killer in Solace,
  • and Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and John Travolta may be confirmed for The Expendables 2.

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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 »

The recent story that Donnie Yen has been offered a part in The Expendables 2 is starting to make a bit more sense. Not that it takes any sort of science to figure out why producers would try to land one of the world’s best current action stars for a film that is expressly designed as a showcase for such actors, mind you.

But there’s a new detail that changes the context just a bit. As financier Nu Image seeks to maximize profit in the booming Chinese movie market, the company is now in talks with a Chinese company to co-finance the film. That would lead to two things. First, some of the film would be shot in China. Second, the rules restricting revenue sharing from imported films wouldn’t apply to The Expendables 2, so Nu Image would be able to collect a lot more of the profit made in the country. Read More »

Here’s something that’ll get me into the theater for The Expendables 2 right quick, if it pans out: Donnie Yen, one of the current champion fighters on film, has been offered a role in The Expendables 2. That’s according to Twitch, which says that producer Avi Lerner offered Yen a “tailor-made” role in the film, which should shoot in October. Yen’s own people confirmed the offer, but didn’t give any indication of whether he’s likely to take it. Read More »

With director Simon West preparing to shoot The Expendables 2 soon aiming at an August 17, 2012 release, it’s high-time we heard something about his cast. We expect that surviving members of the original – Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews, Jet Li and possibly Bruce Wills – could all return but, according to an interview with the CEO of the “biggest film studio” in the country the film will shoot, Bulgaria, joining the cast are John Travolta, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Have our muscle-throbbing, old-man action-star dreams come true? We explore the rumor after the jump. Read More »

Simon West Will Direct ‘The Expendables 2’

Briefly: I know there are people who really like the films of Simon West (Con Air, Tomb Raider, The Mechanic) and I expect that audience will be thrilled that he is directing the sequel to The Expendables. Will he do a better job than Sylvester Stallone did with the original? Hard to say; two out of Sly’s last three films have been either genuinely good (Rocky Balboa) or a lot of fun (Rambo) so he’s probably got another good one in him. But The Expendables, a purely by the numbers exercise, sure wasn’t it.

So let Simon West have a crack at the sequel that will reunite Sly, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Terry Crews and possibly Bruce Willis, with new participants very likely. (There will probably be a new female lead, playing the daughter of Mickey Rourke’s character.) David Agosto and Ken Kaufman are writing this one, and I’m hoping they’ve come up with material to really match the testosterone level of the cast. The Expendables 2 will release on August 17, 2012. [Deadline]

One of our first tastes of any materials for The Expendables came a couple years back at Cannes. So, appropriately, here’s the first sales art for The Expendables 2, as seen during the opening hours of this year’s festival. This is basically a modified version of the original sales art for the first film, but as a bonus we’ve also got the official synopsis for the sequel. Guess which Expendable really does turn out to be expendable? Full art and info are after the break. Read More »

Let’s tackle these in reverse order from the headline. Last week rumors emerged that Sylvester Stallone would direct The Expendables 2 after all. (Several months back it had been announced that he would not write or direct.) The rumor showed up via a BoxOfficeMojo tweet, and was reportedly sourced from LionsGate, which distributed the first film. I contacted the studio, which said that nothing was confirmed.

Now Deadline indirectly but definitively reports a statement from Sly that he “wants it known that despite reports to the contrary, he will not be directing the sequel to The Expendables.” So that remains that. The script is in, and now we’ll wait to see who is tapped to direct, what cast members will return, and who’ll be added. Maybe the experience of directing Sylvester Stallone in Headshot will go so well that Walter Hill will do The Expandables sequel as well? More info on Headshot, which Thomas Jane has just joined, after the break. Read More »

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The sequel to Sylvester Stallone‘s surprise hit, The Expendables, has yet to lock down a director, but at least its got a release date. Lionsgate just announced that The Expendables 2, written by David Agosto and Ken Kaufman, will explode into theaters on August 17, 2012. It’ll go head to head with another huge action sequel that comes out the week before: G.I. Joe 2, directed by Jon Chu. Read more after the break. Read More »