Just as 2016 was coming to a close, it was confirmed that Lionsgate is moving ahead with The Expendables 4. Now, star and creator of the franchise Sylvester Stallone has offered an update. It sounds like it will be his next project, with shooting to take place in 2017 for a 2018 release date. In a special message delivered high above the skies of Florida via Facebook, Sly promises this final sequel will be something different. And he gives a tantalizing tease as to what, or whom, we may expect.
"Flying high in the sky, come fly with me! Okay, that's right, I know. Frank Sinatra is not rolling over in his grave and I don't blame him! Anyway, I'm on my way to Florida looking forward to that event, and I'm going to start working out. Working out for the next Expendables, that's going to be great! Fingers crossed. We're going to do our best, but I think we have some really great attitude going. We have good ideas. I think everyone is expecting something different and we're going to give it to them. And most of all, I just wonder where my parachute is. Because I don't like heights. That's right, I did Cliffhanger. But I still don't like heights. See you later."
Sure, Stallone is high above the earth as he delivers this update. But we don't think his mention of the 1993 action classic Cliffhanger is any mere coincidence. Especially since he says the title with a knowing wink. We believe that the final Expendables movie will somehow tie into that movie's storyline. Cliffhanger involves a botched mid-air heist that results in suitcases full of cash being being searched for by various groups throughout the Rocky Mountains.
Aside from the plot of the movie, or that we may see a couple of action legends turned senior citizens scaling mountains, the biggest take away from this could be that Renny Harlin, who directed Cliffhanger, could possibly be re-teaming with Stallone for The Expendables 4. Harlin is currently in pre-production on Legend of the Ancient Sword, but he could be doing this instead. His previous movie, which debuted in late 2016, was Skiptrace starring Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville. And it's possible that both of these guys could be showing up in Expendables 4. Jackie Chan makes perfect sense, and is the best candidate for a co-starring role in this final sequel, which is known for bringing old action stars back to their former heyday. We know that Arnold Schwarzenegger will likely return, and he's previously worked with Knoxville.
Jackie Chan sounds like a lock for the sequel, especially since he's one of the few action icons who hasn't shown up yet. And he and Sylvester Stallone have never appeared together in an action movie. Though they both parodied themselves in the big bomb An Alan Smith Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, where they wen't uncredited in roles featuring heightened versions of their on-screen personas. In that film, the two teamed up for a movie that is not at all unlike Expendables 4.
In mentioning Cliffhanger, Sly may also be hinting that some of that cast will return in Expendables 4. The two biggest names being John Lithgow and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 star Michael Rooker. As any Marvel fan worth their salt knows, Stallone just teamed-up with Rooker in James Gunn's sequel, so that certain is a possibility. And Rooker fits the roll call. Also possible for return is Janine Turner, who played Stallone's female lead.
But if we had to tie all these interconnecting dots together, we'd guess that Renny Harlin is going to direct Expendables 4, though that hasn't been announced. And what other big name could possibly join this movie series at this point outside of Jackie Chan to make it worthwhile for fans? Steven Seagal is one of the few who hasn't participated, but previous reports hint that his ego is just to inflated to work well with so many other well respected icons. Michael Dudikoff is also another guy who hasn't shown up yet, as is Cynthia Rothrock. We've heard Hulk Hogan's name tossed around as the villain, or the villain's sidekick. We do know that Stallone is planning to return this franchise to its R Rated roots for the final installment. There is no current word if the Expendables TV show is still moving forward at this time, which would bring back action icons of the small screen with Lone Wolf Chuck Norris possibly leading that cast. Norris previously appeared in Expendables 2.