Casting on Sylvester Stallone's sequel The Expendables 2 is starting to heat up as Sly prepares to shoot the sequel later this year. All of the original cast members, even Steve Austin, who died in the original, will be returning (we hear that Stone Cold may have an evil twin). But there has been much speculation, even on Stallone's part, about which new action luminaries he will be bringing in for this second helping. Sly's Tango & Cash better half, Kurt Russell, has been considered. Mike Tyson was toyed with and then dropped. Arnold Schwarzenegger may have a bigger role as his term as governor of California winds down. And Ryan Seacrest will participate in some capacity. But the two biggest names that action fans want to see return are Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal.

Director Sheldon Lettich, who is currently trying to launch a sequel to Double Impact (yes, the movie where Van Damme fights himself as twins), revealed that JCVD will be joining The Expendables 2. But there is one stipulation: He'll only do it if there is no Steven Seagal.

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Apparently this won't be much of a problem, as The Expendables 2 producer Avi Lerner doesn't want Seagal anywhere near the set after a few bad experiences with him. Here is what Sheldon Lettich had to say:

"JC seems to be leaning towards appearing in the sequel, as far as I know...If Steven Seagal is not in the sequel. From what I've heard it, [Steven Seagal won't be, not because of Sly, but because of producer Avi Lerner, who had a few bad experiences with Steven."

Lettich then chimed in about his own proposed sequel for Double Impact, saying:

"We're getting closer to resolving the rights issue, but it's not something I can talk about yet, nor is it a sure thing. Stay tuned."

Casting confirmations for The Expendables 2 should come at any moment. Stay tuned.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange