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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
The recent action ensemble hits The Expendables and The Expendables 2 reunited several heavyweight 1980s and 90s action stars to worldwide success. Seeing names like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, and Van Damme in the same series of movies was a novel and interesting approach for writer/director/star Stallone and his production team. Though Expendables 2 has lagged somewhat in domestic box office, international receipts will likely be higher for the superior second film, and The Expendables 3 will almost assuredly show up in theaters in the next couple of years. The big question on my mind is who will show up in the third film? Today’s Friday Five features five actors who I would personally love to see in The Expendables 3. Let us know in the comments who you would like to see as well.
5. Nicolas Cage
The Case for Cage:
Cage, who hasn’t anchored a hit film in a half decade or so, seems stuck in direct-to-DVD purgatory, with features like Seeking Justice and Trespass premiering on on-demand movie sites and showing up on store shelves in Target and Wal-Mart, bound for the bargain bin. Cage could use a hit, and an appearance in The Expendables 3 would be a high profile way to tether himself to a profitable franchise once again. Cage initially rose to prominence in the mid-90s for his dramatic roles, but his action films, such as Con Air and Face/Off are truly stupendous films, well-remembered for their Caginess in particular. Nic would make a great villain in part three, facing off against Stallone as a more cerebral, psychological villain than Van Damme’s awesome Vilain character in part two. Rumors so far have Cage signed on to appear in the third film, so hopefully he’s able to follow through and give us some of that Cage craziness we all root for.
Choice Cage Action Flicks: Con Air, Face/Off, The Rock
4. Carl Weathers
Predicting the Weathers:
Weathers is perhaps best known to younger audiences for his hilarious self-parody on Fox’s Arrested Development (or maybe for his equally funny turn in Happy Gilmore), but action aficionados may best remember Weathers from films such as The Predator (where he played Dillon) and Death Hunt, opposite Charles Bronson. A Weathers appearance in Expendables 3 would mean he could reunite with his Predator co-star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as with Sylvester Stallone, whom he memorably squared off against in Rocky, arguably the greatest sports movie of all time. Their rivalry could continue through the same menacing, glowering looks and homo-erotic subtext that filled their first collaborations decades ago. Perhaps Weathers could play the father to Terry Crews’ Hale Caesar character, with the two teaming up for the most awesome on-screen father and son match-up of all time. I’d watch that.
Choice Weathers Film Roles: Death Hunt, Rocky series, The Predator
3. Bill Paxton
People forget that Bill Paxton appeared in some pretty iconic 80s and 90s action movies, including Aliens and True Lies (both directed by James Cameron). In more recent times, Paxton is known for playing the lead character in the HBO drama Big Love, where he earned much critical acclaim. A role in The Expendables 3 would allow Paxton to get back to his sleazy, smarmy action roots. Like Carl Weathers, he would also get a chance to reunite with Schwarzenegger and play off of him like the two did so well in True Lies (where Paxton played a sleazy used car salesman). Paxton would be perfect as a rival CIA agent to Bruce Willis’ character, Mr. Church. Perhaps a showdown between Paxton and Willis would occur as well. John McClane versus Private Hudson: wouldn’t that be awesome? Paxton’s douche-bag act has plenty of good potential to play well against the no-nonsense regular cast, so some sort of supporting villain role would be great for him, possibly as an insane number two to Nicolas Cage’s even more insane number one.
Choice Paxton Scumbag Roles: True Lies (where he really is the ultimate scumbag), Aliens, Near Dark
2. Carla Gugino
Carla Gugino is probably best known to audiences for her frequent collaborations with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. Throughout her career she has consistently appeared in gritty action films and interesting genre fare like Sin City, Faster, and American Gangster. She earned much credibility with her performance as Sally Jupiter in the Watchmen adaptation, a film much better than its reputation on the internet would suggest. Gugino, who is of Italian descent, would fit right in amongst the mostly-male cast of Expendables co-stars. She would be a great female counterpart to Stallone, and perhaps even a love interest for his battle-hardened Barney Ross character (while also being somewhat age-appropriate for the aging Sly!). Gugino can more than hold her own as an action star and tough gal (too bad her short lived Karen Sisco show never took off – I thought it was pretty great), and would potentially bring appeal to an even wider audience. The Expendables 2 largely used Yu Nan correctly, foregoing the typical Whedonesque female characters found in a glut of boring Hollywood projects in favor of a far more believable ass-kicker. Gugino would get the chance to go toe to toe with the big guys and look realistic doing it.
Choice Gugino Film Appearances: Sin City, Snake Eyes, Faster
1. Michael Caine
Bringing the Caine:
Whaaaat? Michael Caine?! I know what you might be thinking, but Caine, best known more recently for his supporting roles in Christopher Nolan films (Alfred in Nolan’s Batman universe, Leo’s father in Inception), was at one time the go-to actor for tough guy roles in genre films. I would love to see a return to form for Caine, who is an absolute legend in the industry and would bring his highly respected pedigree to the Expendables franchise. Back in the 60s and 70s, Caine starred in The Italian Job (a Hollywood remake would later star The Expendables own Jason Statham) as well as the proto-exploitation film Get Carter (which inspired a critically devastated Stallone remake). Why not go back to the source and just cast Caine for a third iteration? He’s been an on-screen bad-ass for 50 years, and he can still do it! A few years ago, Caine appeared in a Death Wish-esque film called Harry Brown, where he attempted to clean the mean streets of a roughshod London neighborhood with as much violence as possible. The film, though not widely screened in America, was both gritty and suspenseful. Cain could bring his noteworthy British intensity to a third Expendables film, and we’d all be better off for it.
Choice Cain Bad-Ass Movies: Get Carter, Harry Brown, The Man Who Would Be King
Honorable Mentions: Michael Biehn, Vernon Wells, Gina Carano, Tom “Tiny” Lister, Jr., Jeff Speakman, Robin Shou
Who are your choices for The Expendables 3? Sound off in the comments!