The Expendables introduced the idea of gathering together the world's greatest action heroes all in the same franchise, but many of the actors in the series are past their prime. Though, that is part of the charm. But what if Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger had teamed up for a movie in the 80s playing their most iconic characters? Kurt Russell wanted it to happen and even pitched it.
While promoting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Kurt Russell spoke with Fox 5 DC and, at one point, the subject of Snake Plissken joining up with the Guardians came up. While Russell was quick to dismiss that idea, he did reveal that he wanted Snake to join up with the likes of John Rambo and John McClane in a movie. Here is what he had to say about it.
"Years ago I did think, back then nobody would listen to me, I thought it would be great to sort of take a bunch of the guys, the guys like Bruce Willis, Stallone, Schwarzenegger. They all had one best character that I thought would be interesting, in the action world, to put those guys together. That would have been a realistic version of what Marvel did, but it was like talking to a wall. I thought it would have been cool. Let them be the characters that they are. My thing about that was, if I was going to be Snake in that, the only problem was that I'm going to have to produce the movie because all Snake's gonna do is walk in, look at them and leave,"
The 80s was a massive golden age of action movies and the four names who are mentioned here would have made for a great team. Sylvester Stallone starred in First Blood, which would go on to create a long run as the character of John Rambo. Bruce Willis was most notably in Die Hard, which is regarded as one of the greatest action movies ever made. When it comes to Arnold Schwarzenegger, he was in a ton of various action movies from The Terminator to Commando, so there are several characters he could have played in this action-hero shared universe movie. But since Kurt Russell says he would have liked this to be a "realistic" version, we can probably rule out the T-800.
There are quite a few logistical issues that would come along with putting all of these guys together on screen, but there is really no reason several of these characters couldn't exist in the same world and the same universe. Really, it is Kurt Russell's Snake Plissken, who the actor played in Escape From New York and Escape From L.A. that might make things tricky, since those movies and that character exist in a dystopian reality. Whereas guys like Rambo exist in a world that seems much more real.
None of that really matters since the idea for this Expendables style team up never happened, and it didn't really seem to go any further than the pitch anyway. But still, that was some pretty forward thinking from Kurt Russell. You can check out the full interview for yourself below.